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Charlotte, North Carolina’s largest city, continues to experience rapid growth, in large part due to the banking & finance industry. Charlotte is now the second largest banking center in the United States (after New York), and is home to Bank of America and Wells Fargo subsidiary, Wachovia. The Charlotte metro area is also home to 5 other Fortune 500 companies.

BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust), one of America’s largest banks, was founded in Wilson, NC in 1872. Today, BB&T’s headquarters is in Winston-Salem, although some operations still take place in Wilson.

The information and biotechnology industries have been steadily on the rise since the creation of the Research Triangle Park (RTP) in the 1950s. Located between Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill (mostly in Durham County), it is a globally prominent research center home to over 170 companies and federal agencies and is the largest and oldest continuously operating research and science park in the United States. Anchored by UNC (Chapel Hill), Duke (Durham), and NC State (Raleigh), the park’s proximity to these research universities has no doubt helped to fuel growth.

The North Carolina Research Campus underway in Kannapolis (approx. 30 miles northeast of Charlotte) aims to enrich and bolster the Charlotte area in the same way that RTP changed the Raleigh-Durham region. Encompassing 5,800,000 square feet), the complex is a collaborative project involving Duke University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and N.C. State University, along with private and corporate investors and developers. The facility incorporates corporate, academic, commercial and residential space, oriented toward research and development and biotechnology. Similarly, in downtown Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Triad Research Park is undergoing an expansion. Approximately thirty miles to the east of Winston Salem’s research park, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina A&T State University have joined forces to create the Gateway University Research Park, a technology-based research entity which will focus its efforts on areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology & biochemistry, environmental sciences, and genetics among other science-based disciplines.

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Source – Wikipedia

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