Rocky Mount engine plant boosts economy, sees record growth

Posted October 30, 2018 7:37 a.m. EDT
Updated October 30, 2018 8:00 a.m. EDT

— Manufacturing facilities in North Carolina produce more diesel engines than any other state, and one of the largest plants is the Cummins engine plant near Rocky Mount.

The company has had back-to-back quarters of record sales, and leaders there said the road ahead seems wide open.

Factory workers make and ship a record number of engines, operating on two shifts and a partial third.

Rocky Mount engine plant boosts economy, sees record growth

"I love it -- I love my job," said Janice Parker, who has worked on the line for more than 20 years.

Parker works inspections at the end of the line, and not much gets by her.

It's that dedication to quality and pride in workmanship that John Judd, the plant manager, says makes all the difference.

Rocky Mount engine plant boosts economy, sees record growth

Judd has been working at Cummins for 30 years -- he started working on the line when he was 19, and now he oversees an operation that produces more than just diesel truck engines.

The facility employs about 1,800 workers, making it the area's second largest employer, and parts made in the plant go to assemble school buses, trucks, boats and farm equipment.

"What we provide is jobs -- and we provide income and we provide a huge economy for eastern North Carolina," he said.

"I wouldn't trade [this job] for anything in the world," added Parker, who says she has pride in workmanship she can see every day, because every diesel bus in Rocky Mount has an engine built just north of town. "I come in here each and every day and try to make sure we send out quality parts."