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Magazine: Monroe is a Top Ten aerospace cluster
by Staff Report, The Enquirer Journal, May 11, 2012

Monroe's aviation cluster has been recognized by Southern Business & Development (SB&D) magazine as one of the top ten aviation and aerospace clusters in the South.

With a circulation over 11,000, SB&D is the South’s only economic development magazine and targets executives in key markets outside the American South.

According to the magazine, "Monroe’s laser focus on aerospace recruitment began in 2002.

"Through the efforts of Monroe Economic Development to attract new companies as well as assist existing industries to become aerospace suppliers, this community’s success has lead to nearly 3,000 jobs and almost $600 million in aerospace-related capital investment.

"What is even more impressive is this has all occurred within a seven-mile radius. The community has come together to ensure the current and future health and competitiveness of this cluster.

"The local education community is proactively developing programs and facilities to enhance the labor force. South Piedmont Community College has created the Aerospace and Advanced Manufacturing Training Center, with unique capabilities possessed by only a handful of technical schools in the country.

"The Union County Public School system offers very strong STEM curriculum to continuously feed the needs their aerospace industry will demand.

"As a result of the complete community buy-in, they possess the largest geographic concentration of aerospace companies in North Carolina, the magazine said.

Companies that call Monroe home include Goodrich Corporation, ATI Allvac, Turbomeca Manufacturing, Cyril Bath Company, and Caledonia Alloys to name a few.

The only other North Carolina location to make the Top Ten list was the Global TransPark in Kinston, which was described as an emerging aerospace cluster market centers on Spirit Aerosystems and the 500,000-square-foot facility operating there. Spirit is building center fuselages for the A350 XWB (Xtra Wide Body) program.

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