Metalworking is an incredibly diverse field, ranging from manufacturers of metal roofs and building components to machine shops that create precise pieces for companies in the medical, defense and advanced manufacturing industries. Like many other industries, the presence of metalworking companies (and their skilled employees) tends to attract other similar businesses. Because Onslow County is already home to a number of companies, we see this sector continuing to grow and contribute significantly to our local economy.read more >>
In 1981, Coastal Enterprises, Inc. opened its doors as a private non-profit 501(c)3 organization serving the community by providing training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. By 2001, it had expanded its operations into Wilmington, and today provides over $6 million in wages and benefits to over 600 adults with disabilities in our communities.
While a significant portion of the Coastal Enterprises, Inc. contracts are for services performed aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, the Jacksonville location office also manufactures various items for the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). This includes brass and chrome belt buckles as well as panel signal markers for landing zones and are attached to tanks, trucks, rucksacks and anything that needs to be identified from the air. Over the years, and with the ingenuity of creative employees, they even have proprietary equipment to make these items as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
Perhaps the most amazing piece of equipment they manufacture is the blank firing apparatus or BFA for the M4 Carbine and M16 rifle. Through a series of presses, and a manufacturing partner in Onslow County, Coastal Enterprises produces approximately 80,000 BFAs a year and is DLA’s sole supplier of BFAs. Every Marine that passes through Jacksonville and Onslow County should be happy to know that Coastal Enterprises, Inc.–and a neighbor of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune–is a part of their trainingread more >>
Coastal Carolina Cutting Boards is a family business of woodworkers stretching back five generations. The family’s history with wood stretches from wood flooring to ornamental pieces on marine crafts. When the recent recession forced owner Tom Dean to look for other revenue streams, he started experimenting with the woods he had available. He soon discovered how a unique blend of woods made a very distinctive style of cutting boards. This is when the hobby he discovered started turning into a serious new business venture.
Coastal Carolina Cutting Boards has a deep commitment to working with Veterans. Nearly 100% of Tom’s workforce is a Veteran or directly related to one. However, this is not purely out of good will. Tom has seen the value of hiring Veterans and believes those working with him today are a significant part of the successes of the young company.
Coastal Carolina Cutting Boards recently had the opportunity to support the Girls Leadership Academy of Wilmington (GLOW) annual fundraiser with Giada De Laurentiis. The company has also been highlighted on Time Warner Cable News and WRAL News to discuss the company’s recent successes and outreach to the community and Veterans.
Tom and Coastal Carolina Cutting Boards proudly support Kids Making It by donating a portion of each cutting board sale to them. Kids Making It is a nationally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth program, teaching woodworking, life, and entrepreneurial skills to at-risk youth from age 8 into young adulthood.
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Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) has been one of Jacksonville’s longest serving employers. Located at 352 White Street, MSA moved into one of the community’s first publicly constructed buildings by the economic development office. Back in 1979, MSA considered Jacksonville, NC because of its location and workforce. However, it was the existing building that guaranteed the expansion. As plant manager Joey Carter often tells people, “While there are not a large number of manufacturers in Jacksonville/Onslow County, many of those that are here came because there was a building available.” What started as a 43,000 square foot facility has expanded to over 100,000 square feet, making it one of the largest industrial buildings in Onslow County.
Known as The Safety Company, MSA has been developing, manufacturing, and supplying sophisticated safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures around the world. At the Jacksonville location, MSA produces respiratory and fall protection products as well as Cairns fire helmets. Their product line is used by workers around the world in a broad range of markets, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, the construction industry, mining, and the military.
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Armstrong Marine, Inc. designs and builds welded aluminum boats and barges. High performance designs and quality workmanship define the Armstrong brand that was developed in the Pacific Northwest more than two decades ago. Armstrong vessels can now be found in service around the world, meeting the demands of the commercial marine industry and private clients.
When looking to expand its 26-year old business from Port Angeles to the East Coast, CEO Josh Armstrong said, “we intend to have a lot of export efforts here…[Armstrong Marine] is spending significant money every year shipping vessels all the way across the country.” North Carolina offers an ideal central location for the entire eastern seaboard as well as access to the Eastern Hemisphere.
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