Local News

Front-Line Necessities Mean Big Business On Home Front

Posted March 25, 2003

— War impacts all of us in some way or another. It is creating big business for several North Carolina companies which make supplies for troops on the front line.

Business is booming for North Carolina companies that make supplies for the military. Jim Barker, of North American Aerodynamics, said his business has increased "astronomically."

"Since the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq [business has] increased so much that we are busily trying to add people and machinery and keep up with demand," he said.

The Roxboro company works hard to keep up with their military contract. The parachutes made here may be used to drop in a Howitzer or ammunition or badly needed foodstuffs. It's a 64-foot canopy coming from Person County

"When we got this contract, they asked us 'How much can you make and how fast can you make it,'" Barker said.

In Waynesville, workers pound out hundreds of pairs of boots each week.

"Boots and socks are probably the most important part of keeping a soldier complete. If you're not comfortable in your footwear you're not so effective as you could be," said Callen Scruggs of Wellco Marketing.

Workers at Diamond Brands in Henderson County are busy sewing tents -- soldiers' homes away from home.

All of the contractors said they are hiring additional workers, creating jobs back on the home front.

North Carolina businesses saw more than a half billion dollars in defense contracts last year. With the current conflict, that figure is expected to be much higher this year.

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