The Carolina Core is a prime market for business, and you can help tell our story.
From discussions with business colleagues to interactions as you travel to casual conversations with friends and family, you can be a powerful voice for sharing a unified message about the Carolina Core.
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A Region Based on Assets. The Carolina Core is not confined by traditional borders. The Carolina Core’s boundaries are built by the assets that make the region a globally competitive market – a talent pool of more than 2 million people, access to 30+ colleges and universities with 250,000 students, multiple airports, four megasites totaling 7,200 acres of certified land, urban research parks and more. This 120+ mile stretch of central North Carolina from west of Winston-Salem to Fayetteville encompasses Greensboro and High Point and has close proximity to Charlotte and the Research Triangle, all along future Interstate 685. These assets have long served companies, from the era of producing distinctly American goods like tobacco and textiles to the current global tech-based economy.
Be Part of the Momentum. Now is the time. A spark has caught, and the Carolina Core is on the cusp of something great. Strong, innovative companies are investing and growing here. Companies like Amazon and Publix have announced plans to make the Carolina Core their next big move. And companies like Honda Aircraft Company, Pfizer, FedEx, HAECO and Aetna are continuing to grow here.
Purpose and Vision at the Core. Public and private leadership in the Carolina Core is highly engaged and aligned on a vision for the future. The very formation of the Carolina Core is a result of regional partners coalescing around the area’s competitive assets to tell a collective story. Today, leaders in the Carolina Core come together to advance large development efforts that attract and retain the best talent and attract new companies that build out industry clusters. From Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, one of the nation’s foremost urban research parks, to Greensboro’s Tanger Center for Performing Arts and High Point’s downtown Catalyst Project, to the PTI Aerospace Center and Whitaker Park developments, community leaders have rallied around transformational projects for the good of the entire region and its future.
INDUSTRIES AND INNOVATION
Innovating Tomorrow from Yesterday’s Factories. Grit and determination still fill the Carolina Core’s old brick factories and sun-soaked warehouses. Today’s tenants are some of the most creative, entrepreneurial and industrious companies in the country. Take Kontoor Brands, which is finding new ways to sustainably produce denim across the world from their Greensboro design center in what was formerly the first flannel mill in the South, or the Innovation Quarter, the site of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s former production in Winston-Salem, where five academic institutions educate 1,800 degree-seeking students and 90+ companies employ 3,600+ people across 2.1 million square feet of office, laboratory and educational space.
Still First in Flight. In the Carolina Core, aerospace employment increased 40% between 2014 and 2019, with more than 15,600 working at aerospace-related companies. The Carolina Core’s 200-plus companies in aerospace and aviation are experiencing tremendous success thanks to an educated and productive workforce, high value cost of real estate and utilities, and access to suppliers and market. Aerospace leaders thriving in the Carolina Core include Honda Aircraft Company, headquartered in the region since 2006 and operating R&D, manufacturing and customer service facilities; HAECO Americas, with 600,000 square feet of facilities including a new hangar that is one of the largest in the HAECO family; Textron Aviation, operating one of only 15 service centers for Cessna business jets worldwide; and Collins Aerospace, with more than 1,000 employees in Winston-Salem.
Leading Biomedical Breakthroughs. From LabCorp, the world’s leading health care diagnostics company, to iQ Healthtech Labs, a collaborative hub for accelerating healthtech solutions, innovation in biomedical and life sciences runs throughout the Carolina Core. Nearly 75,000 health care workers comprise 9.8% of the area workforce, giving new biomedical companies in the Carolina Core a deep pool of qualified talent from which to recruit. Companies can also rely on the Carolina Core’s talent and location to quickly move products to major markets. “Greensboro is a big part of our North America supply network, and an exciting part. It’s located very strategically,” says P&G spokesperson Jeff LeRoy.
Unmatched Manufacturing and Logistics Assets. The Carolina Core’s manufacturing legacy and logistics advantages have given way to a highly active production and transportation supply chain, from specialty textiles to metal axles, plastics, truck bodies and school buses. With more than 230 companies in the automotive and heavy truck industries statewide, GKN, Caterpillar, Mack Trucks, Thomas Built Buses, Volvo Trucks, Deere Hitachi Construction Machinery and Beta Fueling Systems are among original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in central North Carolina. Hundreds of precision manufacturers are also supplying parts to BMW, Volvo, Nissan, Honda, Kia and other automotive manufacturers in nearby states. The Carolina Core edges out the competition in automotive industry growth, with employment increasing 30% between 2014 and 2019, while the area’s location and infrastructure continues to attract warehousing and distribution investment by FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Publix, Ralph Lauren and more.
Strong Innovation Ecosystem. Entrepreneurship and innovation are the heart of the Carolina Core. At the Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem, one of the fastest-growing urban-based innovation districts in the nation, companies are leading everything from purified, human-derived keratin manufacturing and research to custom solutions for enterprise level, web-based applications. At the $400-million-dollar Gateway Research Park in Greensboro, cutting-edge intellectual property is turned into thriving businesses. Organizations across the Carolina Core such as Launch Greensboro and Winston Starts further equip entrepreneurs with resources to flourish.
Transportation Technology Hub of the Future. The Carolina Core is positioning itself as a future transportation technology hub. With cross-industry expertise in aerospace, automotive and distribution along with a central location and some of the nation’s strongest infrastructure and talent, the Carolina Core is poised to develop, test and service the next generation of transportation technology, from self-driving cars and unmanned aircraft to electric freight trucks and electric and hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts.
Research Parks to Megasites. No matter your company’s real estate needs, the Carolina Core can deliver. In Greensboro and Winston-Salem alone, more than 800,000 square feet of Class A office space is available, and Innovation Quarter in Winston-Salem, one of the country’s foremost urban innovation districts, has 2.1 million square feet of office, laboratory and educational space. Industrial operations can choose from Whitaker Park, a 220-acre mixed-use campus, or one of four megasites that total 7,200 acres of certified land. The Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is an 1,800-acre site certified ready by KPMG located minutes from I-40 and I-85. At the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site, 1,800 acres of certified, shovel-ready land are powered by excellent logistics and high-capacity utilities. The 2,500-acre Triangle Innovation Point offers close proximity to the state capital, Research Triangle and three Tier 1 research universities. 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.
Smart and Growing Workforce. The Carolina Core is located in North Carolina’s urban crescent, where the population of 8 million is growing. With access to more than 30 colleges and universities, the Carolina Core is a hotbed for higher education. These institutions not only fuel the region’s workforce, but also contribute to an innovation mindset and inject a vibrancy into communities with academic lectures, sports games and performances available to the public. Take it from our employers. Kontoor Brands President and CEO Scott Baxter says, “the talent at our local universities is incredible, particularly around tech,” while Honda Aircraft Company President and CEO Michimasa Fujino says, “talent in the Carolina Core has a strong work ethic as we have seen in interns from nearby colleges as well as associates that have been with us for over a decade.”
QUALITY OF LIFE
Tournament Town to Unlimited Awe. The Carolina Core has all the ingredients necessary for businesses and families to thrive. With affordable options for living, world-class health care, excellent public schools and endless entertainment opportunities, the communities in the Carolina Core offer options for everyone. Between the PGA Wyndham Championship and NCAA sports, the Winston-Salem Open, and numerous minor league and college teams, sports fans have teams to cheer on year-round. Natural landscapes provide space for adventure, from hiking to tubing—and even yoga in urban green spaces like Bailey Park.
Quality of Place Investments. Communities throughout the Carolina Core are investing in parks and public spaces, roads, and cultural centers that bring people together. The City of High Point’s Catalyst Project is bringing 15-20 new restaurants and shops, a centralized gathering space and 250 new residential housing units to the area surrounding the newly opened baseball stadium of the High Point Rockers. Greensboro’s Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts is a 3,000-seat facility hosting everything from Broadway productions to family comedy shows.