Inside the Charlotte Convention Center, hundreds of nuclear engineers chose to hold their annual meeting in Charlotte.
And after an official welcome, Mayor Anthony Foxx let them know they're more than welcome to stay.
“The pitch today was to say, ‘Hey, as you're growing, expanding and continuing to reach out, we want you to be here in Charlotte,’” he said.
More and more of those companies are coming to the area. The Chamber of Commerce estimates more than 4,000 new energy-related jobs have been created in the past four years, making the energy sector a rival to banking and finance in the Charlotte economy.
The chamber said the Charlotte region still has roughly 44,000 jobs in finance. But the energy sector is now at about 25,000 and rising, with many jobs paying more than $100,000 a year.
Tony Crumbley with the Chamber of Commerce said Charlotte's energy hub is reaching critical mass.
“We know we've got nearly 200 other energy-related companies in the region, and that becomes a major magnet for us,” he said.
Already, companies like Seimens, Celgard and ABB have spent millions on expanding operations in the area.
That continues to attract newcomers.
Tuesday afternoon, Foxx helped Mitsubishi Nuclear officially open its 100 employee office in Charlotte.
CEO Kiyoshi Yamauchi said he's in Charlotte because so many other energy players are, too.
“There are many good companies here. So that's why we move here,” he said.