A Working Work Force

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charlotte crane operatorCHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG OFFERS A HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE work force for companies concerned about the quality of their products or services. Studies show that North Carolina workers are more productive than their counterparts nationally.  Studies of companies relocating rank the availability of a competent work force high in importance and Charlotte addresses this need.

The draw of this quality work force is evident in the number of firms locating to Charlotte in the last ten years. During this period 6,790 firms have selected Charlotte-Mecklenburg for new or relocated operations. These firms represent more than $11 billion in investments.

During 2010 alone, new and expanded firms in Charlotte-Mecklenburg created 10,781 additional jobs and invested more than $1 billion in facilities.


Good Corporate Citizens
Quality business and industry continue to locate in Charlotte. Seven of the nation’s 500 largest corporations, listed by Fortune magazine, have headquarters in the Charlotte area. Nine hundred fifty seven firms with annual revenues exceeding $1 million and 31 companies with revenues exceeding $1 billion have operations in Mecklenburg County. Of the companies with over $1 million in revenue, 525 are headquartered here. A quality work force attracts quality corporate citizens.

  Median Hourly Wage
  All occupations, selected Southern MSA's
  Nashville $15.15
  Charlotte 16.12
  Dallas 16.16
  Raleigh 16.21
  Atlanta 16.62
  Richmond 16.71
  Los Angeles 17.49
  Chicago 17.5
  Detroit 17.64
  New York 19.77
  Boston 20.77
  U.S. Average 15.95
  Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2009

A Growing Work Force
Charlotte’s work force continues to grow steadily. Since 2000, Mecklenburg County has experienced more than a 16 percent increase in its labor force, compared to only eight percent in the U.S. During this same period, employment has grown by five percent compared to the U.S. growth of less than one percent. The growing population of the area ensures a constant and predictable flow of workers into the job market.

Mecklenburg County’s population has grown by 34 percent since 2000, well above the national growth of eight percent.

Much of Charlotte’s growth is through the in-migration of people from outside the region seeking the superior quality of life offered here. IRS 2008 tax returns indicate 57,744 new people moved to Charlotte. Locally, Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools graduated approximately 7,681 students in 2009-2010. In 2010, 14 CMS high schools were ranked among America’s top 1,500 out of more than 16,000 high schools surveyed by Newsweek Magazine. Nearly 1,000 of the graduates move directly into the job market, and many have training for technical and clerical positions.

Find more information on Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, including teacher and student ratings, test scores, enrollment and demographics, at “The School House,” The Charlotte Observer’s data source for Charlotte-Mecklenburg elementary middle and high schools.

Charlotte has a number of underemployed workers that can be tapped for new job creation. A survey conducted by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte indicated that 61 percent of the employed respondents are willing to change careers for better wages and benefits.


A Labor Magnet
The total labor force in the Charlotte region numbers more than 1,086,455. Each day more than 146,160 workers commute to Mecklenburg from outlying counties.

This commuting labor force has increased significantly over recent years. As traditional industries have reduced their labor needs, new industries have been able to tap this supply of labor. With this area’s growth, additional labor remains to be tapped.

More than 1.4 million people reside within a 25-mile radius of Charlotte. Within this 30-minute commute, more than 56,000 workers are registered with the Employment Security Commission seeking a new job. As Charlotte continues to grow as a metropolitan community, it draws a larger portion of the regional work force to fill available jobs. This provides an even greater labor pool to tap.

 
Productivity Index
Top 20 Industrial States
 
Rank
State
Index
 
1
Louisiana
781
 
2
North Carolina
542
 
3
Texas
500
 
4
Indiana
430
 
5
Missouri
404
 
6
Georgia
403
 
7
Kentucky
401
 
8
Washington
398
 
9
Tennessee
397
 
10
Alabama
380
 
11
Pennsylvania
373
 
12
New York
368
 
13
Florida
366
 
14
Ohio
364
 
15
Illinois
353
 
16
California
350
 
17
Wisconsin
347
 
18
New Jersey
342
 
19
Michigan
325
 
20
Minnesota
316
    U.S. Average
373
  Index is derived by dividing per capita value added (Value Added/Mfg Employees) by payroll per employee(Annual Payroll/Mfg Employees) and multiplying by 100. Note: Figures taken from Annual Survey of Manufacturers (Statistics for All Manufacturing by States, 2009), U.S. Census Bureau 2011

Training Workers Made Easy
Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC), as one of the top five community colleges in the country, offers the Charlotte business community a wide variety of training opportunities. CPCC is the largest community college in North Carolina with six campuses and it serves 61,744 students in Mecklenburg County.

CPCC also has a digital campus that was ranked second among urban digital community colleges. In 2002, CPCC was named National Community College of the Year by the National Alliance of Business, which looked at the college’s responsiveness to the need for a supply chain of workers.  The same year, CPCC was selected by the U.S. Government Accounting Office as one of the top two workforce development colleges in the nation.

CPCC is a comprehensive training resource offering credit programs leading to associate degrees, diplomas or certificates. It also offers Continuing Education non-credit programs leading to professional designation, continuing education units or certification.  Often training is customized to meet specific needs and is offered onsite or at a nearby CPCC campus.

In addition to job training, the Charlotte region’s 35 colleges and universities, educating 179,695 students, offer degrees in 150 different subjects, with over 60 different graduate programs that include Ph.D. degrees in mechanical, electrical, and optical engineering; information technology and mathematics. There are over 1,680 graduate students in the Charlotte region pursuing their MBA or a similar type of graduate degree in the field of business.

A Productive Work Force
North Carolina ranks as the nation’s sixth highest manufacturing state with over $100 million in value added. This status is a reflection of its high level of productivity. North Carolina is the fourth most productive of the nation’s top 20 industrialized states. For each dollar of labor cost, $5.42 of value added is produced by N.C. workers (Value added divided by annual payroll). Lost work time due to accidents and labor disputes is minimal.


A Right-to-Work Work Force
North Carolina law permits individual workers to choose whether or not they wish to join a labor union. North Carolina, which has one of the nation’s highest percent of manufacturing employment, has one of the nation’s lowest union membership. The state’s three percent is well below the national average of 12 percent. (See Unionization Map)

unionization map


Government and Special Agencies
Employment Security Commission of North Carolina
5601 Executive Center Drive, Charlotte, N.C. 28212  
704.566.4341

North Carolina Department of Labor
901 Blairhill Road, Ste. 200, Charlotte, N.C. 28217
704.665.4341

Workforce Development Board of Charlotte-Mecklenburg
700 Parkwood Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28205
704.336.6270

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
129 W. Trade Street, Ste. 400, Charlotte, N.C. 28202
704.344.6682

U.S. Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Division)
3800 Arco Corporate Drive, Ste. 460, Charlotte, NC 28273
704.749.3360

The Employers Association
3020 W. Arrowood Drive, Charlotte, NC 28273
704.522.8011

Social Security Administration
5800 Executive Center Drive, Ste. 300, Charlotte, NC 28212
800.772.1213

North Carolina Department of Commerce
8430 University Executive Park Dr., Ste. 645, Charlotte, NC 28262
704.547.5750