charlotte USa economic development gUide

Hot Spot for Cool Companies World-Class Address

Diverse businesses call the region home

The New Energy Capital
SpoNSorEd by THE CHArloTTE rEgioNAl pArTNErSHip | 2011-12

Accessibility. C Affordability. Livability.

leveland County Economic Development Partnership has been actively recruiting new industry and creating a healthy and diverse environment for existing, expanding, and new businesses, as well as increasing job opportunities for more than five years.

One of Cleveland County’s finest boasting points is its location. Nestled in the rolling hills of the Southwestern Piedmont of North Carolina, we are the gateway between Asheville and Charlotte, and centered between two of the largest metro areas of the Carolinas – Charlotte and Greenville, SC.  Small-town charm with big-city amenities only 30 minutes away.

Cleveland County public officials are committed to maintaining low property taxes. As a pro-business community, our county and local municipalities work diligently to ensure that local property taxes are competitive in our region.

Lifestyle in the Cleveland County community means relaxing, family oriented and simple. Where there are over 100 festivals held annually and always a place to meet the locals; where lakes, parks, greenways, wineries and trails make Cleveland County a great place to call home.

200 S. Lafayette St. • Shelby, NC 28150

(704) 487-8521 •

This Shelby, NC facility is located on a NC Department of Commerce certified site within the Foothills Commerce Center. The park is accessed off Artee Road via Washburn Switch Road and is approximately two miles from the four-lane U.S. Hwy. 74. It is also situated within 1/4 mile of an interchange with the future U.S. Hwy. 74 Bypass. The 100,000-square-foot building is a modern manufacturing/warehouse building with potential for expansion to 200,000 square feet, with 28’ clear minimum ceiling height and 50’ x 50’ column spacing. Currently under construction and expected to be completed by August 2011; available for lease or sale, terms negotiable. Municipal water, sewer, natural gas and electric service provided.

This Kings Mountain, NC facility is located within the T5 Data Center Park. This park is accessed off of U.S. Hwy. 74 and merely a 25-minute drive to the Charlotte International Airport. The 147,000-square-foot powered data center shell building will be ready for end user interior build-out in June 2011. This facility is expandable to 480,000 square feet. With quality labor and vendor support, as well as several major data centers in the area (Google, Apple, Facebook, HP and Merck), this is a prime location. 180mVA Substation, Fiber and dual water available at site. Available for lease.

business Climate
box office gold
Film industry is a reel success in Charlotte USA

30 32 38 42 46 50

Staying power
Charlotte USA expands as a financial services powerhouse

prime Target for growth



Strong defense and security sector boost Charlotte USA economy

Hot Spot for Cool Companies
Entrepreneurs find support, success in Charlotte USA

breakthrough breakout
Life sciences emerging as major industry in Charlotte USA

driven to perform
Motorsports stays on economic fast track
Table of Contents Continued on Page 7


oN THE CovEr An employee inspects equipment at Siemens Energy
Photo by todd bennett

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overview Almanac business Climate: World Class Address gallery Energy: The New Energy Capital 15 19 24 56 65 69 73 77 80 87 88

65 73


Transportation: let’s roll Education: Thought leaders Health Care: getting better All the Time livability: young at Heart Economic profile Through the lens

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201 1-1 2 Edition , volum E 2 ProofrEading managEr RAvEn PEtty audiEncE dEvEloPmEnt dirEctor DEAnnA nELSon contEnt coordinator JESSiCA WALkER Staff WritEr kEvin LitWin coPy Editor JiLL WyAtt contributing WritErS kAtiE kUEhnER-hEbERt, DAn hiEb, MELAniE hiLL, biLL LEWiS, kAREn SChWARtzMAn, bEtSy WiLLiAMS mEdia tEchnology dirEctor ChRiStinA CARDEn SEnior graPhic dESignErS LAURA GALLAGhER, JESSiCA MAnnER, JAninE MARyLAnD, kRiS SExton, vikki WiLLiAMS graPhic dESignErS RAChAEL GERRinGER, tAyLoR nUnLEy mEdia tEchnology analyStS bECCA ARy, ChAnDRA bRADShAW, LAnCE ConzEtt, PhotograPhy dirEctor JEFFREy S. otto SEnior PhotograPhErS JEFF ADkinS, bRiAn McCoRD Staff PhotograPhErS toDD bEnnEtt, Antony boShiER WEb contEnt managEr John hooD WEb ProjEct managEr noy FonGnALy WEb dESignEr ii RiChARD StEvEnS WEb dEvEloPEr i yAMEL hALL WEb dEvEloPEr i nELS noSEWoRthy WEb account managEr LAUREn EUbAnk ad Production managEr kAtiE MiDDEnDoRF ad traffic aSSiStantS kRyStin LEMMon, PAtRiCiA MoiSAn i.t. dirEctor yAnCEy bonD SyStEm adminiStrator/i.t. SuPPort tEchnician DAniEL CAntRELL SEnior accountant LiSA oWEnS accountS PayablE coordinator MARiA McFARLAnD accountS rEcEivablE coordinator DiAnA GUzMAn officE managEr/accountS rEcEivablE coordinator ShELLy MiLLER SalES SuPPort coordinator ALEx MARkS color imaging tEchnician ALiSon hUntER chairman GREG thURMAn PrESidEnt/PubliShEr bob SChWARtzMAn ExEcutivE vicE PrESidEnt RAy LAnGEn SEnior v.P./SalES toDD PottER, CARLA thURMAn SEnior v.P./oPErationS CASEy hEStER SEnior v.P./cliEnt dEvEloPmEnt JEFF hEEFnER SEnior v.P./buSinESS dEvEloPmEnt SCott tEMPLEton v.P./ExtErnal communicationS tEREE CARUthERS v.P./cuStom PubliShing kiM hoLMbERG v.P./travEl PublicationS SUSAn ChAPPELL v.P./viSual contEnt MARk FoREStER v.P./contEnt oPErationS nAtAShA LoREnS v.P./SalES ChARLES FitzGibbon, hERb hARPER, JAREk SWEkoSky controllEr ChRiS DUDLEy contEnt dirEctor/buSinESS PublicationS biLL McMEEkin contEnt dirEctor/ LiSA bAttLES markEting crEativE dirEctor kEith hARRiS diStribution dirEctor GARy SMith ExEcutivE SEcrEtary kRiSty DUnCAn human rESourcES managEr PEGGy bLAkE rEcEPtioniSt LinDA biShoP

What makes Charlotte USA such a favorable place to do business? What is it about the livability of Charlotte USA that makes people who move there to work decide to stay for the long term? Experience the vitality and charm of Charlotte USA from the comfort of your computer. Charlotte USA Economic Development Guide shows you Charlotte USA like you’ve never seen it before, thanks to the work of our award-winning photographers and writers. Charlotte USA is just a click away.

Charlotte USA Economic Development Guide is published annually by Journal Communications inc. and is distributed through the Charlotte Regional Partnership. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at

For morE iNFormATioN, CoNTACT:
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viSit Charlotte USa eConomiC Development GUiDe onlinE at
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Town of Clover

Digital Edition
Box Office Gold
Film production is a hit in Charlotte USA
Story by Betsy Williams

Spend at least $250,000, receive a refundable tax credit of up to 25% on instate spending for goods, services and labor. North Carolina’s film production tax credit is refundable. Companies earning the credit receive a check for the full value of their refund.

taying for the credits is interesting when you live in Charlotte USA. The Charlotte region has a starring role in film, television and commercial production, a role that generates an estimated $500 million economic impact annually. Dozens of feature and independent films, TV programs and movies have been shot in the region, including Leatherheads and The Color Purple. The new Showtime TV thriller Homeland is filmed in the region, and Cabarrus County was ground zero for filming the sure-to-be blockbuster movie based on the wildly popular book The Hunger Games. Charlotte USA is attractive to filmmakers and related businesses for several reasons, says Beth Petty of the Charlotte Regional Film Commission. Home to three major equipment companies, numerous sound stages and a deep crew base, the region has strong roots in the industry. In addition, Charlotte USA offers outstanding accessibility with nearly 700 daily nonstop flights to nearly 140 cities – including five flights daily to Los Angeles.
LOCATIONS, LOCATIONS, LOCATIONS “Perhaps one of our best attributes is that we have an Anywhere USA look,” says Jeff Smith, founder, director and cinematographer of Charlotte-based Oasis Films. The region offers easy access to beaches, mountains, grassy flatlands and hundreds of miles of lake shoreline, as well as four distinct seasons and year-round mild temperatures. “We make it easy for people to film here,” says Petty, who has recruited numerous films to the region, including Talladega Nights and The Patriot. Petty says the community’s assets range from competitive incentives to a crew base with advanced skills – a factor Smith says is key. “We have wonderful technicians in this market,


Spend at least $1,000,000 and receive a wage rebate up to 20% on all South Carolina resident employees and a rebate of up to 30% on all goods and services purchased, rented or leased by the production company from a South Carolina supplier. Only $250,000 must be spent to qualify for the incentives listed below. • State sales tax 6-8.5% exemption on all purchases, rentals and leases. Taxes are not charged to the production. • No location fee charged for state properties.

really good ones with impressive resumes,” Smith says. “Sure, some of our people have migrated out to L.A., but a lot of L.A. people have also migrated here for our quality of life. There never seems to be a shortage of good techs around. And that extends towards talent as well. Maybe I’m biased because I work here, but I really feel like we have some wonderful actors and actresses in our market and a lot of them show up regularly on some pretty big-name projects.” The quality of life in the Charlotte region plays a supporting role in the success of the industry. “When our region is under consideration for projects, we’re asked about what’s available for people to do when they aren’t working,” Petty says. “Here, we offer concerts and cultural activities, professional and college sports, excellent golf courses, outdoor recreation and much more.” Petty says film is a growth industry for the 16 counties in the Charlotte USA region. “It’s an expanding industry for us. We have both indigenous and new business, and the support network is in place,” she says, noting that the region has cultivated a stable of film-related specialty businesses in everything from photography to production. The law of unintended consequences works in Charlotte’s favor. “Film is a creative industry, one that brings a lot of talented people to our region and helps develop the talents of our residents,” she says. “This level of creativity works to our advantage in attracting other industries that aren’t related to film. Businesses want to invest in a vibrant creative community. We have that here.” Smith agrees. “Years ago I had an opportunity to go to L.A. and work in this business,” he says. “I decided against it and decided to make a go of it here in Charlotte. It’s a decision I have never regretted.”

Charlotte USA is an established center of film and television production. Bottom: Hammerhead Productions shoots a commercial.



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The charming community of Clover, located in northwestern York County, offers an excellent quality of life in a perfect small-town setting. Area residents and visitors enjoy Clover’s downtown where there are quaint shops and restaurants. Clover schools consistently exceed state academic and athletic standards. Beautiful churches serve a multidenominational faith community. There are many opportunities for active and passive recreation at Clover Community and Roosevelt Parks as well as at nearby Kings Mountain State Park. Westgate Industrial Park and other industrial areas are poised and ready for additional growth. Clover is within short driving distance to major cities, interstates and airports. Call today to find out why companies like Honeywell Safety Products, Performance Friction and Jameson Corporation chose Clover.
114 Bethel St. • P.O. Box 1060 • Clover, SC 29710 (803) 222-9495 • (803) 222-6955 fax •

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digiTAl mAgAziNE >> Read the magazine on your computer, zoom in on articles and link to advertiser websites. SiTE gUidE >> Find available commercial and industrial properties with our searchable database. SUCCESS brEEdS SUCCESS >> Meet the people who set the pace for business innovation. dig dEEpEr >> Plug into the community with links to local websites and resources to give you a big picture of the region. dEmogrApHiCS >> A wealth of demographic and statistical information puts the community at your fingertips. gUidE To SErviCES >> Links to a cross section of goods and services special to the community

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Charlotte USA: A region Where Success builds on Collaboration
The 16 counTies work TogeTher To meeT The needs of business
it might have been a coincidence, but the theme for the international Economic Development Council’s September 2011 annual meeting in Charlotte fit the host city to a t: “Connect locally, succeed globally.” For more than 20 years, the Charlotte region has found success by connecting regionally to offer locating and expanding companies from around the world the locations, workforce and business climate they need to thrive. Charlotte USA public- and privatesector organizations partner to achieve a common goal: economic development. For example, our regional community and technical colleges work hand-in-hand with locating and existing companies to provide customized training and retraining that first attracts, then retains businesses. our universities tailor engineering, accounting and health care programs to graduate professionals that fill business needs. our transportation network was designed with business in mind. Air, road and rail easily connect vendors and customers, move goods from centrally located distribution centers and make travel between U.S. and international offices effortless. Working together benefits us all. With a wide variety of assets in our 16-county region, our clients have more options from which to choose. With more choices, there is a stronger likelihood that at least one of our counties will have what a company needs to put down roots in our region. Whether companies locate in their home county or the one next door, our workforce has more job opportunities. our successes born of collaboration have been nationally recognized. A team effort succeeded in bringing the 2012 Democratic national Convention to Charlotte. in 2009 and 2010, Site Selection magazine named the Charlotte Regional Partnership as one of the nation’s top 10 economic development organizations based on new jobs, new jobs per 10,000 residents, new investment amount and new investment per 10,000 residents, as well as innovation, leadership and customer service. our region prospers because we work as a team to leverage our assets for the good of our clients, for the good of our region. take a look at these stories and see what we have been able to build together. For more information, contact: ronnie bryant, CEcd, Fm, Hlm president & CEo Charlotte regional partnership 550 S. Caldwell St., Suite 760 Charlotte, NC 28202 phone: (704) 347-8942 (800) 554-4373 outside NC/SC Fax: (704) 347-8981





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Hickory Conover Newton

L. Norman




Mooresville Kannapolis Concord





Davidson Cornelius Huntersville



Gastonia Kings Mountain



485 51



Clover Smyrna York


Norwood Ansonville

Mint Hill


Fort Mill Rock Hill

Weddington Monroe


72 9

Richburg Lancaster 9 Fort Lawn
521 9




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9 151

Chesterfield Cheraw

Heath Springs

52 1

Great Falls

Kershaw McBee Bethune

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Economic development Contacts
charlotte regional Partnership: David Swenson, business Development Services, (704) 347-8942 (800) 554-4373 (outside nC and SC), north carolina department of commerce: Ron Leitch, Charlotte Regional office (704) 547-5738, alexander county, nc: David icenhour Alexander County EDC, (828) 632-1161 anson county, nc: Lawrence Gatewood Anson County Government (704) 994-3200, cabarrus county, nc: Ryan McDaniels Cabarrus EDC, (704) 782-4000 catawba county, nc: Scott L. Millar Catawba County EDC, (828) 267-1564 chester county, Sc: karlisa Parker Chester County Economic Development (803) 377-1216, chesterfield county, Sc: brenda h. Workman Chesterfield County ED board (843) 623-6500, city of charlotte: brad Richardson Charlotte Economic Development Division (704) 336-3857 city of charlotte: Jeff Edge Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (704) 378-1307, cleveland county, nc: kristin h. Fletcher Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, (704) 487-8521, www.ccedp. com, gaston county, nc: Donny hicks Gaston County EDC, (704) 825-4046, iredell county, nc: C. Michael Smith Statesville Regional Development (704) 871-0062, iredell county, nc: Robby Carney Jr. Mooresville-South iredell Economic Development Corp., (704) 664-6922

lancaster county, Sc: keith tunnell Lancaster County EDC, (803) 285-9471 lincoln county, nc: barry i. Matherly Lincoln Economic Development Association, (704) 732-1511,, mecklenburg county, nc: John Allen Economic Development office, (704) 432-2426 rowan county, nc: Robert M. van Geons RowanWorks, (704) 637-5526 Stanly county, nc: Paul Stratos Stanly County Economic Development Council, (704) 986-3682, union county, nc: Maurice Ewing Union County Partnership for Progress (704) 291-9860 union county, nc: R. Christopher Platé Monroe Economic Development (704) 282-5780, york county, Sc: Mark Farris york County ED board, (803) 802-4300

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THEy CoUldN’T bE ClEArEr
A major manufacturer of glass products has a clear view of expansion possibilities in Chester County, S.C. Guardian industries plans a $45 million expansion at its Richburg plant that is expected to create 50 new jobs. the plant is installing an advanced-technology coating machine that will enable the facility to produce highly energy-efficient glass for residential and commercial buildings. the company’s energyefficient glass for homes is known as ClimaGuard and its commercial application glass is known as SunGuard. Go to for more.

poWEriNg Up
Anson County has landed a $250 million project that will combine locally grown food with renewable energy. Colorado-based GrowGreen Power inc. plans a 50-acre hydroponic greenhouse that will grow tomatoes and a 43.65-megawatt solar thermal/biomass co-generation power plant. the project is expected to create 300 jobs. As part of the project, 37 megawatts of electricity generated by the plant will be sold to the local power grid. GrowGreen executives said Anson County was a good fit for the project’s distribution and business requirements. More information on GrowGreen can be found at

A FlAir For SolAr
the sun shines brightly in alexander county, n.c., where the local electric cooperative is locating a solar farm. Energyunited has invested $6 million in the project, its first solar initiative. the solar farm is slated to produce 16 million kilowatthours of power per year. the cooperative has agreed to buy the power from the facility’s majority owner, maryland-based SunEdison. Energyunited is helping to boost the county’s economy in other ways, too. it has funded a master plan for the county’s 300-acre industrial park and provided a $250,000 interest-free loan for site development. for more on Energyunited, go to


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Global it services provider Wipro inc. is investing $75 million in a state-of-the-art data center in Cleveland County, n.C. the company has purchased a vacant 215,000-squarefoot structure, and plans to refurbish the building and add 80,000 square feet of raised floor to house corporate clients’ computing operations. the company picked the Charlotte USA region based on its technically proficient work force, access to telecommunications and electrical infrastructure, and favorable operating costs. Go to for more on the company.

WHErE THEy kNoW HoW To plAy bAll rEvvEd Up For NEW jobS
Automotive components maker Schaeffler Group USA is expanding its existing facility in Chesterfield County, S.C., a $10 million investment expected to generate 100 new jobs. Schaeffler Group USA will expand its capacity at its facility in Cheraw to increase production of its new MultiAir technology. MultiAir technology will increase engine performance and improve fuel efficiency for a major Detroit automaker. For more on the company, go to America’s Park will build and operate the largest youth baseball facility in the U.S. in iredell County, n.C. the park will host 8- to 13-year-old baseball players from around the country and their families. the park will host week-long tournaments for 12 weeks from June through August. officials project that the facility will bring about 80,000 players, coaches and family members to Mooresville each summer. the projected annual economic impact is estimated at $33 million from players, coaches and family using America’s Park and more than $80 million for the region directly related to its operation. For more, go to


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE

A pET (ANd pEoplE) FriENdly projECT
nutramax Laboratories inc. and sister company nutramax Manufacturing inc. are investing $12.5 million in Lancaster County, S.C., where they will create at least 203 new jobs over the next five years. nutramax said the Lancaster facility will allow it to increase production capacity for new and existing products. nutramax Laboratories develops, manufactures and markets premium products to support the active lifestyles of people and animals. its product roster includes Dasuquin® and Cosequin®, joint-health supplements for dogs, cats and horses; Denamarin® and Denosyl®, liver-health supplements for dogs and cats; and Cosamin®, a joint-health supplement line for people.

tuscarora yarns inc. is expanding to a fourth Charlotte USA county. the company, based in Cabarrus County, n.C., will invest $6.3 million and create 124 jobs over the next three years in China Grove in Rowan County, n.C. the company is moving operations there to a larger facility. the 112-year-old company, which makes heather and mélange yarns for sportswear, underwear, hosiery, home furnishings and automobile fabrics, is also expanding its 190,000-square-foot york County, S.C., facility, a $3.5 million project expected to create 40 jobs. Additionally, the company has operations in Stanly County, n.C. For more on the company, go to

the company picked Lancaster County after a three-year search and cited the area’s safe and affordable housing, plentiful recreational opportunities and quality of life as factors in its decision. Go to for more.

giviNg A liFT To WiNd poWEr
A German company has picked Lincoln County for a $12 million project. hydac technology inc. manufactures fluid-power products such as hydraulic filters, accumulators, valves, clamps, electronics, cooling systems and compact hydraulics for heavy-duty mobile and industrial equipment. the Lincoln County facility will serve the hydac Cooling Division, which makes standard and wind turbine aluminum cooling elements and complete original equipment cooling systems. hydac is a subsidiary of the German-based hydac international. the project, which will initially create 69 jobs, is the first to locate in the new 235-acre Airlie business Park. Go to for more.

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A WorkForCE HElpEr
a fixture of the Stanly county, n.c., economy is Preformed line Products, a global producer of products and systems used in the construction and maintenance of overhead and underground networks for energy, communications and broadband network companies. the company operations in albemarle received a governor’s award for Excellence in Workforce development from the state of north carolina in 2010. the company supports a number of workforce development initiatives, including tuition reimbursement for employees seeking on-the-job or off-site training opportunities for advancement, professional workshops and seminars, and customized training courses during the workday that Stanly community college offers. for more, go to
Photo courtESy of chad allEn

Access to highly skilled workers and a superior transportation infrastructure have helped the Charlotte USA region attract investment and jobs. A string of recent successes in york County, S.C., underscores those attributes. Pulcra Chemicals brought its headquarters and expanded its operations with a new facility in Rock hill, where it invested more than $2.6 million and added 15 jobs to the 30-person workforce. Canadian-owned Supermetal Structures in 2010 chose york County for its first U.S. manufacturing plant, a $6.6 million investment expected to generate at least 125 new jobs. the company supplies, fabricates and erects structural steel for all types of projects. As 2011 began, british-owned advanced machining company Winbro Group technologies opened its new operating facility in york County, a $10 million investment. And PermaShrink Co. inc. broke ground in the summer of 2011 on a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, a $3.3 million investment over the next five years. the plant will make SanforSet rubber shrinking belts, used to pre-shrink textile fabrics for cloth manufacturers in 82 countries around the world.

P h o t o C o U R t E S y o F At i

Charlotte USA has developed a vibrant aerospace sector that employs more than 20,000 people. More than a dozen aerospace and defense-related companies have a major presence in Monroe in Union County, n.C. French-owned aerospace firm turbomeca opened its first production facility outside of France in Monroe. the company’s 100,000-square-foot facility manufactures low- to medium-power gas turbines for helicopters. And Ati Allvac, which pumped another $210 million into its Monroe operations in 2007, employs more than 1,200 people at its two facilities there. the company is a supplier of metals and alloys for aerospace and other industries.

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Business Climate

World-Class Address
diverse businesses call charlotte usA home


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE

Story by Bill Lewis Photography by Jeff Adkins


ome to about 2.6 million people and 10 Fortune 500 companies, the Charlotte USA region has built a highly diverse and vibrant economy. Through recruitment efforts of organizations such as the Charlotte Regional Partnership, the region – 12 North Carolina and four South Carolina counties – has attracted more than $31 billion in capital investment and announced 134,000 jobs since 2000. Proud of its heritage as the epicenter of NASCAR and the motorsports

industry and its position as the nation’s second-largest banking center, Charlotte USA has cultivated a remarkable mix of other major industries: aerospace and defense, health and life sciences, energy and film production, to name a few top sectors. Buoying efforts to spur additional new investment, expansion and jobs is a unified and cohesive regional economic development effort. Though they compete for projects and investment, the 16 counties in Charlotte USA promote a

About ChArlotte uSA
• Since 2000, new and expanding businesses have announced investments of more than $31 billion and 134,700 jobs. • Average household income: $56,501 in 2010; projected to rise to $63,256 by 2015. • Charlotte Douglas International Airport provides more than 700 daily flights and nonstop service to eight major international destinations. • Population: about 2.6 million. • Home to world headquarters of 10 Fortune 500 companies. • More than 55 percent of residents have a level of education ranging between some college and a graduate or professional degree.

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Charlotte Douglas International Airport


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE

Daimler trucks north America has operations in Cleveland, n.C., left, and Mount holly, n.C., right.

true partnership and a full understanding of the region’s assets beyond their individual counties, with the recognition that success for one community benefits all of them.
A CollAborATivE SpiriT Regional collaboration is a key to Charlotte USA’s success in establishing itself as the New Energy Capital. Spread across the region are more than 250 companies directly tied to the energy sector. They collectively employ more than 27,800 workers. Since 2007, companies such as Siemens Energy and Shaw Power Group have announced nearly 5,500 energy sector jobs. The energy sector creates an average of 1,000 jobs each year throughout the region, says Ronnie Bryant, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. The regional approach also extends well beyond the borders of Charlotte USA, a

long-time global address for business. “Our regional international allies play a key role in helping us to recruit businesses from their home countries. We work closely with our 11 honorary consuls, members of our local international chambers of commerce and the leadership of many of the nearly 900 foreign-owned businesses in the region to help us connect with overseas firms interested in setting up U.S. headquarters, manufacturing and distribution operations,” Bryant says. That spirit of collaboration and cooperation was on display in Apple’s decision to open a $1 billion data center in Catawba County, says Scott Millar, president of the Catawba County Economic Development Corp.
STrATEgiC EAST CoAST loCATioN Charlotte USA’s strategic location in the center of the East Coast and the importance of an Eastern Time Zone

ACColAdeS for ChArlotte uSA
LArgeSt bAnkIng CAPItAL in the United States outside new York City. SoUtHern bUSIneSS & DeveLoPMent named the Charlotte region its 2011 Major Market of the Year, based on the number of service or manufacturing projects in 2010 creating at least 200 jobs and/or $30 million in investment. bUSIneSS oPerAtIng CoStS are below the national average. the Charlotte-gastoniarock Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 34th-largest MSA in the nation and the FoUrtHFASteSt-growIng MSA over the past decade.

demoCrAtiC Convention bringS nAtionAl expoSure
Charlotte will host the 2012 Democratic national Convention, drawing up to 35,000 visitors to the walkable, well-designed center city where they will enjoy easy access to a wide variety of restaurants, entertainment and attractions, from the Levine Center for the Arts to the new nASCAR hall of Fame. • When: Week of Sept. 3, 2012 • Where: time Warner Cable Arena. • impact: Expected to generate $150 million in economic benefits Gov. bev Perdue says the convention is a “keystone event that will boost north Carolina’s economy, while showcasing Charlotte and our state to the nation and the world.” First Lady Michelle obama called Charlotte “vibrant, diverse and full of opportunity.”


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fortune 500 in ChArlotte CHArloTTE USA iS HomE To THE HEAdqUArTErS oF 10 ForTUNE 500 CompANiES:
bAnk of AmeriCA
Fortune 500 rank: 9 headquarters: Charlotte

fAmily dollAr StoreS
Fortune 500 rank: 302 headquarters: Matthews, n.C.

Fortune 500 rank: 460 headquarters: Charlotte

Fortune 500 rank: 50 headquarters: Mooresville, n.C.

Fortune 500 rank: 337 headquarters: Charlotte

Fortune 500 rank: 498 headquarters: Charlotte

Fortune 500 rank: 157 headquarters: Charlotte

SoniC Automotive
Fortune 500 rank: 339 headquarters: Charlotte

duke energy
Fortune 500 rank: 173 headquarters: Charlotte

Fortune 500 rank: 394 headquarters: Fort Mill, S.C.

what’s online
For more on Charlotte USA companies and top industry sectors, visit

location are major logistical advantages, Bryant says. A welldeveloped transportation network makes it easy for businesses, international and domestic, to reach destinations throughout North America and the world. Charlotte Douglas International Airport provides nonstop flights to London, Frankfurt, Mexico City, Munich, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Toronto and other international destinations. The airport’s more than 700 daily flights include nonstop service to more than 130 destinations. With growing key industry sectors, a business friendly environment, low business and energy costs, a highly skilled workforce, a world-class international airport and renowned universities, Charlotte USA’s economic momentum is gaining notice far and wide. A national survey of site selection consultants and location advisers ranked Charlotte No. 1 in business climate nationally, beating out Atlanta, Chicago, Jacksonville (Fla.), Nashville, Raleigh-Durham, Richmond and Tampa, among others. “The momentum,” says Millar, “is clearly on our side.”

oiles America Corp. has its north American headquarters in Concord, n.C., and is one of more than 900 foreignowned companies in the region.


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE

business is the Universal language in Charlotte USA
neArly 900 foreign firms employ 226,000 people
business is the universal language in the Charlotte USA region, where nearly 900 foreign companies employ 226,000 people and manufacture products from hybrid-electric trucks and hospital beds to gas turbines for the electric power industry. All of them find a welcoming community ready to do business. “We’ve got a great partnership here in north Carolina with all the various levels of government, at the city, county and state levels,” says Mark Pringle, director of operations in Charlotte for Siemens Energy. the company, based in Germany, has consolidated production of gas turbines for the electric utility industry in Charlotte, where it is investing more than $200 million and creating another 825 jobs. “it’s exciting to see the ball rolling and all the people coming here to this area,” Pringle says. other foreign investors agree. Daimler trucks north America produced its 1,000th hybrid truck at its Mount holly Freightliner plant early in 2011. the German company followed that milestone with the announcement that it is ramping up production and adding 628 jobs in Mount holly and Gastonia. When Czech Republic hospital bed company Linet established its north American headquarters in Charlotte USA, it cited Charlotte’s airport, with direct flights to more than a halfdozen international destinations, the region’s logistics infrastructure and its cost advantages. other international business assets include Foreign trade zone no. 57, convenient access to East Coast ports, CSx and norfolk Southern rail service with links to 22 states in the Eastern United States, projected high-speed rail service to Atlanta and Washington, D.C., and access to 60 percent of U.S. markets within one day. “Charlotte has a great business community, and we’re glad to be part of one of the most livable cities in the U.S.,” says Colin bain, president and CEo of Linet Americas.

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north CArolinA film inCentiveS
Spend at least $250,000, receive a refundable tax credit of up to 25% on instate spending for goods, services and labor. north Carolina’s film production tax credit is refundable. Companies earning the credit receive a check for the full value of their refund.

South CArolinA film inCentiveS
Spend at least $1,000,000 and receive a wage rebate up to 20% on all South Carolina resident employees and a rebate of up to 30% on all goods and services purchased, rented or leased by the production company from a South Carolina supplier. only $250,000 must be spent to qualify for the incentives listed below. • State sales tax 6-8.5% exemption on all purchases, rentals and leases. taxes are not charged to the production. • no location fee charged for state properties.


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE

box office gold
film production is a hit in charlotte usA
Story by Betsy Williams

taying for the credits is interesting when you live in Charlotte USA. The Charlotte region has a starring role in film, television and commercial production, a role that generates an estimated $500 million economic impact annually. Dozens of feature and independent films, TV programs and movies have been shot in the region, including Leatherheads and The Color Purple. The new Showtime TV thriller Homeland is filmed in the region, and Cabarrus County was ground zero for filming the sure-to-be blockbuster movie based on the wildly popular book The Hunger Games. Charlotte USA is attractive to filmmakers and related businesses for several reasons, says Beth Petty of the Charlotte Regional Film Commission. Home to three major equipment companies, numerous sound stages and a deep crew base, the region has strong roots in the industry. In addition, Charlotte USA offers outstanding accessibility with nearly 700 daily nonstop flights to nearly 140 cities – including five flights daily to Los Angeles.
loCATioNS, loCATioNS, loCATioNS “Perhaps one of our best attributes is that we have an Anywhere USA look,” says Jeff Smith, founder, director and cinematographer of Charlotte-based Oasis Films. The region offers easy access to beaches, mountains, grassy flatlands and hundreds of miles of lake shoreline, as well as four distinct seasons and year-round mild temperatures. “We make it easy for people to film here,” says Petty, who has recruited numerous films to the region, including Talladega Nights and The Patriot. Petty says the community’s assets range from competitive incentives to a crew base with advanced skills – a factor Smith says is key. “We have wonderful technicians in this market,


really good ones with impressive resumes,” Smith says. “Sure, some of our people have migrated out to L.A., but a lot of L.A. people have also migrated here for our quality of life. There never seems to be a shortage of good techs around. And that extends towards talent as well. Maybe I’m biased because I work here, but I really feel like we have some wonderful actors and actresses in our market and a lot of them show up regularly on some pretty big-name projects.” The quality of life in the Charlotte region plays a supporting role in the success of the industry. “When our region is under consideration for projects, we’re asked about what’s available for people to do when they aren’t working,” Petty says. “Here, we offer concerts and cultural activities, professional and college sports, excellent golf courses, outdoor recreation and much more.” Petty says film is a growth industry for the 16 counties in the Charlotte USA region. “It’s an expanding industry for us. We have both indigenous and new business, and the support network is in place,” she says, noting that the region has cultivated a stable of film-related specialty businesses in everything from photography to production. The law of unintended consequences works in Charlotte’s favor. “Film is a creative industry, one that brings a lot of talented people to our region and helps develop the talents of our residents,” she says. “This level of creativity works to our advantage in attracting other industries that aren’t related to film. Businesses want to invest in a vibrant creative community. We have that here.” Smith agrees. “Years ago I had an opportunity to go to L.A. and work in this business,” he says. “I decided against it and decided to make a go of it here in Charlotte. It’s a decision I have never regretted.”

Charlotte USA is an established center of film and television production. bottom: hammerhead Productions shoots a commercial.
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Staying power
charlotte usA expands as a financial services powerhouse
Story by Katie Kuehner-Hebert Photography by Jeff Adkins & Todd Bennett


hough the banking sector nationally has undergone a shakeout, Charlotte USA remains a strong and growing financial services industry leader. Bank of America Corp. makes its home there, and Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Bank have major operations in the region. Other financial services companies such as Fifth Third Bancorp, Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America and Citco Fund Services – and those serving the industry such as Aon Hewitt, Fiserv and Capgemini Group – are also growing in the Charlotte area and taking advantage of the opportunities it offers. Overall, the sector employs more than 67,000 people in the region, which remains the nation’s second-largest banking center with more than $1 trillion in assets held.

NEW plAyErS ExpANdiNg Cincinnati-based Fifth Third came to Charlotte in 2008, when it bought the $5 billion-asset First Charter Corp.
the Fifth third Center, right, and the bank of America Corporate Center, left, are in the heart of Charlotte’s financial services district.


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From left: Aon hewitt is adding more than 450 jobs; bank of America, a highly visible corporate citizen in Charlotte USA, has naming rights to the stadium where the nFL Carolina Panthers play; Wells Fargo maintains major operations in the region.

“This was an opportunity to get into a strong growth market,” says Bob James, president and chief executive officer of Fifth Third Bank in North Carolina. “North Carolina ranks No. 1 in projected population growth over the next five years. Charlotte in particular is attracting a young, very educated workforce.” Moreover, the region has aboveaverage household income and a large number of middle-market companies. “The market is fertile for what we do well, which is middlemarket lending,” James says. The presence of major companies is helping the region in other ways, too. For a week in May, Fifth Third employees volunteered more than 800 hours to various nonprofits throughout the community. The bank also employs an “eBus” to give low- and moderate-income neighborhoods access to online banking, free credit reports and mortgage counseling. In 2010, Fifth Third relocated its North Carolina headquarters to Tryon Street in the heart of the region’s financial services district, across from Bank of America and Wells Fargo. The region’s highly skilled workforce is also helping it draw new investment.

Aon Hewitt, the human resources outsourcing and consulting firm, is in the midst of adding more than 450 positions in the region.

by the numberS

rank of Charlotte USA among the nation’s banking centers

Financial services sector employments in Charlotte USA

Number of residents in the region with securities licenses

$1 trillion
value of assets held by financial services firms in the region

“Our Charlotte office is one of Aon Hewitt’s global delivery centers,” says Dave Swift, vice president of human resources business process outsourcing with Aon Hewitt. “From this center, we deliver a variety of HR services

for large local and multinational clients and their employees. Charlotte and Aon Hewitt are the perfect match. We know that as we continue to grow, we will be able to tap into the diverse, skilled talent pool in the area for highquality candidates.” Citco Fund Services opened its first North Carolina office in Charlotte in 2010 and will create nearly 260 jobs by 2015. Beyond that, the region’s concentration of financial services providers is drawing investment from companies that serve the sector. Fiserv, a technology provider to banks, credit unions and financial institutions, selected Catawba County for a customer support and client services center that will eventually employ more than 400 people. And technology and consulting firm Capgemini’s U.S. subsidiary Capgemini Group plans to invest $4.2 million to open a Charlotte office and hire 550 employees over the next three years to serve banking, insurance and capital-markets clients. Verian Technologies is making a major investment in Lancaster County, S.C. The firm, a leading producer of purchase-to-pay automation solutions for business, is building a 25,000-square-foot headquarters in Indian Land.


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The 56-employee company began in 1997 developing software that helped medical and hospital networks with their procurement and inventory process. The company’s software helps companies monitor and track their purchases, invoices, assets, reimbursements and costs, and its clients include Boeing, Allstate Insurance, PETCO and GNC.
bANk oF AmEriCA Bank of America has called Charlotte home for more than 130 years. “The bank has grown up here,” says Charles Bowman, North Carolina and Charlotte market president. “We started here as American Commercial Bank prior to NCNB – North Carolina National Bank – and we’ve grown as the region has grown.” The financial services giant continues to make its home in the region because of the excellent quality of services, including health care, education and transportation assets such as light rail and an accessible airport with numerous direct flights, Bowman adds. Bank of America’s employees are active in the community and donated 135,000 volunteer hours in 2010. Moreover, the company has been part of virtually every major public-private development initiative – from Bank of America Stadium, to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and now, the Levine Center for the Arts, a development of several museums in Uptown Charlotte.

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w w w. m a t t h e w s n c . c o m

Fifth third bank’s north Carolina headquarters are in Uptown Charlotte.
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P h o t o C o U R t E S y o F At i

prime Target for growth
strong defense and security sector boosts charlotte usA economy
Story by Dan Hieb

Photo CoURtESy oF toM WithAM


P h o t o C o U R t E S y o F At i

he U.S. Department of Defense is one of the biggest business customers in the world, awarding contracts worth a total of $367.6 billion in 2010. Leaders in Charlotte USA have made it a mission to bring those dollars to the region – both by recruiting defense and security industry businesses, and by providing resources that help existing businesses tap into that multibillion dollar revenue stream. Between 2005 and 2009, North Carolina’s share of Department of Defense contract spending increased from less than 1 percent of the nation’s total to about 1.6 percent, according to the North

Carolina Military Business Center, which was created to help companies win military contracts. “With two wars going on and defense-spending increases, the pie has gotten bigger, but we’re getting more of it, too,” says Steve Dorney, the military business center’s executive director.
A prESENCE iN dEFENSE The Charlotte region already has an impressive stable of large companies that supply the defense and aerospace industries, a sector that has grown in importance to the regional economy over the past 20 years. Charlotte-based Goodrich

Clockwise from top left: Ati Allvac’s 700mm radial forge is the largest of its kind in the specialty metals industry; General Dynamics is one of the world’s biggest defense players that calls the Charlotte USA region home; Ati Allvac’s control room in Monroe
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Strong defenSe

Companies in the region that have received U.S. department of defense contracts since 2000

$4.5 billion
value of defense contracts awarded in region since 2000

Companies in Charlotte USA involved in aerospace sector

Workers employed in the aerospace sector in Charlotte USA

Corp., with revenue of $7 billion in 2010, is the 11th-largest company in the U.S. defense and aerospace business. Several of the world’s biggest defense players also have a home in the 16-county area including BAE Systems, Curtiss-Wright Controls, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, whose Armament and Technical Products division is headquartered in Charlotte. Some 100 aerospace companies provide about 19,700 jobs to workers in the 16-county region. Additionally, more than 1,200

defense contractors collectively have landed $4.5 billion worth of defense contracts since 2000, according to Charlotte Regional Partnership research. Recent economic development victories for the region include BAE System’s decision last year to build a human resources and financial services center in Charlotte that is to employ 176 people. Armored car maker Defense Venture Group invested $50 million in a Lancaster, S.C., headquarters and added more than 200 jobs. French-based Turbomeca opened its first U.S.

facility in Monroe in 2008, the same year ATI Allvac announced its plans to invest $210 million to expand its presence in Monroe, where it employs more than 1,200 people. The area’s more than 8,000 engineers make it an attractive place to operate, says Dan Greenfield, a spokesman for Allegheny Technology, the parent company of ATI Allvac, which provides metallics to the aerospace industry. And the area has proven to be popular with prospective employees, he says. “We do have a wealth of


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Photo CoURtESy oF toM iRADi

left: Goodrich Corp. maintains its headquarters in Charlotte and has operations in Monroe. Top: Charlotte is executive headquarters for General Dynamics Armament and technical Products. below: northrup Grumman Synoptics manufactures crystals for use in solid-state lasers for military, medical, industrial an scientific markets.

engineers coming out of the local schools, but it’s also easy to attract engineers to come live in that area,” Greenfield says. “The work force that works in our plants is a good group of people.”
plENTy oF opporTUNiTiES The North Carolina Military Business Center plays a role in recruiting new firms the area, but its main focus is on growing existing businesses and helping retired military personnel put their unique skills to work. Dorney works to demystify the process of bidding for federal

contracts, offering step-by-step guides at and conducting public events to educate businesses. Not all of the opportunities require a high-tech background. Dorney is particularly focused on government demand for goods and services – North Carolina is in the midst of a $7 billion boom in base construction, he says. There’s no reason that most of that business shouldn’t go to local builders. And companies that want to offer training services to the military, or security to other businesses, can find a wealth of highly trained

veterans thanks to nearby military bases like Fort Bragg. Of the Department of Defense’s $367.6 billion in defense contracting in 2010, $161 billion was spent on services, according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank. Dorney culls the Defense Department’s bid requests to identify those that offer a strong opportunity for area businesses. “Only about 20 percent of the opportunities are really viable, but it’s 20 percent of a really big pie,” he says.

Photo CoURtESy oF toM iRADi

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Hot Spot for Cool Companies
entrepreneurs find support, success in charlotte usA
Story by Betsy Williams Photography by Jeff Adkins


lready the envy of other regions in the nation, Charlotte USA’s innovative entrepreneurial community is creating a new wave of growth. Talented people are the key to success, says Jay Faison, president of SnapAV, who started the manufacturer and wholesaler of custom audio/video products and accessories from scratch in 2005 and has grown it to a more than $30 million company. “Charlotte is an easy sell when you are trying to recruit people,” Faison says. “They like living here because the quality of life is attractive. Being in a place where you can attract and retain the best possible people is No. 1 in the business world.” That talent is working for SnapAV. The company is moving into a new 130,000-square-foot headquarters in the Charlotte area and projects continued growth.

A plACE For ENTrEprENEUrS In addition to talent, Charlotte

offers entrepreneurs specific services to help them get started and succeed. Opened in March 2011, Packard Place is a co-working office-space facility with the mission of developing fast-growth businesses and the professional community to drive them. Co-founding husband and wife Dan Roselli and Sara Garces understand the entrepreneurial spirit. They own Red F – a marketing company that has worked with big names such as Time Warner, GEICO and CocaCola – and its sister businesses Customer Stream and TargetPoint. All three businesses will occupy a portion of Packard Place. Located in the heart of the city, Packard Place takes its name from its 90,000-square-foot, five-story building, which was constructed as a showroom for the Packard luxury car dealership. With a ground-level café, a 200-seat assembly hall, broadband and wireless Internet throughout and

shared spaces for video production and digital recordings, Packard Place is a cutting-edge facility for startups and entrepreneurs. The building is impressive, but Roselli says it’s “not about the brick and mortar, it’s about the community and connectiveness.” He sees Packard Place as becoming the spark to give entrepreneurs a place in Charlotte to congregate and exchange ideas, while also giving the entrepreneurial spirit in Charlotte a higher profile. Packard Place is partnering with key venture groups that serve entrepreneurs by providing access to funding, technology, education and assistance to help companies design, build, market and deliver innovative solutions. “Charlotte has so many resources for entrepreneurs – the money, the businesses, the people – and these resources seem to be the perfect ingredients for an entrepreneurial ecosystem,”

Clockwise from top left: Paul Wetenhall, president of the ben Craig Center; Packard Place helps entrepreneurs get started and exchange ideas and expertise; mailvU, which lets users send private video emails, is one of the entrepreneurial firms located in Packard Place.


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Top: Entrepreneurs have a meeting at Packard Place. left: Employees of technology firm C5 insight in their offices at the ben Craig Center

Roselli says. “However, they’re scattered all over the city; there’s no consolidated center where entrepreneurs can go to take advantage of them. That’s why Packard Place is so perfect for the Queen City. We are that center for entrepreneurs.”
bEN CrAig CENTEr booSTS NEW vENTUrES Charlotte has what it takes to

continue to attract new ventures, says Paul Wetenhall, president of the Ben Craig Center, which helps start-up and early-stage entrepreneurs with business incubation and acceleration services from a 50,000-squarefoot building located in the University Research Park and connected to UNC Charlotte. Wetenhall cites a talented workforce, affordable professional

services, a growing angelinvesting community, and a strong network of transportation and educational assets. BCC provides space and services ranging from administrative to education to startups, but the access to experienced advice gives entrepreneurs an invaluable edge in building success. “I have talked with many of the 115 founders that have grown their ventures at the Ben Craig Center and they consistently talk about how the coaching and mentoring they received improved their strategy, connected them to an investor or helped them realize more value at a liquidity event,” Wetenhall says. “Charlotte’s best business minds have generously shared their insight as Ben Craig Center mentors for nearly 25 years.”


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The idea man
louis foremAn: chAmpion for enTrepreneurship
Louis Foreman knows a thing or two about entrepreneurism. he is the chief executive of Enventys and Edison nation, the producer behind the Emmy Award-winning PbS show Everyday Edisons, the publisher of Inventors Digest and author of The Independent Inventors Handbook. And over the past 20 years, Foreman has created nine successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of 20 others. A prolific inventor, he is the listed inventor of 10 registered U.S. patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of 400 more. Enventys, a Charlotte-based product development firm, helps entrepreneurs get their ideas ready for the marketplace. the company works with independent entrepreneurs and businesses to meet their needs for market research, product design, engineering, sourcing, branding, packaging, video production and public relations. “i think we are all idea people,” Foreman says, adding that turning ideas into something that makes money requires execution. As the country emerges from recession, he says, “there has never been a more important time for innovation and entrepreneurship.” “Charlotte has all the essential nutrients to allow innovative ideas and companies to take root and prosper,” he says. “there are tremendous resources in this community to nurture start-ups and support the early-stage companies as they grow and flourish.” involved in the Charlotte USA community, Foreman is a founding member of the inventors network of the Carolinas, a nonprofit organization to empower inventors through education. he is also the Entrepreneur in Residence at the McColl School of business at Queens College and an awardwinning instructor at Central Piedmont Community College. – Betsy Williams

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breakthrough breakout
life sciences emerge as major industry in charlotte usA
Story by Melanie Hill Photography by Jeff Adkins

rom medical device manufacturing to nutrition research to pharmaceuticals, the Charlotte region is a lab leader, cultivating innovation in manufacturing, biotechnology, research and academia. A spearhead of that growth is the North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBC). Through the NCBC, the state’s 227,000 biotech professionals receive support in research, business, education and strategic policy. “Charlotte’s thriving life sciences sector has a lot to do with workforce, connectivity and a robust treasure trove for innovation,” says Marjorie Benbow, director of the NCBC’s Greater Charlotte office. “One of the reasons we can sustain tremendous growth of life sciences is our


forte in bioinformatics and health informatics. That’s how we unlock discoveries, and it’s something that’s very unique to this region.”
NorTH CAroliNA rESEArCH CAmpUS In Kannapolis in Cabarrus County, the North Carolina Research Campus is a $1 billion, 350-acre technology park with more than 1 million square feet of space committed to advancements in biotechnology, nutrition and health. The public-private venture is home to many of the world’s top scientific minds and research efforts from universities including Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNC Charlotte. Dole Food Co. relocated its Dole

left: A chemist works in the Dole nutrition Research institute at the north Carolina Research Campus in kannapolis.

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Nutrition Research Institute to the Kannapolis campus from California in 2010. Nicholas Gillitt, Ph.D., director of Dole’s Nutrition Research Lab, says access to university research, cutting-edge equipment, and laboratory and office space made NCRC an obvious choice. “All of the institutions we partner with are already on this campus,” Gillitt says. “Instead of calling all over the country and working with partners in different time zones, I can literally walk out of my office and knock on their doors. It’s a natural fit to have our scientific research and development located on this campus.” At UNC Charlotte, experts access the 75,000-square-foot Bioinformatics Research Center, designed to provide research, education and facilities in the field of genomic data. And through the North Carolina Community College System’s BioNetwork, area two-year

colleges now offer specialized training in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences. “Community colleges are a great gauge for knowing how an industry is doing,” Benbow says. “They’re not about training people for jobs that aren’t there, but about working hand-in-hand with industries to make sure people are employed.”
groWTH ANd ExpANSioN The life sciences sector is attracting new companies and expanding across the region. In Monroe in Union County, N.C., Greiner Bio-One North America is a world leader in life science and clinical lab products, including blood collection tubes and microplates. A wholly owned subsidiary of Austria’s Greiner Bio-One International, the company opened its North American headquarters in 2000. Today, Greiner Bio-One North America

ChArlotte uSA life SCienCeS ASSetS
• More than 10,000 workers employed in the health/life sciences and related biotech sector within the Charlotte region • Largest concentration of medical device manufacturing in the Carolinas • north Carolina Research Campus, a $1 billion, 350-acre biotech campus in kannapolis, home to research programs of private biotechnology companies, health care companies and all research universities in the UnC system • UnC Charlotte’s bioinformatics Research Center, a $35 million, 75,000-square-foot facility housing wet and dry laboratories and core facilities for gene expression, proteomics, microscopy, crystallography and computing • home to Presbyterian healthcare, as well as Carolinas healthCare System, the largest health care system in the Carolinas and third-largest public health care system in the United States, both of which actively engage in national clinical trials for promising new treatments

operates from nearly 200,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution space in Monroe. “We chose Union County for its location with respect to operational logistics, transportation and excellent infrastructure, which allowed us to quickly move into manufacturing,” says Kevin Daugherty, director of marketing for Greiner Bio-One North America. Charlotte USA also is home to major hospital systems and cutting-edge medical research facilities such as the James G. Cannon Research Center, an affiliate of Carolinas HealthCare System. That expertise helps build promising new companies like Linet Americas. A leading manufacturer of hospital beds and patient room equipment in more than 70 countries, Czech Republic-based Linet established its North American headquarters in Charlotte in 2009. “We chose Charlotte because of its strong health care platform and great nursing schools, which we work closely with,” says Summer Zifko, marketing director for Linet Americas. Location and accessibility also were key factors. “International customers can fly in, visit our showroom and be back home the same day,” Zifko says. “Nearby ports also allow us to receive shipments from our parent company at the lowest cost of entry.”

Clockwise from top: Linet Americas, which manufactures hospital beds and patient room equipment, located its north American headquarters in Charlotte; Austria-based Greiner bio-one international opened its north American headquarters in Monroe; Sterile Pyrex glass containers are ready for use at the Dole nutrition Research institute in kannapolis.


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driven to perform
motorsports puts charlotte usA on economic fast track
Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Todd Bennett

he motorsports industry is still a driving force of the Charlotte USA economy. Dozens of racing teams from the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series are headquartered in the region, and so are hundreds of companies that supply parts and engineering technology to the teams. In fact, nearly 700 motorsports-related businesses generate a $5 billion economic impact within the 16 counties that make up Charlotte USA. Racing teams, a specialized labor pool and a well-developed supplier chain support the motorsports industry, which employs more than 20,000 people in the region. Buttressing the
Above: A driver prepares for a race at zMAx Dragway at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. right: A nASCAR hall of Fame exhibit



Antony boShiER

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S tA F F P h o t o

industry are academic-based research assets that include the North Carolina Motorsports and Automotive Research Center at UNC Charlotte. Beyond the racing teams themselves, the region boasts a number of other motorsports-related enterprises, including NASCAR Media Group, the MRN Radio network and a trio of wind tunnel test facilities that aid not only motorsports research, but other industries studying aerodynamics. Another business, Camber

Ridge LLC, works with major U.S. automotive companies that want to improve tire performance. Another business focused on motorsports is Camber Ridge LLC, which deals with major U.S. automotive companies that want to improve tire performance. “Our expertise is actually in electronic stability control, where if a car starts to lose control, it will automatically apply brakes to one or two tires to straighten the car and hopefully avoid a wreck,” says Jim Cuttino, Camber Ridge

president. “Electronic stability control is now second only to seat belts in the number of lives it can save, so it’s exciting technology.” Cuttino says Camber Ridge tests tires at high speeds on a special roller coaster/asphalt track it has built, and is doing work for customers such as NASCAR, Formula One racing and even the U.S. military. “We are able to measure the loads, angles, forces, grip and speeds of tires at high accuracy, then feed all the data into


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All revved up
• More than 700 motorsportsrelated companies reside in the 16-county Charlotte region • Motorsports is a $5 billion industry in Charlotte USA • 90 percent of all nASCAr teams are headquartered within 50 miles of Charlotte • Motorsports venues in the region include Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord Motorsports Park, Hickory Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway • the nASCAr Hall of Fame in Charlotte is a $200 million facility that highlights 60 years of stock-car racing • the north Carolina Auto racing Hall of Fame in Mooresville includes more than 35 race cars dedicated to all types of auto racing • Charlotte Motor Speedway, which opened in 1959 in Concord, can seat up to 167,000 spectators. the 2,000acre speedway complex also includes the zMAX Dragway

computers to provide individual vehicles with the best tires possible,” he says. “We’re doing all of this at a temporary facility until our new headquarters opens in 2013.”
STArT yoUr ENgiNES When most NASCAR fans throughout the nation hear the word “Charlotte,” they probably think of Charlotte Motor Speedway – the most famous motorsports landmark in the region. The track in Concord is

Clockwise from left: A pit crew hard at work; Charlotte Motor Speedway generates an estimated $400 million annual economic impact in Charlotte USA; nASCAR hall of Fame
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a 1.5-mile oval that can seat up to 167,000 spectators and has been a racing and tourism destination ever since opening in 1959. The 2,000-acre speedway complex, which also includes the zMAX Dragway, generates an annual economic impact estimated at $400 million. Winston Kelley hopes a brand new motorsports attraction will bring even more people to Charlotte USA. Kelley is executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which is licensed by NASCAR but owned by the city of Charlotte and operated by the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. The Hall of Fame opened in May 2010 and attracted 275,000 people during its first full year, a first-year visitor number that was second in American sports hall attendance only to the Baseball Hall of Fame. “Our studies show that roughly 50 percent of people who came to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the first year did so with the hall being their primary purpose for coming to Charlotte,” Kelley says.
CElEbrATiNg NASCAr’S STArS The three-story facility is in the heart of Uptown Charlotte, across from Charlotte Convention Center and right off Interstate 277. Studies also show that more than 67 percent of Hall of Fame visitors stay in the Charlotte area for 2.5 days and spend an average of $1,200 during their stay. “People from all 50 states have already visited us,” Kelley says. NASCAR legends inducted into the Hall of Fame so far include Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bill France Sr., Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison and Junior Johnson. “Motorsports will always play a big role in Charlotte,” Kelley says. “And the NASCAR Hall of Fame will always be here to celebrate it.”

From top: Charlotte Motor Speedway; nASCAR hall of Fame
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orbis by Housi knecht on the campus of UNC Charlotte photo by Todd bennett


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daniel Stowe botanical garden in gastonia photo by Todd bennett

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The old Courthouse in Concord, N.C., is now home to the Cabarrus Arts Council. photo by Todd bennett


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The Firebird at the bechtler museum of modern Art in Charlotte photo by Todd bennett

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A band plays at The Evening muse in Charlotte. photo by jeff Adkins


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mooresville public library Staff photo

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The Charlotte skyline photo by Todd bennett

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valve manufacturer Conbraco industries, which has its headquarters in Matthews, n.C., is one of 250 companies in the region tied to the energy sector. Conbraco’s operations in the region include a foundry and plant in Pageland in Chesterfield County, S.C.

New Energy Capital
charlotte usA surges as center of innovation, investment
Story by Bill Lewis Photography by Todd Bennett

ith a growing cluster of more than 250 energyrelated companies ranging from power distributor Duke Energy and gas-turbine manufacturer Siemens Energy to engineering and construction firm Shaw Power Group, Charlotte USA is becoming the New Energy Capital. The 16-county region is home to many of the companies that will chart the nation’s energy future, says Jeff Merrifield,


senior vice president for Shaw Power, whose projects include nuclear power stations in the United States and China. “Houston is the hydrocarbon capital,” he says, referring to that city’s history with the oil industry. “Charlotte is the logical place for energy production companies.” The energy sector is adding about 1,000 jobs per year in the region and now employs more than 27,800. Shaw is an example of that trend, Merrifield says. The

company has grown dramatically in Charlotte, where it now employs about 1,200. “We are very excited about the opportunity to increase the size of our staff here in what has become our nation’s new energy capital,” says Clarence Ray, Shaw Power Group chief executive.
A SUrgE iN poWEr dEmANd Shaw is moving forward with its first contract for work on a small, modular nuclear reactor, a type of

Photo CoURtESy oF ConbRACo inDUStRiES

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Siemens manufactures gas turbines in Charlotte.

Construction firm Shaw Power Group

All ChArged up
Companies tied directly to the energy sector in Charlotte USA region


workers in the region employed in the energy sector


new energy-sector jobs announced since 2007 in the region


Power plants operating in the region

power plant that is a new direction for the nuclear power industry. Siemens Energy, meanwhile, is growing rapidly in Charlotte to meet demand by electric utilities for gas turbines to prepare for a surge in power use as the economy recovers. Siemens Energy has consolidated gas turbine production in Charlotte to meet worldwide demand. The company is investing more than $200 million in its new facilities and creating 825 additional engineering and production jobs. Siemens is collaborating with area universities and community colleges, whose graduates provide the skilled workforce the company needs. Those institutions are working with the company to custom-design their curriculums to ensure that new graduates are workplace-ready. Community colleges are screening applicants to make sure they have the math, blueprint-reading and other technical skills they need, says Mark Pringle, the company’s director of local operations. “We’re very happy with the quality of our applicants,” he says.

promoTiNg SUSTAiNAblE ENErgy Charlotte USA’s other sustainableenergy companies are growing as well. As Nissan, General Motors, Ford and other automobile manufacturers focus attention on electric cars and hybrids, Chemetall Foote is investing $35 million in its Kings Mountain facility to produce lithium hydroxide for the super-efficient batteries that enable the vehicles to travel for miles on a single charge. Another regional company is growing with the electric vehicle industry. Celegard is more than doubling its investment in lithium ion battery production in Concord and has added a manufacturing plant in Charlotte. Fresh off an announced $57 million investment that will create 204 jobs, the company decided on a fourth expansion to meet growing demand. Celegard is investing an additional $105 million and hiring 250 more workers. Siemens Energy’s Pringle could be speaking for all of the companies in the New Energy Capital when he describes the future. “I believe we have a competitive advantage in Charlotte,” he says.


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P h o t o C o U R t E S y o F t h E S h AW G R o U P i n C .

A job of EpiC proportions
indusTry, educATion uniTe for energy-relATed reseArch, TrAining
Meeting the growing demand for a skilled work force in the new Energy Capital and researching emerging technologies is a mission of epic proportions, and that’s exactly what EPiC, the Energy Production and infrastructure Center at UnC Charlotte, intends to accomplish. “EPiC will transform the future of our energy work force and job development across this growing region,” says Dhiaa Jamil, the Duke Energy executive who chairs EPiC’s industry advisory board. “it will be a resource for engineering students from many universities and colleges and a national resource for the development of cutting-edge technologies that continue to shape the energy industry.” Duke is providing approximately $4.5 million in support of EPiC, a collaborative effort uniting industry and academia. Siemens, which has consolidated production of gas turbines in Charlotte, has pledged about $4.3 million. Duke’s and Siemens’ support will provide engineering scholarships, advance EPiC’s research in Smart Grid and precision manufacturing technologies, provide students with access to large-scale manufacturing equipment and help recruit key faculty members. the energy industry faces a worker shortage at the same time the need to build new generating facilities is growing. Demand for power in the United States is expected to grow 40 percent by 2030. EPiC will encourage more energy businesses to consider growing in the Charlotte region, says Ronnie bryant, president and CEo of the Charlotte Regional Partnership. Charlotte USA is known as the new Energy Capital because of more than 250 energy-oriented organizations and more than 27,800 energyoriented employees in its 16 counties. “A research university produces good ideas and good people. both are essential for sustainable economic development,” bryant says. “Aligning corporate work force and research needs with our university like this says something about the character of our region as an energy hub. it makes our region even more attractive to new energy firms.” – Bill Lewis


on A roll
Transportation network keeps charlotte usA well connected
Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Jeff Adkins

t helps to have connections, and Charlotte USA is well connected thanks to a convenient and robust transportation network. The expansive 16-county area has ready access to three major interstates – I-77, I-85 and I-40 – that put Charlotte USA within a 10-hour drive of 62 percent of the U.S. population, including New York, Chicago and Orlando. That interstate convenience is a big reason why more than 300 trucking firms have operations in the region.
A ForCE iN Air For air travel, each of the region’s 16 counties has at least one general aviation airport, and seven of the facilities handle more than 100 flights a day on average. Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where more than 700 daily flights serve major U.S. and international markets, is the seventh-busiest airport in the United States in terms of operations and one of the 25 busiest in the world. The airport’s five-concourse terminal serves more than 38 million passengers each year, more than LaGuardia or Reagan National. The airport, which provides an annual economic impact of $10 billion, is constructing a $325 million intermodal facility that will make air, rail and highway transit even more seamless. “A study from five years ago found that the yard would mean $7 billion in additional economic impact over 20 years,” says Lee Davis, Charlotte Douglas International Airport spokesperson. “Norfolk Southern railroad continues to work on


Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Concord Regional Airport

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construction plans for the facility and anticipates starting around September 2011.” The airport already handles more than 134,000 tons of cargo every year, on 20 air cargo carriers. The intermodal facility is expected to open in late 2012 and is projected to handle 250,000 container lifts a year.
HAil To THE rAil Charlotte USA is also served by two Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, which link to 22 states and Canada via 46,000 miles of track. Shortline services such as North Carolina’s Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway and Lancaster, S.C.-based L&C Railroad enhance that network by reaching deeper into Charlotte USA and connecting to the major lines. Aberdeen Carolina & Western offers regional freight rail service with dual connections to CSX and Norfolk Southern lines. The largest privately owned shortline in North Carolina, Aberdeen Carolina & Western also offers switching services at industrial sites for customers that don’t have the resources to move railcars at their plant operations. It also offers transloading services for truck to rail or rail to truck, and provides maintenance and repair services for locomotives and rail car storage. L&C, which operates on 60 miles of track, serves Lancaster and Chester counties with customers such as Dow Chemical, PPG, Guardian Industries and ThyssenKrupp Steel. In operation since 1896, L&C has diversified its traffic base over time, says Matthew Gedney, the carriers’ assistant vice president in charge of business development. “By acquiring and marketing industrial property over the last 20 years, we’ve doubled the number of customers we serve,” he says. Locomotives owned by L&C take loaded railcars and haul them to interchange points in Lancaster and Chester, where CSX and Norfolk Southern then transport the railcars to cities throughout the United States. “It all means a timely movement of goods and services to and from our customers’ plants,” Gedney says.
Clockwise from top left: L&C Railroad, a short-line rail service, is based in Lancaster, S.C.; the Charlotte region is served by three interstate highways; Rail is a key component of Charlotte USA’s transportation infrastructure; Charlotte Douglas international is US Airways’ largest hub.

ChArlotte uSA AirportS
Alexander County Airport, taylorsville, n.C. * Anson County Airport, wadesboro, n.C. * Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte * Charlotte-Monroe executive Airport, Monroe, n.C. Cheraw Municipal Airport, Cheraw, S.C. Chester Catawba regional Airport, Chester, S.C. * Concord regional Airport, Concord, n.C. * gastonia Municipal Airport, gastonia, n.C. * Hickory regional Airport, Hickory, n.C. Lake norman Airpark, Mooresville, n.C. Lancaster County Airport, Lancaster, S.C. Lincolnton-Lincoln County regional Airport, Iron Station, n.C. * rock Hill/York County Airport, rock Hill SC * rowan County Airport, Salisbury,n.C. Shelby-Cleveland County regional Airport, Shelby, n.C. Stanly County Airport, Albemarle, n.C. Statesville regional Airport, Statesville, n.C. wilgrove Air Park, Charlotte wilson’s Airport, Hickory, n.C. *Average more than 100 flights per day Source:

ChArlotte douglAS internAtionAl Airport
• the nation’s seventhbusiest airport, with more than 700 daily flights • handled more than 38.2 million passengers in 2010 • US Airways’ largest hub • Daily nonstop service to international destinations such as London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Frankfurt, Munich, toronto, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro • on-site air cargo facilities are operated by UPS, FedEx, Emory Worldwide and DhL

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Thought leaders
colleges, universities drive innovation
Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Todd Bennett

igher education institutions in the 16-county Charlotte area are a major advantage in business recruitment and retention. Not only do they turn out knowledgeable and job-ready graduates, but they provide ongoing workforce development programs and other initiatives on which they collaborate directly with business. The universities supply a great deal of the brainpower behind an impressive collection of research assets that add value to companies in diverse industries. UNC Charlotte includes more than a half-dozen major research institutes and centers, focusing on areas such as e-commerce technology, photonic devices and optics, and precision engineering and measurement. Its cybersecurity program was a pioneer in the field and was among the first in the country to be recognized by the National Security Agency as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research.
UnC Charlotte has opened the City Center building. the development includes 25 classrooms and design studios, meeting and performance spaces, an art gallery and four-acre park in the heart of Charlotte.
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rESEArCH CAmpUS liFE The $1 billion North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis serves as a hub for collaborative university and private-sector research. The eight universities on campus are conducting innovative research in health and nutrition. “We wanted to bring the best of academia along with business and industry to one campus to do research and work together,” says Clyde Higgs, NCRC vice president for business development. “Universities do a great job coming up with new thoughts and ideas, but it is industry’s responsibility to get new innovations, products, services and technologies to the marketplace where they can actually help people. At NCRC, universities and businesses are involved in collaborative research and scientific breakthroughs, primarily in the areas of human health, nutrition and agriculture.” The impressive collection of university research at NCRC includes Appalachian State University’s Exercise Biochemistry Laboratory. Appalachian State is conducting a study with Dole Foods to see if bananas have as much effectiveness as sports drinks in

replenishing vitamins in the bodies of athletes. UNC Charlotte’s BioInformatics Center at NCRC will provide specialized computer system and data management solutions and analysis for academic researchers and biotech companies. Duke University’s Translational Medicine Institute is studying diabetes and obesity. NC Central University, NC State University, North Carolina A&T, UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Greensboro also are engaged in unique research projects at the NCRC. Research universities aren’t the only institutions of higher education on campus. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has opened a 63,000-squarefoot biotechnology training center on site with 150 students enrolled. A number of private companies are taking advantage of the intellectual synergy and are working with the universities to find health care solutions and bring them to market. Among these are Dole Foods, General Mills, LabCorp, Monsanto and Sensory Spectrum. Dole has a particular interest in the NCRC, since it was founded by Dole Foods owner David Murdoch, an avid proponent of healthy food and human wellness.


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“Additionally, the NCRC is an economic development tool that injects economic vigor in the research areas for this region,” Higgs says. Two-year colleges in Charlotte USA help build the region’s workforce. One of those institutions is Rock Hill, S.C.-based York Technical College, whose mission is to support economic development and strive to meet the needs of business. “We offer three main areas of study – health and human services, industrial and engineering technology, and business and computer technology,” says Greg Rutherford, president of York Tech. “Those are hot-button careers today. We want our students to study what interests them, then eventually graduate and find fulfilling employment. We also offer free upstart training to employees at new businesses that are locating in the region. York Technical College, too, is all about knowledge and helping the regional economy thrive.”
From left: Rowan-Cabarrus Community College students work in a lab at the north Carolina Research Campus; york technical College in Rock hill. S.C., is one of 10 community and technical colleges in the region that provide a range of training and workforce development services.

Charlotte USA Higher Education institutions
belmont Abbey College, belmont, n.C. Catawba College, Salisbury, n.C., Charlotte School of Law, Davidson College, Davidson, n.C., Gardner-Webb University, boiling Springs, n.C. Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte, Lenoir-Rhyne University, hickory, n.C., Livingstone College, Salisbury, n.C., Pfeiffer University, Misenheimer, n.C. Queens University of Charlotte, Strayer University, Charlotte, UnC Charlotte, Wake Forest University at Charlotte, Charlotte Wingate University, Wingate, S.C., Winthrop University, Rock hill, S.C.,

CommUNiTy CollEgES
Catawba valley Community College, hickory, n.C. Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte Cleveland Community College, Shelby, n.C. Gaston College, Dallas, n.C., Mitchell Community College, Statesville, n.C. northeastern Community College, Cheraw, S.C. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Salisbury, n.C. South Piedmont Community College, Polkton, n.C. Stanly Community College, Albemarle,n.C. york technical College, Rock hill, S.C.
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getting better All the Time
charlotte region is a leader in health care delivery
Story by Kevin Litwin

harlotte USA is a leader in health care research and treatment, cementing its reputation as a center of medical innovation by attracting top-level expertise to the region. Among the recent arrivals is Dr. Derek Raghavan, president of the Levine Cancer Institute now being constructed on the Carolinas HealthCare System campus in Charlotte. Before coming to Charlotte, Raghavan spent seven years as chairman and director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Center. “Carolinas HealthCare System wanted a leading center based in the Charlotte region and I was attracted to the challenge of something new,” Raghavan says. “I anticipate that this amazing


Carolinas Medical Center-Steele Creek in Charlotte

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new building will open in the late summer of 2012.” The $31 million, five-story Levine Cancer Institute will be headquartered in Charlotte and is being constructed as an addition to Carolinas Medical Center’s Morehead Medical Plaza II building. But the Levine Cancer Institute will also have satellite branches at other CHS hospitals in North Carolina and South Carolina so that patients won’t necessarily need to travel to Charlotte for top clinical care. “We’ll have campuses at hospitals in Charleston and Anderson, S.C., and in Concord and Chapel Hill, N.C.,” Raghavan says. “This is an exciting undertaking.” The effort is part of plans by

CHS to invest approximately $500 million over the next decade to improve cancer treatment, research and education.
607 bEdS AT prESbyTEriAN CHS is just one hospital system in the Charlotte region that has a reputation for excellence. Presbyterian Healthcare, which has four hospitals along with urgent care centers, outpatient surgery centers and rehabilitation programs, is anchored by the 607bed Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte that recently underwent an expansion. Overall, this health system employs more than 9,000 people throughout the region at several sites. Presbyterian offers a variety of services and treatments that

address cancer care, heart care, pain management, women’s health, sleep disorders and weight loss. The region also is served by a network of community medical systems that provide exceptional care, including CaroMont Health in Gaston County, N.C., and Iredell County, N.C.-based Iredell Health System, which oversees Iredell Memorial Hospital, as well as Iredell Home Health and Iredell Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center. “Our Primary Stroke Center just received a quality achievement award from the American Heart Association, plus we have centers specifically targeted toward women’s and children’s health, cardiovascular care, cancer care,


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE


and wellness and prevention,” says Kelley Daspit, Iredell Health System director of planning and community relations. And like all health care systems in Charlotte USA, Iredell Health System supports local groups and national nonprofit health organizations, such as the March of Dimes’ March for Babies, the annual United Way campaign, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. With a cadre of quality and committed providers throughout the region, Charlotte USA has the expertise and resources to offer health care at the highest level.
left: Presbyterian hospital in Charlotte right: iredell Memorial hospital in Statesville

ChArlotte uSA hoSpitAlS
AnSon Anson Community hospital, Wadesboro, n.C. CAbArruS Carolinas Medical CenternorthEast, Concord, n.C. CAtAwbA Catawba valley Medical Center, hickory, n.C. Frye Regional Medical Center, hickory, n.C. CheSter Chester Regional Medical Center, Chester, S.C. CheSterfield Chesterfield General hospital, Cheraw, S.C. ClevelAnd Cleveland Regional Medical Center, Shelby, n.C. Crawley Memorial hospital, boiling Springs, n.C. kings Mountain hospital, kings Mountain, n.C. gASton Carolinas Rehabilitation-Mount holly, belmont, n.C. CaroMont health inc., Gastonia, n.C. Gaston Memorial hospital, Gastonia, n.C. iredell Davis Regional Medical Center, Statesville, n.C. iredell Memorial hospital, Statesville, n.C. Lake norman Regional Medical Center, Mooresville, n.C. lAnCASter Springs Memorial hospital, Lancaster, S.C. linColn Carolinas Medical Center-Lincoln, Lincolnton, n.C. meCklenburg Carolinas Medical Center, Charlotte Carolinas Medical Center-Mercy Carolinas Medical Center-Pineville Carolinas Medical CenterUniversity, Charlotte Carolinas Rehabilitation, Charlotte Presbyterian hospital, Charlotte Presbyterian hemby Children’s hospital, Charlotte Presbyterian hospital huntersville Presbyterian hospital Matthews Presbyterian orthopaedic hospital, Charlotte rowAn Rowan Regional Medical Center, Salisbury, n.C. W.G. hefner vA Medical Center, Salisbury, n.C. StAnly Stanly Regional Medical Center, Albemarle, n.C. union Carolinas Medical Center-Union, Monroe, n.C. york Piedmont Medical Center, Rock hill, S.C.

what’s online
learn more about the Charlotte USA’s health care industry at

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young at Heart
charlotte’s surging student population brings business to city core
Story by Karen Schwartzman Photography by Jeff Adkins

harlotte center city’s vibrant nightlife, abundant cultural opportunities and the allaround feel of vitality are being buttressed by an infusion of colleges and universities to the city core. With them come a surge of new entertainment options. “Academia is an essential element to urban areas. Students bring entertainment and culture,” says Michael Smith, president and CEO of Charlotte Center City Partners. “We think this idea of an urban campus is one that cities have to develop.” Johnson C. Smith University and Central Piedmont Community College are longstanding center city stalwarts. Johnson & Wales University opened in the center city in 2004, and UNC Charlotte expanded its presence in Uptown in a big way in fall 2011. The signature 12-story, $50 million Center City Building that houses the university’s MBA and other


graduate programs increases both vibrancy and aesthetic appeal in Uptown Charlotte’s urban core. “Every 10 years we make a new city plan, and one of the core focuses of the 2020 vision plan is the urban campus,” Smith says. “Great urban places are about layering; there’s a vibrancy of having students around that really adds to the texture of downtown.”
oN Top oF THE TrENd At the core of the campus are the students themselves, and the center city provides them with a place to play, think and thrive. Center City Charlotte comprises trendy neighborhoods like NoDa, Dilworth and South End, where students can find neighborhood haunts and pockets of local bars and cultural venues. “Culture is king,” says Laura Hill, marketing and communications director for Charlotte Travel and Tourism. “Dining and nightlife specifically

the noDa arts district in Uptown Charlotte is filled with trendy shops, such as Pura vida Worldly Art (top, bottom right); restaurants and bars, including tasty yo Frozen yogurt (bottom middle), the Evening Muse (bottom left); and much more.

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have really reinvented themselves over the past decade.” Some of that can be attributed to the influx of students and the influence they have in shaping the center city experience. “Johnson & Wales’ culinary students have really transformed our dining scene,” Hill says. Now city-goers can take advantage of a range of options, from the ultra-chic Mez restaurant to the classic 1920s feel of Prohibition. Hot spots like Gateway Village and the Epicenter prove attractive options for the younger crowd, complete with trendy restaurants, shops and nightclubs.
goiNg virAl The attraction appears contagious, with more higher ed institutions eyeing Charlotte as an ideal locale to set up shop or expand. Wake Forest University is taking 29,000 square feet in Uptown to house its local Schools of Business campus, including its evening and weekend MBA programs. And Boston-based Northeastern University announced in early 2011 that it is seeking approval to build a graduate school campus in the city. Taken together, these institutions offer graduate, baccalaureate and associate degrees, as well as customdesigned training programs that will help the region retain a fair number of graduates that eventually enter the workforce. “Students will self-select their expertise and seek that field, therefore bringing that skill-set to the area and workforce,” Smith notes, adding that 60 percent of Johnson & Wales graduates stay in the area and enter the workforce. “We have a great pipeline of young people; one person moves here and another follows. It becomes viral.”

From top: Customers dine at Revolution Pizza and Ale house in the noDa district; Families gather at Freedom Park in Uptown Charlotte for an outdoor movie.
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Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway Company Bank of America Carolinas Healthcare System Catawba County Economic Development Corporation Centralina Council of Governments Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte Chester County Economic Development City of Albemarle City of Concord, North Carolina businessdevelopment/ City of Shelby Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership Duke Energy Energy United Garfinkel Immigration Law Firm Gaston County Economic Development Commission Greater Statesville Development Corporation Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/Concord Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corporation Lincoln Economic Development Association Presbyterian Healthcare Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation South Piedmont Community College Stanley County Economic Development Commission Time Warner Cable Business Class Town of Clover Town of Matthews Town of Stallings Union County Partnership for Progress Wilson Air Center
6039-TR12260M_TGB_Livability.indd 1 3/22/10 11:40:09 AM

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Charlotte USA keeps Cultured
surrounding AreAs Are filled wiTh culTure, enTerTAinmenT
Charlotte USA is increasingly gaining attention for its wide array of cultural and recreational opportunities. here are just a few examples: the region is known for its abundance of high-quality golf courses and is home to the Wells Fargo Championship, played each May at Charlotte’s Quail hollow Club. the Champions tour plays the Greater hickory Classic at Rock barn in Conover. the billy Graham Library allows visitors to explore the life and experience of the famous evangelist. visitors to the 40,000-square-foot facility can view multimedia presentations and memorabilia, tour Graham’s homestead, browse the collection in Ruth’s Attic bookstore or grab a bite at the Graham brothers Dairy bar. the bechtler Museum of Modern Art, which opened in January 2010, features a collection of works by some of the most influential artists of the 20th century, including Giacometti, Picasso and Warhol. the Schiele Museum of natural history in Gastonia is a showcase for natural specimens and cultural artifacts, and promotes appreciation of nature. the Renaissance era takes over each fall between october and november. the Carolina Renaissance Festival celebrates the art and entertainment of 16th century Europe, and has grown to become one of the largest Renaissance fairs nationwide. Add to that the Come-See-Me Festival in Rock hill each spring, JazzFest and the Asian community’s Dragon boat races early each summer, evening concerts to cool off in Daniel Stowe botanical Garden, yiasou Greek festival each fall, and other international, arts and cultural festival throughout the year, and it’s clear that every season is the best time to be in Charlotte USA. – Karen Schwartzman

Opportunity. Community. Stability.

315 Stallings Rd. • Stallings, NC 28104 (704) 821-8557 •

CEM Corporation – Global Provider of Innovative Microwave Systems and Solutions for Critical Laboratory Applications

AEP Industries – National Packaging Solutions Provider
C H A r l o T T E U S A E C o N o m i C d E v E l o p m E N T. C o m


ECoNomiC proFilE
Charlotte USA is home to the world headquarters of 10 Fortune 500 companies. Since 2000, new and expanding businesses have announced more than $31.6 billion in invstment and more than 134,700 new jobs.

HoUSiNg mArkET
Average home Price, $195,100 (2011 Q1) Average Apt. Rental, $702 (2011 Q2)
Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index 2011, Q2

popUlATioN (2010)
Charlotte USA Region, 2,687,799 Alexander, 37,526 Anson, 25,341 Cabarrus, 179,310 Catawba, 159,731 Chester, 33,146 Chesterfield, 43,753 Cleveland, 99,430 Gaston, 210,477 iredell, 163,072 Lancaster, 76,643 Lincoln, 78,115 Mecklenburg, 937,963 Rowan, 142,013 Stanly, 60,892 Union, 207,572 york, 232,815
Source: ESRI 2010

mAjor iNdUSTry SECTorS
(by percentage of total employment)

CoST oF liviNg CompAriSoN
U.S. Average = 100

Construction, 8.1% Manufacturing, 14.5% transportation & Utilities, 5.3% information, 2.3% Wholesale trade, 4.4% Retail trade, 11.2% Finance, insurance & Real Estate, 8.9% Services 41.5% Public Administration, 3.1%
Source: ESRI 2010

Charlotte, 94 Atlanta, 97.5 boston, 137.4 Chicago, 114.4 new york, 220.7 San Francisco, 166.0
Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index 2011, Q2

Charlotte Douglas international Airport the region is also served by 17 municipal or private airports.

pEr CApiTA iNComE (2010)
2010, $27,237 2000, $21,939 % Change: +24.1
Source: ESRI 2010

mAjor EmployErS
privATE EmployErS
Carolinas healthcare System, 27,432 Wells Fargo/Wachovia, 20,500 bank of America, 15,000 Walmart Stores, 14,000 Presbyterian Regional healthcare, 9,000 Delhaize America inc./ Food Lion, 8,700 Lowes Cos., 7,800 Duke Energy, 7,300 US Airways, 6,637 Ruddick Corp./harris teeter, 4,700

mEdiAN HoUSEHold iNComE
2010, $56,501 2000, $43,301 % Change: +30.5
Source: ESRI 2010

Charlotte is at the crossroads of i-77, which connects Cleveland to Columbia S.C., and i-85, which connects Montgomery, Ala., to Richmond, va. i-40, which connects knoxville, tenn., to Wilmington, n.C., is in the northern section of the region.

Less than high School, 14% high School Graduate, 29% Some College, 20% Associate Degree, 9% bachelor’s Degree, 18% Master’s Degree, 8%
*Refers to highest level of education completed in total population, age 25+. Source: ESRI 2010

norfolk Southern and CSx provide Class i service; Aberdeen Carolina & Western Railway, Alexander Railway, L&C Railway and Winston Salem Southbound Railroad provide shortline service.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, 18,858 north Carolina, 6,500 City of Charlotte, 6,000 U.S. Postal Service, 5,612 U.S. Government, 4,700 Union County Public Schools, 4,658

Deep-water ports in Charleston, S.C., Savannah, Ga., Wilmington and Morehead City

lAbor ForCE (2010)
total Labor Force, 1,306,768 Employed, 1,131,661 Unemployed 175,853 Unemployment Rate, 13.4%
Source: ESRI 2010

What’s online
for more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on charlotte usA, go to

C H A r l o T T E U S A E C o N o m i C d E v E l o p m E N T. C o m


Through the Lens

get the Story behind the photo
now that you’ve experienced charlotte usA through our photos, see it through the eyes of our photographers. Visit to view our exclusive photographers’ blog documenting what all went in to capturing those perfect moments.
From oUr pHoTo blog: CHArloTTE USA
for those who know, and for those who don’t, charlotte is probably the epicenter of nAscAr racing. with the opening of the new nAscAr hall of fame, the city has solidified itself as The destination for the racing faithful to make their pilgrimage. As it would happen, my stay happened to coincide with the 16th annual speed street in downtown charlotte. The event is bookended by two major races at the charlotte motor speedway and is a week-long celebration of all things nAscAr. The annual event features a little bit of everything, including nAscAr drivers, music, food and The boost mobile freestyle motoX experience. did i mention the boost mobile freestyle motoX experience? There were about five or six riders showcasing their acrobatic skills; each trying to one-up the others and get the loudest cheers from the crowd …
poSTEd by Todd bENNETT

more online
see more favorite photos and read the stories behind the shots at


CHArloTTE USA ECoNomiC dEvElopmENT gUidE

Ad Index
68 Aberdeen CArolinA & Western rAilWAy CompAny 16 bAnk of AmeriCA 76 CArolinAs HeAltHCAre system C4 CAtAWbA County eConomiC development CorporAtion 54 CentrAlinA CounCil of Governments 72 CHArlotte reseArCH institute At unC CHArlotte 86 CHester County eConomiC development 82 City of AlbemArle 4 City of ConCord, nortH CArolinA 6 City of sHelby 2-3 ClevelAnd County eConomiC development pArtnersHip 1 duke enerGy 67 enerGy united 17 GArfinkel immiGrAtion lAW firm 10 GAston County eConomiC development Commission C3 GreAter stAtesville development CorporAtion 22 Hilton GArden inn CHArlotte/ConCord 14 lAke normAn reGionAl eConomiC development CorporAtion 54 linColn eConomiC development AssoCiAtion 18 presbyteriAn HeAltHCAre

Ad Index (cont.)
9 roCk Hill eConomiC development CorporAtion 45 soutH piedmont Community ColleGe 64 stAnley County eConomiC development Commission

12-13 time WArner CAble business ClAss 11 toWn of Clover 37 toWn of mAttHeWs 85 toWn of stAllinGs C2 union County pArtnersHip for proGress 29 Wilson Air Center

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