Seeking to enhance the state's international trade activity, the N.C. State Ports Authority, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, spent $2 million to build the Perishables Handling and Chill Facility at the Wilmington Terminal.
Significant developments in health-care reform are maintaining Asheville's status as a medical center for Western NC. Residents from surrounding counties utilize Asheville's hospitals, rehabilitation and psychiatric centers, and bevy of specialists.
Women legislators in the North Carolina General Assembly are increasingly playing more prominent roles. This is most evident in the committees that are chaired by women, including the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee
Buncombe County, which includes popular Asheville, is expanding its economic base from a heavy reliance on tourist dollars to a balance of manufacturing, trade, transportation, utilities, and services.
North Carolina furniture makers are increasingly marketing their products to overseas markets. State furniture exports are rising as the industry targets markets in such regions as Asia and the Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East.