Manufacturing has a long and rich history in Catawba County. Even today, over 28% of Catawba County’s working population is engaged in manufacturing. That’s more than three times the national average of 9%. There are over 425 manufacturers in Catawba County employing more than 25,000 workers.
It’s true that the face of the manufacturing sector in Catawba County has seen a lot of change. Though the textile mills that once lined the region’s rivers are gone, in their place are advanced manufacturing facilities producing high value products like automotive components, fiber optic cable, and custom handcrafted furniture.
Catawba Valley Community College's Manufacturing Solutions Center is a non-profit organization located in Conover, North Carolina. The center strives to improve quality and efficiency, develop new products and create/retain jobs. The multi-faceted center offers several different services including standardized testing, product development, training (hosiery, software, industrial, etc), engineering, and many more.
View our Advanced Manufacturing Brochure to learn more about Catawba County's manufacturing specialization.
Two of Catawba County's largest employers also happen to be two of the world's largest producers of fiber optic cables. Supporting these industry giants—CommScope and Corning Optical Communications, along with Prysmian—are a number of smaller suppliers that combine to create one of the most impressive clusters of fiber companies in the world.
Textiles have a long history in Catawba County. Like many areas, Catawba's early industrial economy was largely made up of textile mills. The Catawba River provided a readily available, abundant water supply and many textile products were manufactured in Catawba County beginning with yarn and including sock, hosiery, and bedding. In the early part of the century, many of these textile factories moved their operations out of the country. With companies producing both wovens and nonwovens for a variety of applications, the textile industry still thrives in Catawba County. Read this case study about textile manufacturing in Catawba County. Also, please view our Advanced Textiles Fact Sheet to learn more.
With such an impressive collection of fiber companies, it should be no surprise that Catawba County and the surrounding area is also home to some of the world's largest and most sophisticated data centers. A targeted recruitment effort started by the Catawba EDC to establish the NC Data Center Corridor has brought jaw-dropping investments by companies like Apple and Bed Bath & Beyond to Catawba County and companies like Google and Facebook to other counties in the Corridor. These companies are able take advantage of the reliable, low-cost energy and abundant water found in the region.
With their understanding of the industry's needed and wants, the Catawba County EDC and area partners have worked to prepare a number of sites and buildings, such as the ncDataCampus, suitable for additional data centers. To learn more, visit datacentersites.com
While not technically an industry cluster, the significant presence of international firms in Catawba County makes it worth highlighting. International firms remain a fitting target for Catawba County and the EDC works closely with representatives in Europe to uncover companies who may be seeking, or could benefit from, a new US location. At last count there were over 30 internationally owned firms in the area, the vast majority of which are engaged in manufacturing. Some of these companies include Klingspor Abrasives (Germany), Punker (Germany), Turbocoating (Italy), Sarstedt (Germany), Technibilt (Germany), ZF Chassis Components (Germany), Smart Electric (Taiwan), GKN (United Kingdom), CertainTeed (France), Prysmian (Italy), Poppelman Plastics (Germany) and Taiji Group USA (China).
|Foreign Language Resources|
|Über die Catawba EDC||A Proposito di Catawba EDC||Sobre Catawba EDC|
|German Language Page
German Language Flyer
|Italian Language Page
Italian Language Flyer
|Spanish Language Page
Spanish Language Flyer
|Foreign Owned Firms in Catawba County - 2018|
|BSN Medical||BSN Medical GmbH||Dist. orthopedic devices|
|Benz, Inc.||Benz GmbH||Metal & wood tooling|
|Heico Fasteners||Heimann Corp.||Fasteners for furniture|
|Klingspor Abrasives||Klingspor GmbH||Coated & bonded abrasives|
|Poppelmann Plastics||Poppelmann GmbH||Plastic agri. containers|
|Punker, USA||Punker GmbH||Fan wheels|
|Sarstedt, Inc.||Sarstedt AG & Co||Medical supplies & devices|
|Technibilt||Wanzl||Shopping & grocery Carts|
|Tigra USA||Tigra GmbH||Tungsten carbide tools|
|ZF||ZF Friedrichschafen AG||Auto. chassis components|
|Canteen Vending||Compass Group||Onsite food/bev. vending|
|GKN Driveline||GKN||Automotive gears|
|GKN Sinter Metals||GKN||Powdered metals|
|Sandler Seating, Inc.||Sandler Seating Ltd.||Furniture warehousing|
|Unigel USA LLC||Unigel, Ltd.||Fiber optic cable|
|Unitape USA LLC||Unitape, Ltd.||Fiber optic cable|
|Volex Interconnect Systems||Volex Group||Electrical Equipment|
|Friulmac Inc.||Friulmac SpA||Woodworking Machinery|
|Minelli, USA||Minelli Group, SpA||Wood products|
|Prysmian Group/Draka||Prysmian SpA||Fiber optic cable|
|Turbocoating USA||Turbocoating SpA||Coatings for turbine blades|
|Axjo America, Inc.||Axjo Plastic AB||Plastic cable spools|
|Camfil Farr Inc.||Camfil AB||Air filters|
|Windak, Inc.||Windak AB||Assemble spool systems|
|Deetag USA Inc.||Deetag, Ltd||Fluid power & connectors|
|Special Metals Welding||Special Metals Welding||Welding equipment|
|Cemex|| Cemex SAB de CV
|Joulin North America||Joulin||Vacuum Handling Machinery|
|Rosendahl Nextrom USA
|Sales & service|
|Ricoh||Ricoh Co Ltd||Office Equipment|
|Smart Electric, NA||Smart Electric Works
|Distributes lighting & electrical|
|US Conec, Ltd.||Corning/NTT/Fujikura
|Fiber optic mfg equipment|
|Wuxi Taiji Paper Industry||The Taiji Group
|Spiral-wound cardboard cores|