NC East Alliance

Advanced Manufacturing

Eastern North Carolina hosts a large and diverse base of sophisticated manufacturing companies. Growing - or relocating - manufacturers will find a large skilled labor pool. Adding to this workforce is a source of highly skilled, goal-oriented, and motivated potential employees: transitioning personnel from the region's military installations including Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Low labor-related costs, excellent transportation resources and proximity to eastern seaboard and southern sunbelt markets also help make the Region a great choice for manufacturers. Job training is available through North Carolina's community college system - one of America's most acclaimed.

Here's an overview of a few of the advanced manufacturing sectors that thrive in the Region.


The aerospace industry employs nearly 14,000 (2019) North Carolina workers in operations involving the production of aircraft fuselages, precision tools, fuel systems, electrical components, signal testing instruments and more. Eastern North Carolina's most active growth area, aerospace, has drawn attention to the Region in the international community.

Leading firms with operations here include Spirit Aerosystems, Honeywell, Kidde Aerospace and others.

Engine Manufacturing

Another growing sector is the manufacture of engines and engine parts, which has more than 2,700 employees in 40+ firms throughout the Region. Consolidated Diesel assembles diesel engines here, while companies such as Stanadyne and Metaldyne produce diesel engine parts.

Household Goods

More than 300 firms manufacturing consumer durable goods have operations in the region and their numbers continue to grow. Cabinet and wood component manufacturers favor the region for its proximity to timber resources and wood products from companies such as Weyerhaeuser. Various commercial appliances and consumer household products, including those manufactured by Bosch, Electrolux and Moen are manufactured in the Region. Many manufacturers including Lenox, ship products to markets worldwide from their manufacturing operations in the Region. With excellent rail service, a deep-water port in Morehead City, a jetport to handle the largest cargo planes, and modern interstate roadways, distribution couldn't be easier.

HVAC Equipment

Many companies involved in the manufacture of heating and cooling equipment and related products are located in Eastern North Carolina, most notably Mestek and Field Controls, along with more than 40 machine shops capable of providing parts and support services to HVAC manufacturers. Projections indicate significant growth for this business in the coming decade; employment is expected to increase well beyond present levels.

Precision Instruments and Equipment

The manufacture of precision instruments and equipment requires access to a skilled workforce. Eastern North Carolina contains a considerable pool of skilled labor that is well suited to both expanding and new companies in this industry. There are currently 16 firms in the Region - including Honeywell and Kidde Aerospace - employing 1,400 workers in operations involving the production of precision tools, electrical and signal testing instruments.

Advanced Manufacturing Education and Training

  • NC Advanced Manufacturing Alliance provides specialized training to prepare workers for employment in the advanced manufacturing sector through close partnerships with industry. Four eastern NC community colleges participate in the network: Beaufort, Craven, Edgecombe and Nash.
  • Wayne Community College: Advanced Manufacturing Center of Excellence – 78,715 sq. feet of classroom and equipment for to provide current business and industry with leading-edge customized training and a pipeline of highly skilled workers
  • Computer Integrated Machining is offered at 8 area community colleges and is designed to prepare individuals for career in manufacturing. Students will learn to interpret blueprints, set up manual and computer numerical control (CNC) machines, understand basic and advanced machining operations, use computer aided manufacturing (CAM) to program sophisticated CNC machine tools, and make decisions to insure that work quality is maintained
  • Industrial Systems Technology is offered at 8 community colleges in the region and is designed to prepare or upgrade individuals to service, maintain, repair, or install equipment for a wide range of industries. Instruction includes theory and skill training needed for inspecting, testing, troubleshooting, and diagnosing industrial equipment and physical facilities.
  • The Regional Advanced Manufacturing Pipeline for Eastern North Carolina, also known as RAMP East, is a regional sector partnership that is addressing the workforce needs for the advanced manufacturing industries. This 10 county regional partnership is bringing together all the partners together that are at the heartbeat of workforce development. The RAMP East region is experiencing tremendous growth in the advanced manufacturing sector. And due to this growth came the creation of the regional sector partnership that is dedicated to ensuring all existing and new industries located in the region are receiving a well-trained and qualified candidates to meet their hiring needs

Additional resources for advanced manufacturers in the Region:

Advanced Manufacturing & Machining Information

Special Support Industries/Suppliers