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North Carolina ranks fourth in the country in the number of military personnel. The military contributes $18 billion per year to the gross state product. More than 330, 000 jobs are linked to the military. But when it comes to obtaining military contracts, the state is near the bottom. Bivins discusses what can be done to change this.
Headquartered at Mt. Gilead in Montgomery County, McRae Industries is one of four contractors in the nation that supply boots to the government. McRae got its first contract during the Vietnam War when the Army switched boot styles. At that time it had sixty employees; today McRae has 225. The company produces about 45,000 pairs of boots a month, slightly more than a third of the total industry output.
Defense contracts are highly important to North Carolina companies and businesses. About 1,100 companies in the state have military contracts to supply everything from boots to aircraft guidance systems. These contracts total more than $860 million.
How much do states with military branches that are either preparing for war or at war benefit financially. In North Carolina the impact in 2013 was estimated at $48 billion, or 12 percent of the gross state product. The article lists the top ten counties for defense contracts in 2012, the top regions for contracts, and the number of military personnel in the state by their respective branches.