Leading aerospace and aviation companies are building upon North Carolina’s first in flight history with major operations in the Carolina Core. Aerospace employment continues to take off in the Carolina Core, increasing 40% between 2014 and 2019 to more than 15,600 working at aerospace-related companies.
Among the 200-plus aerospace and aviation companies in the Carolina Core is Honda Aircraft Company, which established its Greensboro headquarters in 2006 and operates R&D, manufacturing and customer service facilities that together employ 1,500 associates throughout the region. Other major operations include HAECO Americas, with 600,000 square feet of facilities including a new hangar that is one of the largest in the HAECO family, and Textron Aviation, operating one of only 15 service centers for Cessna business jets worldwide.
Talent Hits New Heights
Aerospace and aviation companies tap into the Carolina Core’s skilled talent pool to design, engineer and move their next big innovation. “Talent in the Carolina Core has a strong work ethic,” says Michimasa Fujino, President and CEO of Honda Aircraft Company.
Companies have access to more than 30 colleges and universities that enroll 250,000 students, with aviation-related training concentrated at area community colleges. Guilford Technical Community College’s Aviation Campus is one of the most modern and best-equipped aviation maintenance training facilities in the Southeast. At Forsyth Technical Community College, a new $16 million aviation center will accommodate eight airframes and help meet the growing demand for aviation technicians and mechanics, with the first class of 25 students beginning in Fall 2020.
Sites Ready for Takeoff
The Carolina Core has several industrial sites ready for aerospace and aviation operations. At the Piedmont Triad International Airport, the PTI Aerospace Megasite’s 1,000 acres include runway access and preliminary approval for development by the EPA. Other commercial and regional airports along the Carolina Core offer development sites with airfield access and plenty of industrial and business parks for off-airport operations.