Richard J. Harshman, chairman, president, and CEO of ATI noted, “The positive business environment and employee work ethic in the region were key factors in the selection of Union County for the expansion. Our confidence in North Carolina is validated by our investment that now exceeds $300 million dollars during the last decade.”
North Carolina’s manufacturing tradition fits well with the aerospace and aviation industry. North Carolina ranks first in the Southeast, and ninth nationally in total manufacturing employment. More than 180 aerospace and aviation companies employ more than 9,500 skilled workers in the state. In fact, employment in aircraft engine and engine part manufacturing has increased by 68 percent in North Carolina compared with a decline of 25 percent for the United States as a whole.
In addition, more than 26,000 people are employed in engineering fields in North Carolina and the number is projected to grow 12.78 percent over the next five years. Additionally, more than 10,000 highly trained individuals are available to join North Carolina’s labor force annually as they complete their military service. The state’s five military installations continually train people in fields such as aviation and avionics, communications, electronics, engineering, heavy and specialized equipment operation, information technology, and transportation and logistics.
According to Brenda Daniels, economic development manager of ElectriCities of North Carolina, which represents 70+ municipal power providers, “North Carolina is one of the best places for an aerospace manufacturer to locate.”