North Carolina Economic Development Guide


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41 North Carolina Economic Development Guide These grants are helping reinvent manufacturing in western North Carolina. "We've given reuse grants to at least three or four companies in Burke, Alexander and some other counties for furniture companies, but they're a dif erent kind of manufacturing than the traditional ones," Mitchell says. "They might be making just the legs, backs, upholstery or other parts for companies." That includes Arcadia, Wis.-based Ashley Furniture Industries Inc., which opened a 2.8-million-square-foot manufacturing plant and distribution center in Davie County in 2014. "It's more specialized now. They don't just start at one end of the plant and make an entire piece of furniture. Upholsterers are hard to fi nd, and some of our community colleges are beginning to train them. You might fi nd a former Hanes T-shirt plant that now upholsters furniture." In Morganton, Duralee Fine Furniture Inc. will use a $410,000 building reuse grant to upgrade the roof, develop of ce space, add lighting and make other improvements at a 50-year-old warehouse, where it will make furniture. Western North Carolina remains true to its natural charm despite the modernization these manufacturers have brought to the region. That includes an improving highway system, which incorporates Interstates 40 and 26, plus major, four-lane U.S. highways. They've reduced isolation and cut travel times to Asheville Regional Airport, served by American, United, Allegiant and Delta airlines. Atlanta and the Tennessee River port of Chattanooga, Tenn., are two-hour drives away. Occasionally, adds AEV's Van Arnam, transfers from urban sites still miss some big-city amenities. But it balances out. "The bad news is, we're a hundred miles from a big city and airport. The good news is, we're a hundred miles away from a big city and airport." Mountains of Opportunity Haywood County is located at the intersection of I-26 and I-40, which puts 50% of the U.S. population within one day's drive. 828.456.3737 Climate & Culture Health & Higher Education Workforce Training Financial Incentives Available Infrastructure

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