North Carolina received a Silver Shovel in 2009 and continues to be at the forefront of economic development. In 2010 Forbes.com ranked North Carolina as the third-best state in the country for business. Research Triangle Park is well known for its high-tech research and development. In recent years Charlotte has become an emerging energy cluster, with a number of alternative-energy and nuclear energy companies locating there.
Despite its high-tech reputation, North Carolina still depends on its traditional manufacturing base, such as natural resources, plastics, textiles, logistics, and heavy equipment/machinery. For example, Caterpillar Inc., the largest maker of construction and mining equipment in the world, will build a $426 million lower power-train facility in Winston-Salem that will create 392 jobs over the next five years.
“Caterpillar has worked hard with many local partners during the site selection process,” says Hans Haefeli, vice president of Caterpillar’s advanced components and systems division. “This location will improve our supply-chain efficiency and allow us to better serve our customers while reducing operating costs.”