County, North carolina

Johnston

livability.com/johnston-county

Shop Around
Retail mix benefits residents, economy
2013 | sponsored by the johnston county association of chambers of commerce

NOw OPEN
Between Johnston Health Clayton and U.S. Hwy. 70 Bypass

• Joint Replacement • Sports Medicine • Fracture Care • Pediatric Orthopaedic Care • Carpal Tunnel

• Epidural Steroid Injections • Nerve Blocks • Sacroiliac Joint Injections

(919) 550-3430 (919) 550-7403 fax

(919) 359-8643 (919) 359-8689 fax

Complete Medical Care In Your Neighborhood
Serving All of JohnSton County

SPRING BRANCH MEDICAL PAVILION 166 Springbrook Ave. Clayton, NC 27520
www.springbranchmed.com

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CONTENTS

6 Welcome to Johnston County
An introduction to the community

Things to Do
0 Retail 1 Shop Around
Retail mix benefits residents, economy

14 Local Flavor Go Hog Wild 16 Arts & Culture Creative Community 18 Sports & Recreation Active Inside & Out

Johnston
county, north carolina

2013 edition

volume 8

Living
Community spirit unites small communities and bridges generations

24 Community Bursting with Pride

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8 Education 2 Multiple Choices, All Good Answers 31 Health More Doses of Good Medicine

33 Community Profile

Business

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36 Business Climate Business Landscape Blossoms 38 Manufacturing Made in Johnston County
Local companies produce nationally known goods

42 Chamber Letter 43 Economic Profile
All or part of this magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste. Please recycle this magazine

38
On The Cover Reid’s Country Sampler in Selma Photo by Martin B. Cherry

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Johnston
rt County, no h Carolina

nty johnston-cou livability.com/

Shop Around
efits retail mix bennomy residents, eco
sored 2013 | spon ston by the john iation coun ty assoc of cham bers of comm erce

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County, north Carolina

Johnston

livability.com/johnston-county

FaCTS
Get data fast on population, climate, workforce, cost of living and more.

Shop Around
retail mix benefits residents, economy
2013 | sponsored by the johnston county association of chambers of commerce

digital magazine
Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends.

Things to Do
Find the must-do attractions, activities and dining in Johnston County.

Living
Learn about Johnston County’s schools, health care and neighborhoods.

Business
Get info on top employers, jobs and success stories in Johnston County.

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At A Glance

Johnston County, North Carolina
A quick, comprehensive overview of what’s great about the community
96 40

Raleigh
Clayton Cleveland Area
50 40 301

301

JOHNSTON

95

Kenly

Selma Smithfield Four Oaks
701 70

With 11 cities and towns, 17 townships and the bulk of its population residing in unincorporated areas within it, a true sense of cooperation between communities unites Johnston County, whether it’s displayed through festivals, youth sports, church events, education, health care, the workforce or economic development initiatives. Tops in Triangle Living As part of North Carolina’s Research Triangle area, Johnston Countians enjoy high-tech jobs close to home and the bigger-city amenities of nearby Raleigh along with small-town living and access to some of the best performing schools in the state. Each of the incorporated cities and towns has a unique personality, and most host festivals reflecting their character. Smart People, Top Businesses Thanks to its proximity to the Triangle and distinctive lifestyle amenities, many top corporations have Johnston County locations such as Caterpillar Inc., Sysco Food Systems, Grifols and Hospira. Pharmaceuticals and advanced manufacturing add diversity to an economy also strongly dependent on agriculture, education, food production and distribution, retail, and government services. Johnston County’s educated people and workforce development resources also attract new residents and businesses. The public school system earned the AdvancED Commission’s highest accreditation, and Johnston County Community College partners with community organizations and businesses for adult education and workforce development initiatives. Read on to learn more about why Johnston County is a great place to live, work and play.

Benson

95

johnston county
Location
Johnston County is in east central North Carolina, about 20 miles southeast of Raleigh.

POPULATION

168,878
Distances to three major cities nearby
Richmond, VA: 169 miles Charlotte, NC: 208 miles Charleston, SC: 259 miles

Time zone
Eastern

annual rainfall

For More Information

Johnston County Association of Chambers of Commerce
1115 Industrial Park Drive P.O. Box 467 Smithfield, NC 27577 Phone: (919) 934-9166 Fax: (919) 934-1337 www.smithfieldselma.com

47.43”
National Average: 30”

Accolade
Men’s Journal says Smithfield Hams Are Among the “100 Best Things to Eat in America”

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Two Amtrak passenger trains, the Palmetto and Carolinian, serve the Selma-Smithfield Amtrak Station , previously known as the Selma Union Depot. The Atlantic Coast Line and Southern Railroads built the downtown Selma station in 1924, and the National Register of Historic Places added it in 1982.

All Aboard!

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Things To Do
Johnston County’s must-do attractions, activities and dining

Go for a Swim

Tucker Lake in Benson covers 30 acres and includes white sand beaches, making it an ideal attraction during the summer. The lake also features a 167-foot water slide, picnic tables and volleyball courts.

Art Center

Museum

History

Gardens

Get Creative
Learn how to draw, paint, sculpt and more at the Eye of the Eagle Art Center in downtown Clayton. The business, located in the area’s oldest home, holds classes for beginning and advanced students at various times to meet busy schedules.

STEP INTO THE PAST
The Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly comprises 6,000 square feet of exhibits about traditional tobacco growing, family life, rural medicine, schools and education, and other aspects of life in the area during the early 20th century.

MILL AROUND
See more than 250 years of traditional cornmealmaking history at Atkinson Milling Company in Selma, the last water-powered gristmill in operation in eastern North Carolina. The company still produces various mixes, grits and breading.

Stop To Smell the IRiSES
Stroll through about 600 varieties of bearded irises and daylilies at Powell’s Gardens in Princeton. Visitors will also see the largest hosta collection in the Southeast. The gardens are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Things To Do

Discover History

Visitors to Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks, a National Historic Landmark, can explore the site of the largest battle ever to occur in North Carolina, during the Civil War. The site now has historic structures, exhibits, monuments and more.

Attraction

Outdoors

Winery

Farms

ADMIRE AVA
Check out the Ava Gardner Museum to learn more about this Hollywood star who was born near Smithfield. The 5,000-square-foot museum’s exhibits include costumes, movie posters, awards, personal items and more.

GO FISH
Spend a day casting a line at Langdon’s Fishing on a working farm in the Cleveland Township area. Visitors can expect to find fish such as largemouth bass, crappie and bream at the farm’s two ponds. The cost is $2 per person and the ponds are open from dawn until dusk.

GRAB A GLASS
Travel the Muscadine Heritage Wine Trail, which includes these wineries: Hinnant Family Vineyards in Pine Level, Enoch Winery & Bistro in Benson, Gregory Vineyards in McGee’s Crossroads and Adams Vineyard in Willow Spring.

MAKE A FRESH PICK
Pick berries during the summer at Creekside Farm in Selma and Smith’s Nursery and Strawberry Farm in Benson. During the fall, check out Boyette Farms in Clayton. For a full list of the area’s agritourism destinations, visit www. johnstoncountync.org.

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Things To Do

Around
Johnston County’s great retail mix benefits REsidents and economy

Shop

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

F

rom antique stores and mom-and-pop specialty shops to outlet malls offering nationally and internationally known brands, Johnston County’s mix of retailers makes it a go-to for excellent deals, gives residents great convenience and helps the local economy thrive.

Shoppers can browse more than 100,000 square feet of antiques in Selma.

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Donna and Chris Reid own Reid’s Country Sampler in downtown Selma, which is known as “The Antique Capital of North Carolina.”

Hunt for Hidden Jewels

“In Johnston County, strangers will say hello when they pass you on the street. Business owners help and treat each other with kindness and respect. We make it a point to greet each person with a smile and make them feel as at home here as we do. Our philosophy is we don’t have customers, we have friends that visit.”
Allen White, Resident & business owner

Classic Treasures For those seeking classic treasures, Selma is the place. Known as “The Antique Capital of North Carolina,” in Selma shoppers will discover more than 100,000 square feet of antique stores within walking distance of one another along a charming 1950s era streetscape. On any given Saturday, multitudes of shoppers from around the state and beyond can be found perusing the streets for bargains. “I have people coming from as far as Quebec who return every year,” says Donna Reid, owner of Reid’s Country Sampler in Selma for 14 years. “Local merchants also plan special events, like the All American Christmas Festival, to attract shoppers and keep them coming back.” Specialty Shops A small-town atmosphere and strong sense of community allow mid-size homegrown retailers to thrive here – sometimes for many generations – by simply knowing their customers and in turn

offering carefully curated merchandise and specialized customer service. North Carolina Paper Company in Clayton, founded in 1919, prides itself on “offering quality products at reasonable prices in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.” The wholesale warehouse carries a variety of paper and cleaning supplies for food service, while the retail showroom sells cake decorating and candy supplies for professionals and beginners. “We offer personalized customer service to our customers and appreciate their business,” says Joyce Haynes of North Carolina Paper Company. “I listen to the wants and needs of our customers and try to buy products that they can’t find in other stores. I am personally interested in our customers and consider many not only customers but friends.” Those who love to create handcrafted items can “touch, explore, and be inspired” at Cindale Beads in Smithfield, which stocks tens of thousands of beads and jewelry arts products from around the world in many

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

shapes, sizes and colors. While the convenient location near I-95 and Highway 70 attracts many firstvisitors to the store, owner Allen White says local residents make Johnston County a great place for him to do business. “In Johnston County, strangers will say hello when they pass you on the street,” White says. “Business owners help and treat each other with kindness and respect. We make it a point to greet each person with a smile and make them feel as at home here as we do. Our philosophy is we don’t have customers, we have friends that visit.” Awesome Outlets There’s a place here for nationally known retailers and brands, too. Shoppers find big savings at Carolina Premium Outlets in Smithfield, where 80 stores sell everything from brand-name clothing and home furnishings to unique specialty merchandise. This large, open-air shopping center includes popular stores such as Adidas, Banana Republic, Coach and Carolina Pottery, a 65,000-square-foot home decor store. Other favorites for savings include Carolina Apparel in Selma, a third-generation, family-owned clothing store opened in 1902 that carries brands such as Carhartt, well-known for its quality outdoor clothing and protective work and sporting gear. JR Cigar, also in Selma, is known as “The World’s Largest Cigar Store,” but also sells a wide range of discounted apparel, books, toys, and much more. People with active lifestyles will find what they need at Soffe Factory Outlet Store in Smithfield, North Carolina’s only retail outlet store that specializes in athletic sportswear for the whole family. Shoppers browse for exercise and fitness clothing, collegelicensed sports team apparel, and even dancewear.  by Barbara Biehler  by staff photographer Martin B. Cherry

Pizazz, a resale shop in Clayton, benefits local non-profit, Harbor Inc.

Eighty retailers await shoppers at Carolina Premium Outlets.

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Things To Do: Local Flavor

Go Hog Wild

Enjoy some of North Carolina’s best barbecue in Johnston County Fans of great barbecue are in luck. Some of North Carolina’s finest barbecue can be found in Johnston County restaurants.

Stephenson’s Bar-B-Q is legendary in McGee’s Crossroads for its smoked barbecue. Open since 1958, Stephenson’s slow-cooked, hand-chopped barbecue is so good it’s earned a spot on North Carolina Barbecue Society’s Historic Barbecue Trail. Crispy fried chicken, hushpuppies, Brunswick stew and fresh vegetables are all popular house favorites.

Famous Smoked BBQ

Kenly

hand-chopped ‘cue
Brightly colored red-and-yellow signs and pictures of pigs on the roof draw customers into Stormin’ Norman’s Barbecue, but it’s the hand-chopped Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue that keeps them coming back. Barbecue plates, fried chicken, ribs, Brunswick stew and fresh vegetables are just a few of the scrumptious items you’ll find on the menu. Be sure to wash it all down with a big glass of Mary Alice’s famous sweet tea. Clayton

BBQ and seafood options
Specializing in barbecued chicken and pork, fried chicken and seafood, McCall’s Bar-B-Que & Seafood features many oldfashioned, home-style specialties. Have the pit-cooked barbecued pork, beef, or chicken, savory Brunswick stew or combination seafood plate. Don’t forget to save room for one of their delicious homemade desserts.

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Other Favorites
Bistro On Third
146 S. Third St. Smithfield (919) 989-4931 www.bistroonthird.net

Boathouse Seafood & Grill
275 N. Equity Dr. Smithfield (919) 934-2424

The Chicken Barn
703-B E. Market St. Smithfield (919) 934-6866 www.thechickenbarn.net

Don Beto’s Tacos
720 Ricks Rd. Selma (919) 202-4566 www.donbetostacos.com

Charlie’s BBQ & Grille in Clayton serves a variety of hickorysmoked barbecue favorites. Choose from hand-pulled pork, Angus beef brisket or smoked half chicken slathered with Charlie’s special sauce that incorporates all of North Carolina’s three distinctive regional styles of barbecue, vinegar-pepper, tomato and molassesbased. Fried catfish, burgers and delicious homemade side items are also on the menu. Smithfield

Pick Your Favorite BBQ Style and Eat Up

La Cocina Mexican Restaurant
1285 N. Brightleaf Blvd. in Smithfield 11617 U.S. 70 Business Hwy. in Clayton www.lacocinanc.com

Log Cabin Motel & Steakhouse
2491 U.S. 70 Business Hwy. E. Smithfield (919) 934-3323 www.beckyslogcabin.com

four BBQ restaurants help locals get their fill
Holt Lake Bar-B-Que and Seafood is the place to enjoy mouthwatering eats, family style. Order a family-style meal with barbecue and fried chicken along with all the fixin’s, or add your favorite seafood, for one low, all-you-can-eat price. After 40 years in business, Smithfield Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q knows the key to tasty Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue and crispy fried chicken, the house specialties. This restaurant, which also has locations in Clayton and Garner, has an extensive in-house menu, take-out menu, and drive-through service. Side items include coleslaw and potato salad, and party packs are available for special events and occasions. Voted one of the top barbecues in the Southeast, the flavor of White Swan Bar-B-Q & Fried Chicken’s award-winning barbecue comes from its 50-year-old secret recipe. Their Eastern North Carolina-style barbecue is slowly smoked in a covered cooker, then served with their special vinegar and spice sauce. Stop by convenient White Swan Bar-B-Q Express locations in Benson, Wilson’s Mills and McGee’s Crossroads. By Barbara Biehler

Lowell Mill Restaurant
595 Bagley Rd. Kenly (919) 284-5141 www.lowellmillrestaurant.com

Millie’s Hot Dogs
109 S. Brightleaf Blvd. Smithfield (919) 989-7863

Miss Maude’s Cafe
206 E. Main St. Benson (919) 207-9000
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Things To Do: arts & culture

Creative Community

Art, attractions, live performances invigorate johnston county Patrons of the arts and history buffs will be pleased in Johnston County, which has several sites to explore and appreciate local heritage, Civil War history, music, visual arts and theater.
Theatre

Take a seat and enjoy the show
Neuse Little Theatre, an actors group in Smithfield, holds four performances each year at the former American Legion Hut overlooking the Neuse River in the downtown area. Meanwhile, Benson Little Theatre has been hosting performances since 2000 at the 350-seat W.J. Barefoot Auditorium, while the Clayton Youth Theater has been producing quality shows by young people in grades seven through 12 since 2007.

“The Ava Gardner Museum is an all-around perfect homage to a beautiful and intriguing woman of her time.”
Kristen L., Yelp.com Reviewer

Historic Attractions

Step into the past
The Benson Museum of Local History includes artifacts and exhibits focusing on farming, schools and home life, while the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site shows where the largest Civil War battle in North Carolina history was fought. Selma Antique District, while not a museum, preserves history with its antique shops and malls, all within walking distance of each other.

Explore a Museum

Those wanting to take a journey back to a simpler time can choose from a variety of museums in Johnston County. The Johnston County Heritage Center is in Smithfield, as is the Ava Gardner Museum dedicated solely to the late Hollywood starlet who was born in nearby Brogden.

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Admire Local Artists’ Work
The 1,500-square-foot Frank Creech Art Gallery at Johnston Community College showcases photography, paintings, sculptures and other works created by the college’s students and other artists from the area. Visual Arts

Live Entertainment

See concerts, shows
For music enthusiasts, Clayton Center stages musical theater performances, some concerts and author appearances. In Selma, visitors and residents can enjoy the American Music Jubilee, a two-hour variety show that has become a favorite with tour and church groups from around the country. Every June, Benson hosts the State Annual Singing Convention, while in Smithfield, Johnston Community College hosts the Country Music Showcase, a bimonthly show that allows local singers to perform with a live band. By Tiffany Williams
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Discover beautiful creations
Clayton is home to Right Angles Framing & Art, as well as Eye of the Eagle Art Gallery. Smithfield has River City Arts, which promotes local art and provides studio space, and Four Oaks features the Barbara A. Keen Studio that includes Keen’s stained glass and original paintings. Arts Council

Advertising the arts, assisting local artists
The Johnston County Arts Council promotes the importance of art and culture through dance, music, theater, storytelling, literary arts, visual arts, folk arts and its Artists-in-the-Schools program. JCAC was founded in 1972 and today secures grants to provide financial assistance and services to local artists and nonprofit arts and service organizations. Continue exploring Johnston County’s thriving cultural scene at livability.com/smithfield/nc/attractions.

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Things To Do: sports & recreation

Trees That Teach

Clemmons Educational State Forest, the first of its kind in North Carolina, gives people an outdoor classroom for learning about forest ecosystems through ranger-conducted classes and on self-guided trails.

Active Inside & Out

Recreation options range from mild to wild Adventures range from mild to wild in Johnston County, which has many fun indoor and outdoor destinations that promote active lifestyles. Read on for more about the area’s golf courses, parks, natural attractions and recreation complexes.

Snapshot

Golf Courses

Tee it up and take a swing
If golf is your game, an abundance of courses are here to challenge you. Pine Hollow Golf Club in Clayton and Cardinal Country Club in Selma, both home to 18-hole courses, are local favorites. The Country Club of Johnston County in Smithfield winds along picturesque Holt Lake and includes a swimming pool, tennis courts, a grill and other amenities for members to enjoy. Both located in Clayton, Riverwood Golf & Athletic Club offers 27 holes, while The Neuse Golf Club ‘s 18-hole course carries an impressive 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest magazine, which also recognized Reedy Creek Golf Course in Four Oaks as one of its “places to play.”

e in Golf is a popular pastim nks to the Johnston County, tha courses. area’s many well-kept

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

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Parks & Rec

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Golf is a popular pastime in Johnston County, thanks to the area’s many well-kept courses.

18

Johnst

Smithfield Recreation & Aquatics Center, a joint venture between Johnston County Schools and the Town of Smithfield, has a competition-size pool and children’s play pool, gym, fitness and strength training rooms, racquetball and even a pottery studio.

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spend time in johnsto county’ n s natural havens

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Read it Parks quickly online or & Rec on your share articles tablet Get out and with and friends If you Get active Clayton like your that also contains challenges roughly on features are open eight two wheels, to eight miles Selma bocce hikers. Clayton’s of readilylegend park courts. programs, provides 42-acre accessible in residents and hosts area’s communitytrails a variety older annual athletes. the johnston park of youth selma A highlight and county In Kenly, railroad of the senior adult athletic parks a center days town’s Games and festival of recreational recreation with special for each lighted October. events the playground softball center is the , whichactivity is and facilities and the Kenly is a picnic baseball for even fields, nine-acre area sand baseball, area. Benson soccer complex volleyball, softball, group municipal field, gatherings. horseshoes, trails, plus park a large has shuffleboard picnic shelter designed and for
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active If you like your Clayton contains challenges on roughly eight two wheels, legend that also park in miles of readily are open to hikers. features eight accessible Clayton’s bocce 42-acre communit trails Selma provides courts. y park residents programs, a variety and hosts the johnston of youth and adult area’s older athletic athletes. county senior A highlight annual selma Games for of the town’s railroad special events the days festival In Kenly, a center is the of recreation each October. parks and recreation al with lighted center, whichactivity is the Kenly area softball and is a nine-acre playground baseball complex fields, soccer and picnic facilities for baseball, area. Benson municipal field, trails, softball, even sand park has horseshoe volleyball, s, shuffleboa plus a large group gatherings rd and picnic shelter . designed for
By Kevin Litwin
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Get out

and Get

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digital magazine
Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends

Outdoors

Parks & Rec

spend time in johnston county’s natural havens
Its beautiful natural settings make Johnston County an ideal place for nature-lovers. More than 50 miles of the scenic Neuse River flow through the county, making it perfect for kayaking, fishing, bird-watching or a stroll along a three-mile river walk. A greenway for walkers, runners and cyclists also stretches five and a half miles along the river. Education also is a key component at Howell Woods near Bentonville. The 2,800-acre park beckons people with opportunities for hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting and fishing.

Get out and get active
If you like your challenges on two wheels, Legend Park in Clayton contains roughly eight miles of readily accessible trails that also are open to hikers. Clayton’s 42-acre Community Park features eight bocce courts. Selma provides residents a variety of youth and adult athletic programs, and hosts the Johnston County Senior Games for the area’s older athletes. A highlight of the town’s special events is the annual Selma Railroad Days festival each October. In Kenly, a center of recreational activity is the Kenly Area Parks and Recreation Center, which is a nine-acre complex with lighted softball and baseball fields, soccer field, trails, playground and picnic area. Benson Municipal Park has facilities for baseball, softball, horseshoes, shuffleboard and even sand volleyball, plus a large picnic shelter designed for group gatherings. By Kevin Litwin
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Things to do: see the county

Dig Into Local History

The Benson Museum of Local History includes rooms with artifacts and exhibits that focus on Benson’s beginnings and nearby farming communities including McGee’s Crossroads, Elevation and Meadow Township.

Check out more photos of Johnston County’s historic attractions and destinations at livability.com/smithfield/nc/photos-video.

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living
Schools, health care, and neighborhoods in Johnston County

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Streetscapes Steeped in History

Many neighborhoods throughout Johnston County include homes with turn-of-the-century architecture and offer easy access to shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, service businesses and other conveniences. See more photos of Johnston County’s beautiful homes and neighborhoods at livability.com/smithfield/nc/photos-video.

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Things LIVING To Do

with
J

Bursting

Community spirit unites small communities and bridges generations

Pride
Hometown Festivals Like the Williamses, many residents who grow up in Johnston County want to stay nearby after they’re grown. They want their own families to share their hometown pride and participate in local events, such as the community festivals that provide opportunities to celebrate and enjoy the region year after year. “Being involved in local festivals is a generational thing. If your parents did it, you want to find a way to be involved and enjoy it with the next generation,” says Paul Dunn, who organizes the Benson Mule Days festival each September that he describes as “Mardi Gras, western-style.”

ust a short time in Johnston County reveals the strong sense of community that characterizes the area. Whether it’s the roaring cheers at a high school basketball game, friendly chatter while shopping in one of Johnston County’s quaint downtowns or the feeling of warm fellowship at a crowded local church service, connectedness and community spirit radiate from the people and weave throughout their lifestyles.

It’s what keeps families like the Williamses returning to live here, generation after generation. Bob Williams met his wife, JoAnn, while they were both serving in the Korean War. When the war was over, they returned to Johnston County, where Bob’s family had lived for more than two centuries. Sixty years later, the Williamses have raised four children on the Williams family farm, and two of those children are now raising their own families just down the road. “We’ve never had any reason to leave,” JoAnn Williams says. “We have always liked the small-town atmosphere.”

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Rivalries That Unite

Residents here love high school sports, loyally filling stands at games such as this one at South Johnston High School .

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Fun and Unusual Museums

Top 10

tupelo automobile museum Tupelo, MS great american dollhouse museum Danville, KY star museum Abingdon, VA Texas cowboy hall of fame Fort Worth, TX ava gardner museum Smithfield, NC Louisville slugger museum & Factory Louisville, KY national wrestling hall of fame & museum Stillwater, OK national museum of roller skating Lincoln, NE american helicopter museum & education center West Chester, PA the museum of mountain bike art & Technology Statesville, NC

Smithfield made the list.
Top 10 Fun and Unusual Museums
See more Top 10 lists at Livability.com.

Introducing the Livability.com Top 10 Lists New lists every month | Not your average lists | Not your average website

Johnston County Community Festivals
Local residents celebrate life in Johnston County with a number of annual festivals. • February: Johnston Community College Black History Month/ Gospel Fest March: Bentonville Battlefield Anniversary Event April: Cleveland Strawberry Festival May: Smithfield Ham & Yam Festival June: Princeton Community Day, Millstock, State Singing Convention September: Benson Mule Days, Clayton Harvest Festival, International Food Festival October: Ava Gardner Festival, Annual Railroad Days Festival, Archer Lodge Country Auction, Wilson’s Mills Pumpkin Festival December: Lights on the Neuse, Meadow Lights

• Downtown Clayton’s Eye of the Eagle Art Center hosts art classes. • •

Fun-Filled Festival

The Benson Mule Days festival is one of Johnston County’s most popular events, drawing crowds of 40,000 to 50,000 people. The family-friendly event takes place during the last weekend of September each year and includes rodeos, a mule pulling contest, carnival rides, parades and more.

Dunn is the third generation in his family to help produce the festival. Almost all of Johnston County’s other communities host festivals and other community events throughout the year, each with at least one flagship festival that in most cases celebrates that town’s identity with its theme. Sports Loyalties The same enthusiasm shown at community festivals also comes through year round at high school sporting events. With several strong intra-county rivalries, gymnasiums and football stadiums often are packed, regardless of the teams’ win-loss records. “The level of support that high school athletics receives in

Johnston County is great and getting better all the time,” says Clay Best, sports editor for the Smithfield Herald . “The opening of three new high schools in the past decade has helped to tighten community ties and brought new families into the county who are looking for community-related activities to take part in. Likewise, the bonds at older high schools remain strong with many of the same faces gathering in gyms and football bleachers year after year. There’s nothing quite like high school athletics to build community spirit.” Thriving Downtowns Perhaps the easiest way to experience Johnston County spirit

is simply to walk through the downtown districts of any town in the county. Grab a bite to eat at a quaint restaurant or café, listen to trains whizzing by on the tracks, meander through unique shops and galleries, and linger on a front porch while enjoying a glass of iced tea. “I get many comments about the beauty and the calming effects that people get when they visit the downtown center,” says Bonnie Light, owner of the Eye of the Eagle Art Center in downtown Clayton. “This is what I think is the most appealing aspect of living and doing business in a small town.”  by Nancy Mann Jackson  by staff photographer Martin B. Cherry
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LIVING: Education

Multiple Choices, All Good Answers
students get quality instruction at every level of learning Students and parents have multiple quality choices when it comes to education in Johnston County, from preschool through college.
Training IB Program

Johnston County Workforce Development Center
The Johnston County Workforce Development Center in Clayton is a collaborative effort between Johnston County, Johnston County Schools, Johnston County Economic Development, Johnston Community College and local biopharmaceutical industries. The WDC is a 30,000-square-foot training facility focusing on life sciences programming, business training, and workforce development in biotechnology and other sciences. Students can earn an associate in applied science degree in biopress technology, as well as an associate in science degree in biology and biology education. The WDC also offers continuing education programs and classes through customized industry training, entrepreneurial seminars and more.

JOHNSTON County SchoolS
High school students enrolled in the Johnston County Schools system may apply for Smithfield Selma High School’s prestigious new International Baccalaureate program, which requires students to complete more rigorous course work among other requirements. The system comprises 43 schools serving approximately 33,000 students and routinely produces SAT averages above the state and national level.

Johnston Community College, with 4,300 full-time students, opened a new $8.2 million learning resource center in 2011. It measures 11,500 square feet compared to the old 7,000-square-foot library. The building is a focal point of the campus, and the second floor is outfitted with distance-learning classrooms. JCC officials envision a $4 million renovation to turn the old library into a practice hospital for health sciences students.

New Facilities Keep JCC Campus Fresh

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Charter School

Neuse Charter School, Johnston County’s only free public charter school, opened a campus with separate pods for kindergarten, elementary (grades 1-5), middle school (6-8) and high school (9-10). Now educating 540 students, the school will add grades 11 and 12. Students, admitted through a lottery system, focus on international studies with foreign language education offered in kindergarten.

Educational Programs

Partnership for Children of Johnston County
This non-profit organization provides programs and services to assist families. Partnership for Children programs include providing support and information for families seeking child care options, and overseeing a parent education program focusing on child development and parenting skills to promote child language, intellectual growth, and physical and social-emotional skills. By Jessica Walker Boehm Read more about education in Johnston County at livability.com/smithfield/ nc/schools.

COVERING ALL OF JOHNSTON COUNTY SINCE 1965

John H. Scovil CPA • Linda J. Stephenson CPA

EASON, SCOVIL, STEPHENSON & ASSOCIATES P.A.
Certified Public Accountants

Can you imagine … a world without children?
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Check your small business tax due dates on our website:

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LIBERTY COMMONS NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER OF JOHNSTON COUNTY

Caring with Excellence
• Respite care • Hospice care • Daily housekeeping and laundry services • Specialized diets • State-of-the-art facility • Full-time, on-site professional management

3612 Powhatan Rd. Clayton, NC 27527 www.novonordisk-clayton.com

• 24-hour skilled nursing • Assisted living facility • Short-term rehabilitation • Physical therapy • Speech therapy • Occupational therapy • Special care unit

Have the security of knowing someone is always there to assist you! There is no time like the present to find out more about our CONTINUUM OF LIFESTYLE CHOICES. Call (919) 207-1717 to learn more about our services or to schedule a personal tour. Located at 2315 NC Hwy. 242 N., Benson, NC 27504.

30

J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

LIVING: Health

More Doses of Good Medicine
local health-care facilities grow in size and number Local health-care providers have residents covered in Johnston County, offering quality, compassionate care.
SECU Hospice House

Quality Care in a peaceful environment
Terminally ill patients find comfort and compassion at the SECU Hospice House of Johnston Health . The residential and inpatient center opened in June 2010 following a $4.5 million capital campaign by the Johnston Health Foundation, and a $1 million grant from the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation. The Hospice House team provides 24-hour care for patients in a home-like environment. All 18 patient rooms have separate heating and cooling units, in-suite baths, and sleeper sofas for visitors. A chapel and meditation garden, full-service kitchen, and dining and living rooms are also on site. Hospice House is located a short distance from Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield.

Women’s Pavilion Serves Mothers, Children

Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield, licensed for 179 medical/ surgical beds and 20 behavioral health beds, recently opened a Women’s Pavilion birthing center that includes four labor and delivery suites, 16 postpartum-care rooms and a nursery. The staff at the Women’s Pavilion cares for both the mother and infant and offers support as new moms learn to breastfeed. Johnston Health

Harnett Health System

new hospital opens
Harnett Health System is a private, not-for-profit, health-care organization based in Dunn that serves many Johnston County residents in the southwestern portion of the county. The system includes a 101-bed Harnett Health Betsy Johnson Hospital, and a $56 million Central Harnett Hospital opened in Lillington in January 2013 with 50 hospital beds. An outpatient rehab/wellness center in Benson, a family medicine practice in Angier and a number of clinics in both Dunn and Lillington are also under the HHS umbrella. By Kevin Litwin
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Expansions, additions are on the way
Johnston Health, anchored by Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield, also includes Johnston Medical Center-Clayton, Johnston Medical Associates-Clayton, Johnston Medical Associates-Kenly, Johnston Medical Associates-Gastroenterology, Johnston Medical AssociatesInfectious Disease, and QuikMed Urgent Care. Johnston Health has plans for future expansion including a $1.5 million emergency department expansion at the Smithfield facility, and the addition of 50 inpatient beds at Johnston Medical Center-Clayton. Other plans include adding eight inpatient rehabilitation beds, as well as chest pain and stroke centers at Johnston Medical Center-Smithfield. Johnston Health selected Raleigh’s UNC Health Care for a strategic partnership in April 2013.

31

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32

J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Community profile
ethnicity
  White 27% 45% 8% 28% 10%   Black   Hispanic   Other

Income

$49,888
Median Household Income

$22,731
59% Per Capita Money Income

AGE
  19 and Under   20-54   55 and Over

23%

Transportation
Travel Time to Work
July Average High

Temperature
January Average Low

90°

28 minutes
76°

29°

31°

Closest Airport: Raleigh-Durham International Airport

January Low National Low

36 miles
July High National High

Never a dUll momeNt

Have
Locally Owned & Operated Serving Johnston County Since 1988 CLERICAL • PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIAL • GENERAL LABOR 102 E. Johnston St. • Smithfield, NC 27577 (919) 934-0909 • www.mitchelltemporary.com
Mitchell Temporary Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer

FUN

close to home!

OW LANES INB RA
FAMILY FUN CENTER

850 Hwy. 42 W. • Clayton, NC 27520

(919) 553-4-FUN www.rainbowlanesclayton.com

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business
Info on Johnston County’s top employers, jobs and success stories

34

J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Custom Assemblies Inc. in Pine Level manufactures affordable, reliable medical tubing assemblies and subassemblies for small- and mid-size medical manufacturing companies. Contributing to Johnston County’s prosperous business climate for more than 20 years, the company also provides customized packaging and labeling services. Find more photos of Johnston County’s businesses and manufacturing companies at livability.com/smithfield/nc/photos-video.

Serving Medical Manufacturers

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business: overview

Business Landscape Blossoms

Businesses of all kinds grow and flourish in johnston county Affording a perfect marriage of resources, location and skilled manpower, it’s no wonder Johnston County has such a diverse cross-section of businesses. The area’s proximity to Raleigh’s population and the brain trust of the Research Triangle allow Johnston County notable success in the manufacturing, retail, food and pharmaceutical industries.
Food Products

Producers, distributors
Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer and processor, is based here and operates a network of farms, packing plants and distribution centers. Some of the company’s familiar products include Butterball turkeys and Stefano products. Smithfield also is home to Stevens Sausage Company and Carolina Packers. Stevens is known for its smoked ham and chitterlings, while Carolina takes pride in its bologna and Bright Leaf hot dog brand - also called Packers dogs, which have a trademark bright red color and a loyal following locally and throughout the country.

The Selma branch of food service leader Sysco offers more than 9,000 products and serves an estimated 675 customers per day.

Food Distribution

36

J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Pharmaceuticals

Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a leading force in diabetes care, among many other specialties. The Clayton facility produces items like the FlexPen, a disposable insulin device. Manufacturing

Plants create goods used throughout the u.s.
Johnston County’s manufacturers range from industrial giant Caterpillar’s plants in Clayton and Smithfield to Andrew Corp., which makes satellite antennas, to electronic cable producer Carolina Custom Assemblers. Benson is home to PGI Nonwovens, a producer of sanitary and industrial textiles like diapers, medical fiber and insulation. The Flanders-Precisionaire plant in Benson produces air filter components for Flanders Corporation, the largest manufacturer of air filters for high-tech industry in the United States. Pharmaceuticals

business: overvIew

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Food Products

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Blossoms

Produce

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Food Distribu tion

36

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digital magazine

4/24/13 9:00 AM

Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends.

Pharmaceutical Companies Find Success
Thanks to Johnston County’s proximity to the Research Triangle, a pharmaceutical business cluster emerged here, as well. Global pharmaceutical producer and research center Grifols’ manufacturing center in Clayton is the largest employer in the county. In addition to Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals Inc., the industry sector includes Hospira Inc., which is the world’s leading producer of generic syringedelivery pharmaceuticals. By Spencer Mohead

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business

High-Quality Ham
Rufus Brown serves as Johnston County Hams’ manager and cure master. The company has been in the county since 1946.

38

J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Johnston County
Q
Local companies produce many nationally known goods
uality goods made right here impact lives far beyond the borders of Johnston County thanks to companies that thrive by relying on a skilled local workforce to create nationally known food, medical, home, construction and automotive products.
and cure master at Johnston County Hams. “That hard work ethic, which is found throughout Johnston County, allows our company to cure about 60,000 hams a year that we ship all over the United States.” Brown says Johnston County Hams are known as a higher-quality product, so the company has an elite customer base. “We don’t sell to supermarkets or delis – just places like high-end restaurants and country clubs,” Brown says. “It takes at least three months for our hams to cure, and we have some that cure for six months to a year. Several of our hams sell for $300 apiece.” Men’s Journal magazine even proclaimed Johnston County Hams among their “100 Best Foods to Eat in America.” “Our company of 10 employees also makes prosciutto as well as dry-cured bacon, smoked turkey and country sausage,” Brown says. “We’ve been doing business in Johnston County for a long time and enjoy what we do.”
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Made in

Stevens Sausage has been producing pork sausage, souse, chitterlings, smoked sausage, hot dogs, hot dog chili and country hams in Smithfield since 1946, and Carolina Packers has been preparing its own line of sausages, bologna, chili and red hots in Smithfield since 1941. “We have a loyal and skilled group of employees. In fact, some of our employees have worked nowhere else but at our facility during their entire professional lives,” says Jimmy Butler, sales and marketing manager at Carolina Packers. “Johnston County’s economic roots are in agriculture, and our company continues to be part of that long-standing agricultural tradition.” Another local success story is Johnston County Hams, which began in Smithfield in 1946 and continues to dry-cure country hams at its original location. “We like the small town environment of doing business in Johnston County, and the people we employ are all hard workers,” says Rufus Brown, manager

39

Demand the Best.
Residential • CommeRCial • industRial
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1-888-seeGaRs • www.seegarsfence.com

NEW PATI E WEL NTS COM E

Benson AreA MedicAl center is A coMMunity-owned, non-profit providing quAlity heAlth cAre to All Ages.
The providers at Benson Area Medical Center Inc. are specially trained and certified in the care of infants, children, adults and the elderly. We are dedicated to giving caring service and providing comprehensive health care to all members of your family.

3333 N.C. Hwy. 242 N. • Benson, NC • (919) 894-2011 www.bensonmedical.org

40

J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

Business Spotlight
Quickshirts
Quickshirts, a family-owned and -operated company in Princeton, specializes in digital graphics, screen printing and embroidery. Customers select products and choose clip art, designs and text to be added to the items. www.quickshirts.com Caterpillar Inc. plans to create 200 jobs at its facility in Clayton.

Springhill Outfitters
This outdoors and sporting goods store in Selma stocks firearms, archery equipment, fishing supplies and clothing. It also includes an indoor shooting range and a virtual archery hunting simulation system. www.springhilloutfitters.com

Dating Back to 1757 Also doing business in Johnston County are a couple of long-standing gristmill operations. House-Autry Mills in Four Oaks is a food company that began in North Carolina in 1812, while the origins of Selma-based AtkinsonMilling date back to 1757. Sysco Raleigh is also a long-time company in Selma that distributes food products to restaurants, hospitals, schools and hotels all along the East Coast. In the medical/pharmaceutical field, successful companies in Johnston County include Novo Nordisk in Clayton (insulin pens), and Becton, Dickinson and Company in Four Oaks that is a medical technology researcher. In addition, Grifols Inc. is a global health-care researcher in Clayton, while Natvar in Clayton supplies medical tubing for hospitals and physician offices. Heavy-duty equipment and component companies also conduct successful operations in Johnston County including Caterpillar Inc. that is investing $33 million and will create 200 jobs over the next five years at its Clayton manufacturing facility. Also doing well in Johnston County is Sona BLW Precision Forge, whose Selma plant manufactures precision-forged gear and axle components for heavy-duty vehicles.

$80 Million in Annual Product At Precisionaire of Smithfield, the company manufactures air filtration products and has more than 600 employees along with an annual payroll of $15 million. “Smithfield is an ideal location for us because we are close to Interstate 95, so we can logistically handle a lot of our air filtration products from that facility,” says Brenda Davis, senior vice president of human resources for Flanders Corporation, parent company to Precisionaire. “The Smithfield site even stayed busy during the economic downturn, and more than $80 million in product moves out of Smithfield each year.” Precisionaire of Smithfield’s air filters can be purchased at stores such as Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Tru Value and Walmart. “We recently upgraded the Smithfield facility and now have 1 million square feet of space for manufacturing,” Davis says. “Yes, our company truly enjoys doing business in Johnston County.”  by Kevin Litwin

Jones Lunch
Jones Lunch in downtown Clayton dates to 1958, and its decor and menu retain classic qualities of that bygone era. The diner is famous for its locally made Bright Leaf brand hot dogs, as well as its burgers and sandwiches. (919) 553-7528

Ken Tart Photography
Ken Tart of Ken Tart Photography specializes in portraits and event photography. Based in Benson, Tart is a member of the Professional Photographers of North Carolina and the Professional Photographers of America. www.kentartphotography.com

Smithfield City Florist
Bouquets and floral arrangements for a variety of occasions are available at Smithfield City Florist. The family-owned and -operated business also offers gift baskets, greeting cards, candles and other items. www.smithfieldcityflorist.com
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Stay plugged into Johnston County’s business community at livability.com/smithfield/ nc/business.

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business: Chamber Report

Lucky Seven
While the Greater SmithfieldSelma Area Chamber is the largest chamber of commerce in Johnston County, six others – the Benson Area Chamber, Clayton Chamber, Four Oaks Area Chamber, Greater Cleveland Chamber, Kenly Area Chamber and Princeton Chamber – also serve the needs of the area’s many businesses.

County’s chambers cooperate for successful initiatives
“In Johnston County, the seven chambers all represent their own areas and local communities, but we join together when there are countywide needs,” says Rick Childrey, the president of the Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce. Childrey says the chambers sponsor four big annual events. “One of them is the Johnston County Schools Teacher of the Year Program, where 20 teachers throughout the county are nominated as top teachers, and one of them wins a prestigious Flame for Learning Award,” he says. Lead by Example The chambers also collaborate for the Leadership Johnston initiative, which helps train people to be better leaders. A steering committee of chamber members organizes the eight-month-long program where participants learn about economic development, tourism, education, government and charitable organizations in Johnston County. “There is also a new initiative called Junior Leadership that will begin in 2013,” Childrey says. “It will involve juniors in high school who are rising leaders, and they will spend one week during the summer learning about career development and how they can always be successful in Johnston County.” Childrey adds that the chambers also sponsor a Legislative Session in the spring, where state legislators speak to members on subjects interesting to everyone. The chambers also back an economic development luncheon in August where speakers address the economy and trends in Johnston County. “Last but certainly not least, the chambers combine their efforts to back this magazine – the annual Livability Johnston County magazine,” he says. “We all sponsor the publication and share the commission from advertising sales. It would be difficult to put together individual publications in each community, so we are happy to all back this one fine magazine for all of Johnston County.”  by Kevin Litwin

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J o h n s t o n Co u n t y

economic profile
13% 26% 5%

Taxes

1,000-500

499-250 employees

County Sales Tax 56%

4.75%
education level
  High School Graduate   Associate Degree   Bachelor’s Degree   Master’s Degree State Sales Tax

Top Employers
 Automatic Rolls of North Carolina; Becton, Dickinson and Company; 3C Packaging; SONA BLW Precision Forge Inc.; Natvar  Flanders Precision Air  Grifols; Caterpillar Inc.; Novo Nordisk; Sysco Corporation

6.75%
Total Sales Tax

Scorecard

Income

Transportation
Raleigh-Durham International Airport www.rdu.com Port of Wilmington www.ncports.com

$2B
Annual Retail Sales

$49,888
Median Household Income

$197M
Annual Hotel and Food Sales

13,283
Total Number of Firms

$22,731
Per Capita Money Income

249-100 employees

Union Pacific Railroad www.up.com

This section is sponsored by

Opening Doors – Connecting Dreams
Clayton offiCe Denise Pilkington, Realtor® SRES, Broker/Manager Smithfield offiCe Whit Whitley, Realtor® GRI, CRS, Broker in Charge

(919) 359-2131
10007 U.S. 70 Business Hwy. W. Near Hwy. 42 E. Intersection
Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated

(919) 934-4550
200 Fareway Dr., Off W. Market St. Across from Rose Manor Subdivision

… The only company that has Sold Johnston County 50+ years …

employees

2%

Ad Index
40 Benson Area Medical Center 44 Campbell University 32 Caterpillar Inc. 43 Clayton – Century 21 Suburban Real Estate Inc. 29 Eason Scovil Stephenson & Associates 42 Four Oaks Bank 30 Harnett Health System C3 Johnston Community College 44 Johnston County Economic Development C4 Johnston Health 30 Liberty Commons 33 Mitchell Temporary Services Inc. 30 Novo Nordisk 33 Rainbow Lanes 40 Seegars Fence Company 43 Smithfield – Century 21 Suburban Real Estate Inc. C2 Spring Branch Medical Pavilion 32 Stephenson General Contractors 2 Super 8 Smithfield 4 The Tina Barletta Team

Johnston
County, North Carolina
Editor | Lisa Battles Contributing Writers | Barbara Biehler, Kim Madlom, Nancy Mann, Jackson, Spencer Mohead, Tiffany Williams Content Coordinator | Jessica Walker Boehm Staff Writer | Kevin Litwin Proofreading Manager | Raven Petty Lead Designer | Kara Leiby Senior Graphic Designers | Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Kris Sexton, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers | Kacey Passmore, Matt West Creative Technology Analyst | Becca Ary Lead Photographer | Martin B. Cherry Senior Photographers | Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers | Michael Conti, Wendy Jo O’Barr, Frank Ordonez Color Imaging Technician | Alison Hunter Executive Integrated Media Manager | Suzi McGruder Sales Support Project Manager | Sara Quint Sales Support Coordinator | Christina Morgan Ad Production Manager | Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants | Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan Web Project Manager | David Day Digital Project Manager | Jill Ridenour Digital Products Designer | Erica Lampley Web Development Lead | Yamel Hall Web Developer I | Nels Noseworthy Web Designer II | Richard Stevens Web Product Manager | John Hood Chairman | Greg Thurman President/Publisher | Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President | Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales | Todd Potter Senior V.P./Client Development | Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./Operations | Casey Hester V.P./Sales | Jarek Swekosky V.P./Content Operations | Natasha Lorens Audience Development Director | Deanna Nelson Creative Services Director | Christina Carden Distribution Director | Gary Smith Photography Director | Jeffrey S. Otto Web Services Director | Allison Davis Controller | Chris Dudley Senior Accountant | Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator | Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator | Diana Guzman IT Director | Daniel Cantrell Executive Secretary | Kristy Giles Human Resources Manager | Peggy Blake Receptionist | Linda Bishop

2013 edition

volume 8

Livability: Johnston County, North Carolina is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Johnston County Association of Chambers of Commerce and their member businesses. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by email at info@jnlcom.com. For more information, contact: Johnston County Association of Chambers of Commerce 1115 Industrial Park Dr., P.O. Box 467 Smithfield, NC 27577 Phone: (919) 934-9166 • Fax: (919) 934-1337 www.smithfieldselma.com Visit Livability: Johnston County, North Carolina online at livability.com/johnston-county ©Copyright 2013 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Member The Association of Magazine Media Custom Content Council

Member Greater Smithfield-Selma Area Chamber of Commerce

44

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