Bolstered by the rapid growth of the healthcare industry, a diverse manufacturing base comprised of 1,200 manufacturing firms, vibrant technology companies, international standing as a center for tourism and for South Appalachian crafts and culture, a healthy financial services sector, and a blend of large, established corporations and small businesses, Western North Carolina’s regional economy is strong and growing.
Asheville and other cities in the region have garnered recognition as best places for entrepreneurship and innovation (from the Small Business Administration), hot places for manufacturing expansions and relocations (Expansion Management magazine), best high-tech output growth (Forbes and Milken Institute) best places for business and careers (Forbes), and to best places to live and work (from sources too numerous to mention).
In AdvantageWest's 23-county region, major manufacturers include Altec Industries, Raflatac, Nypro, Borg Warner Turbo Systems, Team Industries, Carriage House Doors, Smiths Aerospace (GE Aircraft), Continental Teves, Genesis Furniture Industries, Exelsior Packaging, Cobia Boats, James Tool, Zickgraf Industries, Google, Elkamet, Volvo Construction Equipment, Sonopress, Blue Ridge Paper Company, and Charleston Forge. Volvo recently announced a major expansion that will double the jobs it provides in the region and Google, Inc. revealed plans for a $600 million IT server farm.
With fine universities and community colleges and many regional assets, Western North Carolina’s healthy growth rate will continue, particularly in the ten clusters of innovation that are the linchpins of AdvantageWest’s economic growth plan:
• Appalachian State University Energy Center
• Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council
• Blue Ridge Food Ventures
• Business Incubator at Asheville-Buncombe Technical CC
• Center for Applied Technology, Western Carolina University
• Center for Integrated Technology, Western Carolina University
• Handmade in America
• Media Arts Project
• National Climatic Data Center
• National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center
• North Carolina Arboretum
• North Carolina Biotechnology Center
• North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement
• Northwest North Carolina Advanced Materials Cluster
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
• Small Business and Technology Development Center
• The Center for Diversity Education, UNCA
• U.S.D.A., Forest Services Southern Research Station
• Western North Carolina Film Commission
We are stronger together than we are as individuals. Regionalism is critically important for local developers as we work to improve the economy and quality of life for our citizens. AdvantageWest provides the means for us to think and act regionally.
, Senior VP, Corporate & Public Relations
134 Wright Brothers Way
Fletcher, NC 28732
Email Kathi Petersen