5 Key Industries in North Carolina

Many of the world’s best-known companies and brands across a wide variety of future-focused industries call North Carolina home. With a thriving state economy and booming business and industry sector, North Carolina has become a hub for career opportunities for the next generation of the workforce.

As North Carolina CTE educators aim to prepare students to enter the workforce or post-secondary education successfully, iCEV is excited to share an in-depth look at five key industries in North Carolina. In this blog, we will also discuss industry certifications hosted on the iCEV platform that will prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in any of these industries.

Food processing and Manufacturing

As one of the top agricultural commo­­dity producing states, North Carolina is ranked 2nd in the nation for its food processing and manufacturing industry. As a result of the success of the agricultural and transportation industries in North Carolina, over 990 food processing companies employ more than 60,000 individuals throughout the industry in a multitude of careers, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported about 32,600 openings for food processing equipment workers, scientists and other industry occupations are projected each year over the next decade. With a constant need for experienced and knowledgeable employees, career options in the food processing and manufacturing industry in North Carolina are abundant. Available careers in the industry might include food scientist and technologist, food prep workers, production managers as well as food safety specialists. The future of the food processing and manufacturing industry is bright, with plenty of room to grow as the need for safe food production practices increases. To learn more about this industry, visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce website to explore the industry further.

Business and Financial Services

As the third-largest U.S. financial center, companies like AT&T, Bank of America, Microsoft and Wells Fargo enjoy North Carolina’s global connectivity and top-notch talent. Employing over 300,000 individuals, the business and financial services industry in North Carolina offers many career opportunities. Career opportunities in the business and financial services industry might include personal financial advisor, bookkeeper, accounting positions, bankers and more. With a constant need for experienced and knowledgeable employees, career options in the business and financial services industry in North Carolina are abundant. To learn more about this industry visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce website to explore the industry further.

Furniture

North Carolina has a long history of being a hub of US furniture production, and this remains the case even in the 21st century. More than 860 wood product and lumber businesses operate in North Carolina, including household names like Sealy, Lexington Home Brands, Ethan Allen and Ashley Furniture. When it comes to furniture manufacturing, North Carolina stands second to none as the state is home to High Point Market, the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world and Furnitureland South, the largest furniture store in the world. As the number 1 state for furniture manufacturing jobs in the U.S. with over 36,000 employees, career opportunities are limitless in the furniture production industry in North Carolina. To learn more about this industry visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce website to explore the industry further.

Information Technology

North Carolina’s winning combination of location, workforce, existing industry strength, and business-friendly environment make it a leading destination for information technology (IT) companies. The state boasts a fast-growing economy and consistently ranks among the top five in internationally recognized business environment rankings. Companies including Google, Verizon, Microsoft and AT&T, among many other large corporations, do business in North Carolina. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, over 50,000 individuals are employed in the industry today with more growth for the industry expected each year. As the workforce in this industry continues to grow, the demand for skilled and knowledgeable employees also grows as companies look for employees to open positions and push the industry into the future. To learn more about this industry visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce website to explore the industry further.

Tourism

With the highest mountains to the east, 300 miles of pristine barrier island coastland, and vibrant cities, North Carolina is among the top 10 most visited states in the U.S. Tourism is a significant contributor to the growth and vitality of the state's economy, generating employment for more than 225,000 North Carolinians. Careers within the industry could include travel agent, hotel/ resort manager, event planner, tour guides and more. As a result of the success of North Carolina’s tourism industry, there is a high demand for knowledgeable and skilled employees to fill open positions and push the industry into the future. To learn more about this industry visit the North Carolina Department of Commerce website to explore the industry further.

Industry Certifications

It’s never too early to plan for the future. Whether a student is planning to enter post-secondary education or directly enter the workforce following high school, earning an industry certification can prepare students for whatever academic or career path they choose. In this blog, we shared five key industries in North Carolina, discovered diverse careers across each industry and what the future of each industry looks like. As North Carolina CTE educators aim to prepare students for the workforce or post-secondary education, industry certifications hosted on the iCEV platform are the perfect opportunity to give your student a competitive edge. Visit our website to learn more about industry certifications and to find the perfect certification to connect your students to career opportunities in North Carolina.

 

About the Author

JoshuaWitherspoon_WEBAfter serving as a Texas FFA state officer in 2018, Josh Witherspoon joined the iCEV team as a part-time employee for 3 years before taking on the role of content development specialist in 2022. Witherspoon holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural communications from Texas Tech University, in which his experience and proficiency in writing, marketing and CTE allow him to effectively communicate the successes of CTE educators and students and the value iCEV has to offer.

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