Soar to New Heights
Major aerospace and aviation companies like Collins Aerospace Interiors, American Airlines and PennEngineering have set down roots in Winston-Salem, growing both their manufacturing and corporate operations. The workforce in this sector is diverse, ranging from aircraft designers and engineers to technical manufacturers. As the aerospace and aviation industry continues to grow, so do the region’s training programs and educational offerings. The Aviation Academy at Andrews High School has six different aviation career tracks to get students interested in this career path early. Meanwhile, Forsyth Technical Community College’s new aviation center at Smith Reynolds Airport broke ground in 2019 and will offer two programs of study for associate degrees. The 53,000-square-foot lab will be able to house up to eight aircraft and will include classrooms and components labs. In addition, North Carolina was ranked the No. 5 Best State for Aerospace Manufacturing by both PwC and Area Development in 2020, further establishing the state’s high-powered aerospace and aviation sector.
Across the region and state, aviation and aerospace operations are in good company in a strong industry sector. North Carolina’s State of Aviation report for 2020 finds the Piedmont Triad leads the state in air cargo transported annually at 303K+ tons. The report also finds North Carolina has the second fastest-growing aerospace manufacturing sector in the country.