Energizing the ENC Aerospace and Automotive Clusters

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The NCEast Alliance is announcing today the re-launch of a project to help small to medium sized manufacturers connect with automotive and aerospace supply chains. The goal of the Rural Jobs Accelerator, or RJA Project, is to help manufacturers create and retain jobs in the region by growing their sales to domestic and international automotive and aerospace markets.

May 14, 2015 – Greenville, NC – The NCEast Alliance is announcing today the re-launch of a project to help small to medium sized manufacturers connect with automotive and aerospace supply chains.  The goal of the Rural Jobs Accelerator, or RJA Project, is to help manufacturers create and retain jobs in the region by growing their sales to domestic and international automotive and aerospace markets.  Companies new to these markets can receive help to develop their financial, marketing, management, and technical capabilities.  Companies who are already selling to the automotive and aerospace markets can get assistance in developing and expanding their sales in these markets.  Another critical component of the RJA project involves increasing awareness of STEM-based employment and career opportunities within these two industrial sectors.

This project represents a $1.1 million investment in our region and is made possible through the generous support of Duke Energy, the US Economic Development Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture.  NCEast Alliance will lead the project in partnership with the NC Rural Economic Development Center.  Direct support to companies will be provided by the NCEast Alliance, the Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), and the NCSU Industrial Extension Service (IES). 

The SBTDC is the business and technology extension service of the University of North Carolina System and is administered by NC State.  Two of the SBTDC’s ten Regional Service Centers are located at East Carolina University and Elizabeth City State University. The SBTDC will assist companies with market development research and planning services, including domestic, export and government markets.  SBTDC professionals will also assist with access to capital and ensuring firms have the financial capacity to support growth.

The Industrial Extension Service of NC State University provides education and technical assistance to businesses and industries across the state.  IES works one-on-one with small to medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs or SMEs) to help them stay competitive and, in the process, save jobs and increase profits.

In addition to providing services to companies in the aerospace and automotive sectors, NCEast Alliance will also lead a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and training initiative, in partnership with public schools and community colleges, to address workforce development opportunities identified by key employers in the region.

This pilot project targets SMMs in six counties – Edgecombe, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson – although manufacturers located in the other counties in Eastern NC may also qualify for assistance. 

To learn more about how your company can benefit from the assistance offered by this project, contact NCEast Alliance at info@nceast.org.

The NCEast Alliance is a regional, public/private, not-for-profit, economic development corporation serving 26 counties with approximately 1.2 million residents within several small metropolitan and micropolitan areas in eastern North Carolina from the fringe of the Research Triangle to the Atlantic Coast. The Alliance provides community capacity building, marketing/lead generation, and assists companies with site location and expansion evaluations. For more information on the NCEast Alliance, visit us at www.nceast.org or visit one of our workforce development sites (www.ncworkready.org or www.stemeast.org).