German-based Mann + Hummel, maker of air, fuel, oil and water filters, selected Raleigh for its North American headquarters. The company first came to the U.S. in 1994 when it opened a filter technology business in Illinois. It later added factories in Tennessee and Michigan, then, in 2006, set their sights on North Carolina when it and the Bosch Group jointly purchased a plant in Fayetteville. Most recently, in 2013, the company announced that it would move their North American headquarters to Raleigh, added an Innovation Center at N.C. State’s Centennial Campus, and bought outright ownership of the Fayetteville plant.

Mann + Hummel partnered with N.C. State with hopes that it would lead to faster innovation. The university’s Nonwovens Institute, established in 2007, is an academic program for engineered fabrics and is located across the street from the Innovation Center. This is the first time the company has performed research outside its own offices. And with more than 14, 000 employees in 60 locations worldwide, the company decided to locate its North American headquarters in Raleigh. The location, near Interstate 40 and minutes from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, is where about 40 employees oversee the company’s automotive aftermarket divisions and Purolator sales and marketing in Argentina, Brazil, Canada and the U.S. The company expects to invest an additional $15 million in North Carolina over the next three years.

Raleigh is committed to attracting and retaining such companies. James Sauls, Raleigh’s Economic Development Manager, was part of a team that helped Mann + Hummel find a location for their headquarters. The team was able to demonstrate to Mann + Hummel that Raleigh is a place that attracts a talented workforce because of its modest cost of living, strong public schools, convenient location, abundance of cultural activities, and educated population. Other organizations, such as Capital Area Workforce Development, work with prospective companies to provide customized training in interpersonal and technical fields.

View the 2015 North Carolina Economic Development Guide to learn more about Mann + Hummel’s journey to Raleigh.