Catawba County has a rich history in manufacturing with over 425 manufacturers employing 28% of the workforce.

The Catawba County EDC has actively been recruiting data centers since 2006 when it began promoting the NC Data Center Corridor.  The abundant water and electrical supplied established by the textile industry were left vacant when many of the textile facilities closed or relocated in the early 2000s and were a perfect fit for the growing data center industry.  Since that time, numerous data centers have located in, or around, Catawba County.  Some of the most notable are Apple's data center in Maiden, Google's data center in neighboring Lenoir and Facebook's data center in nearby Forest City.  Bed Bath & Beyond has also located a data center in Catawba County.  Catawba County is also home to some of world's top manufacturers of fiber optic and coaxial cable - CommScope, Corning Optical Communications, and Prysmian.