North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2014

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had lost 24% of the more than 570,000 manufacturing jobs it had in 2005, according to the Commerce Department's Policy, Research and Strategic Planning Division. During the same time period, all other sectors combined had a net gain of more than 113,000 jobs. In 2006, only the public sector employed more Tar Heels than manufacturing. By 2011, manufacturing had slipped behind health care and retail, too. In 2013, Guilford County's unemployment rate hovered near 9% — above the state average. "I've been told that 60% of the new people we hired were underemployed or unemployed," says Jay Parker, president of Lenovo's North America operations. "So it's meaningful for that community. They had talent but no opportunity." Whitsett's proximity to Interstates 85 and 40 and two major airports — Ra- the Ins and Outs We've Got of Business Covered! Johnston County is... your best route to business success. Uniquely positioned at the crossroads of US-70, I-40 and I-95 In close proximity to the nation's largest research park, an international airport and three renowned research universities Able to offer a highly skilled and educated workforce Committed to growth, innovation and outstanding service 212 E. Market Street Smithfield, NC 27577 Ph 919-989-5001 Fx 919-989-5178 Johnston e c o n o m i c County development "Your Best Route to Success" JohnstonCountyEconomicDevelopment.com leigh-Durham International and Piedmont Triad International, outside Greensboro — makes meeting with customers easy. With $34 billion in annual sales, the personal-technology company, founded in Beijing in 1984, serves customers in 160 countries, and more than half of its revenue is from outside China. Lenovo came to North Carolina in 2005, when it spent $1.8 billion to buy Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM Corp.'s PC division, which was based in Research Triangle Park. That made Lenovo the world's third-largest PC vendor. In July 2013, Lenovo became No. 1 in the world, with 17% of the global market, according to Framingham, Mass.-based International Data Corp. and Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Inc. It edged out Palo Alto, Calif.-based Hewlett-Packard Co. Signs announcing Lenovo's ranking greet visitors to its North America headquarters in Morrisville, where more than 2,200 work. Lenovo's U.S. production line is part of its "global local" business model, which became part of its corporate culture in 2005, when the Morrisville headquarters opened. Components are collected worldwide but assembled and distributed close to customers, cutting delivery time and increasing customization, such as etching school names and logos and adding protective rubber bumpers to laptops. Research-and-design centers in Morrisville, China and Japan support production plants in China, Mexico, Brazil, India and Whitsett. The model also allows top talent to live in their home countries. Seven nationalities are represented among Lenovo's top 10 executives. They lead about 46,000 employees, some with Tar Heel educations. Strong community colleges and top-ranked universities — including Duke University in Durham, N.C. State University in Raleigh and UNC Chapel Hill — graduate a steady stream of skilled workers. Added to that is the experienced talent that the state attracts. Lenovo hires N C ECo N omi C D E v E lop m EN t Gu iD E

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