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Burke County, North Carolina offers fabricators and manufacturers a labor shed of 650,000 within a 45-minute drive and a robust pipeline of new workers, eliminating worries about labor shortages. Our county’s heritage of building what America and the world needs has provided employers generations of workers with a solid work ethic and a deep appreciation for quality. That high concentration of talent and expertise makes our county an ideal location for Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers in the automotive, aerospace, and medical device industries.


Local educators are effective in preparing high school students for metalworking careers through career and technical education programs in areas such as engineering and computer-integrated machining. Most students graduate workforce-ready, but many build upon the skills they’ve acquired through programs at Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC) in Morganton in areas such as:

  • Computer Integrated Machining
  • Electrical Engineering Technology
  • Industrial Systems Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering Technology

WPCC has invested more than $1 million in its machining and metalworking program and now boasts a 7,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art mechatronic technology education facility where students gain skills in robotics, electronics, computer, telecommunications, systems, control, and product engineering.


Metalworking companies benefit from extensive transportation assets that allow them to develop cost-effective shipping strategies to improve their bottom line. These assets also provide fast, easy access to customers, including OEMs serving the aerospace and medical device industries and automotive manufacturers throughout the Southern Automotive Corridor.

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