While it might not have been on your calendar, May is Existing Industry Month in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. This annual event provides an opportunity to acknowledge our private sector who provides jobs, invests in our tax base, and serves as the backbone of our local economy. Throughout the month, FCEDC will be highlighting some of our existing industries and their significant economic and social impact.
With Fort Bragg celebrating its 100th anniversary, it’s fitting to begin by featuring the businesses who support, equip, and help train our armed services. The North Carolina Military Business Center (NCMBC) reported that over 850 firms were contracted by the Department of Defense (DoD) last year in Cumberland County. This resulted in $958,327,623 in revenue, representing 1/3 of defense spending in North Carolina.
These companies are diverse in size and focus. Nearly all of the U.S.’ top 10 military contractors have operations in our area, including Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. Locally owned companies like Spring Lake-based RLM Communications, Inc. provide technology that protects classified information. The Advanced Computer Learning Company (ACLC) develops virtual reality simulations at its headquarters in Downtown Fayetteville. Others that traditionally provide products to civilians, also support our military. As an example, clothing giant M.J. Soffe, LLC, renowned for their cheerleading and athletic apparel, also manufacture physical training uniforms.
Many businesses benefit by hiring veterans whose prior training and security clearances make them uniquely equipped for roles in these industries. Over 6,500 soldiers transition into the workforce each year, finding careers that leverage their active-duty experience.
FCEDC is proud to recognize Cumberland County’s defense companies and their support of the men and women who serve our country. They have defined our region as a corridor of innovation and are constantly developing new solutions and technology for the military’s ever-evolving operations. In addition to this work, their investment and large veteran employee base have made them a critical component of our local economy for the past 100 years.