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February 28, 2024 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


6AM City In-house

Today’s Forecast

70º | 80% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:53 a.m. | Sunset 6:14 p.m.

We’re taking you to business school
Brick buildings with smokestack and gray highrises in the background. A parking lot is full of cars in the bottom right corner.
Careers in the City of Arts and Innovation don’t always involve a commute. | Photo by WStoday
Nearly 191,000 people (and thousands of businesses) contribute to Forsyth County’s $30.4 billion economy. But have you ever wondered about the Twin City’s heaviest hitters?

Consider this your Winston-Salem Business 101 — a guide to six of our region’s key industries and 13 major employers.

The key industries

There are six key industries that represent ~87% of the Winston-Salem metro area’s economy, based on data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. We’ve listed them in order of employment numbers.

Education and Health Services | ~58,700 employees

Winston-Salem is home to two major health care systems. Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools is the 81st largest school district nationwide. There are also colleges and universities that support higher education.

Trade, Transportation, and Utilities | ~54,600 employees

This sector deals with wholesale and retail trade, warehousing, transporting passengers + cargo, and providing services like electricity and water. Local logistics and freight companies like Best Logistics Group and Salem Carriers fall in this category.

Professional and Business Services | ~38,500 employees

Many businesses in this industry require a high degree of expertise and training. They specialize in things like legal advice, accounting, payroll services, and engineering. This sector also includes the management of companies and enterprises.

Brick smokestack on the left with buildings around the perimeter. The sky is dark and green grass is in front.

Innovation Quarter is a hub of business and research activity.


Photo by WStoday

Manufacturing | ~34,600 employees

This sector is dedicated to making materials into new products. Winston-Salem based companies manufacture food items, aircraft systems, and medical devices — just to name a few.

Government | ~32,900 employees

Employees in this sector include local (city and county), state, and federal government workers. They manage public services and initiatives that impact the area’s way of life.

Leisure and Hospitality | ~30,500 employees

These employers help people get to know + learn to love the Twin City. Businesses offer accommodations and food services to residents and guests alike, as well as arts, entertainment, and recreation.
Which industry do you currently work in or are most interested in?

A. Retail
B. Energy
C. Real Estate
D. Other
Wednesday, Feb. 28
  • Womenpreneur Wednesday: Pop-Up Coworking | Wednesday, Feb. 28 | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. | Sparq, 486 N. Patterson Ave., Winston-Salem | Free | Use the coworking space to connect, collaborate, grow your small business or share entrepreneurial ideas with other women.
Thursday, Feb. 29
  • Music Videos with AI | Thursday, Feb. 29 | 7-9 p.m. | The CMPND, 231 W. 4th St., Winston-Salem | Free | Learn the art of making music videos using artificial intelligence (AI).
  • R+B and Poetry | Thursday, Feb. 29 | 8-11 p.m. | Bar NOLA, 1151 Canal Dr., Winston-Salem | $5-$40 | Poet, producer, and creative Poeticlee hosts the eclectic event featuring live R+B and spoken word performances.
Friday, March 1
  • St. Patrick’s Day Paint Night | Friday, March 1 | 6-8 p.m. | Dog-Eared Coffee Company, 6770 River Center Dr., Clemmons | $25-$30 | Pick your themed project and enjoy community crafting with the help of instructors.
Saturday, March 2
  • 2024 a/movie prom | Saturday, March 2 | 7-11 p.m. | Winmock at Kinderton, 168 E. Kinderton Way, Bermuda Run | $150 | Dress in your best prom or space age-inspired outfits and join a/perture cinema for an evening of dancing, drinks, and delectables at their signature annual gala.
  • Edgar Meyer + The New World | Saturday, March 2 | 7:30 p.m. | Reynolds Auditorium, 301 Hawthorne Rd. NW, Winston-Salem | $10-$95 | Hear bassist and composer Edgar Meyer bridges the worlds of classical and bluegrass music.
Plan Ahead
  • Mount Mitchell Heartbreaker 50M/55K presented by La Sportiva | Saturday, March 23 | 5 a.m.-5:30 p.m. | Camp Grier in Old Fort, 985 Camp Grier Rd., Old Fort | $125-$180 | Join the waitlist for the Heartbreaker 50M/55K for a heart-pounding trail race through Pisgah National Forest and Mt. Mitchell, and get an extremely scenic tour of “the other Pisgah."*
Click here to have your event featured.
News Notes
  • Taste six traditional Peruvian dishes guided by a food expert on Saturday, March 9 at Viva Chicken (3493 Burke Mill Rd.). Tickets to the limited seating event hosted by Vecino Center for Language and Culture are $28.
  • Today is the deadline to register to attend the Women on the Rise Leadership Conference at Forsyth Technical Community College. The event on Friday, March 1 will include speakers and workshops to encourage women leaders — tickets are $25.
  • For one night only, the Winston-Salem Dash will become the Winston-Salem Tobacco Beetles. The rebrand on Friday, Aug. 9 will pay tribute to the city’s agricultural history with special fan activities and exclusive apparel that’s on sale now.
  • PDQ has closed its restaurant on Harvey Street in the Hanes Towne Village Shopping Center. The fast-food chain has closed all six of its drive-thru locations in NC — the Winston-Salem restaurant was the only Triad location. (Triad Business Journal)
  • Piedmont Craftsmen is hiring a Crafts Fair and membership manager. The part-time leadership role will be in charge of coordinating and overseeing the Crafts Fair held every November — apply by Monday, March 18.
  • UNC School of the Arts’ costume design program is one of the Top 10 worldwide, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s the seventh consecutive year the program has been in the Top 10 — the university is one of only two public universities on the list.
  • Wake Forest University plans to open its child care and early education center in the University Corporate Center in September. Families of faculty, staff, and students and will have priority at KinderCare at Wake Forest University but enrollment will be open to the public when space is available.
  • Triad Cultural Arts will use a grant from North Carolina Humanities to restore a shotgun house that dates back to Winston-Salem’s first Black community. Narratives will also be recorded to understand the experiences of people who lived in the homes. (WFDD)
  • Ready for a slam dunk? The Demon Deacons will face Georgia Tech on Tuesday, March 5 at the LJVM Coliseum with tip-off scheduled for 9 p.m. Grab tickets.*
  • Pop quiz: What “silent killer” condition is remarkably common among Americans (as in one third have it)? The answer: High blood pressure. Novant Health cardiologist Dr. Linda Calhoun shares everything you need to know about hypertension — including risks, treatment + why it’s dangerous.*
  • We got a little too excited to learn about capital projects happening this year. The Overview of Forecasted City Projects Outreach event at Forsyth County Central Library is happening on Wednesday, March 20 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Today is the last day to register.
Leading the way
Parking lot with people standing in formation to spell "Leader."
State and local representatives joined faculty and staff to celebrate the accomplishment. | Photo courtesy of Forsyth Tech
Forsyth Technical Community College is celebrating a dream accomplishment. The community college has been designated as one of 10 Leader Colleges in the US by the national nonprofit Achieving the Dream (ATD). The organization is made up of more than 300 colleges nationwide + is dedicated to advancing community colleges as local hubs of equity and economic mobility.

The recognition comes as the community college has made institutional changes to reduce the achievement gap between the majority of students and students of color. Those include:
As a Leader College, Forsyth Tech will develop new ways to work with other colleges. The goal is to share knowledge and ideas about reform strategies to increase student completion rates.
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The Wrap
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From the editor
I recently had the opportunity to check out the “We Built This” exhibit and was particularly interested in the work of local brick maker George Black. To know his handcrafted bricks are in homes + buildings around the city is such a neat piece of history. I recommend checking out the exhibit — it will be at CG O’Kelly Library at WSSU starting Friday, March 1.
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