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Information for Developers

Johnston County is strategically located east of the State Capitol of Raleigh in Wake County. The area forming the Wake County / Johnston County border has recently developed as a vibrant commercial and housing market attracting retail and residential opportunities for thousands of new residents. It is estimated that over 70% of all new building permits issued within Johnston County occur within this western portion of the County. For more information about obtaining a permit, see Inspections.

As a result of this growth, average daily traffic counts have exploded on the interstate highway networks and four-lane divided highways of US 70 Business and Bypass. Over one million cars per month traverse the north/south corridor established by Interstate 95. An even larger volume of traffic utilizes US Highway 70 between I-95 and the State Capitol.  Average daily traffic counts at strategic locations have been catalogued and graphed since 1992 and can be obtained online or through the Economic Development Office.

As expected, retail sales have surged, reflecting the expanded population base as well as shopping patterns of commuters. Johnston County annually exceeds $1 billion per year in retail sales.

In spite of a population base that is expanding at a rate of 5% per year, Johnston County has been able to maintain much of its rural character. Green space areas are now encouraged for all major subdivisions. Golf course communities and planned urban development areas strive to accent rolling topography and in many cases pine plantations formally owned and managed by national timber companies.

Rail Transportation

The railroads within Johnston County have been instrumental in the development of all 11 municipalities. CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corporation provide rail service to many local industries as well as passenger service for Amtrak. These two railroads converge at Selma, North Carolina west of Exit #98 on Interstate 95.

Air Transportation

The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is a 30-minute drive from Clayton. There are over 100 flights per day provided by numerous carriers that include Southwest, US Airways, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, AirTran, American, Continental, and more.

In addition to the RDU airport, the Johnston County Airport Authority operates an airport located west of Smithfield. The airport maintains a 5500-foot long, 100-foot wide runway that easily supports 65,000 pounds for dual-gear aircraft. The airport offers a full instrument landing system (ILS) with distance measuring equipment and associated approach lighting. Fuel is available, both JET A and AVGAS during normal business hours and afterwards upon request. For more information, see the Johnston County Airport web site.

Natural Gas, Electricity, Water and Wastewater

Piedmont Natural Gas operates and maintains a 10-inch natural gas main that generally traverses Johnston County from east to west. In addition to transmitting quantities of gas, numerous two-inch and four-inch laterals extend from this line to provide gas service to the towns of Benson, Clayton, Smithfield, Selma, and Wilson's Mills. See the Piedmont Natural Gas web site for more information.

Electricity in Johnston County is currently provided by several different electrical distributors.  They include Progress Energy (formally Carolina Power & Light), ElectriCities, and South River EMC. The Towns of Smithfield, Selma, Benson, and Clayton provide electrical service through their membership to North Carolina ElectriCities. The majority of the County has electrical service provided by Progress Energy.

Utilities that include water and wastewater services are managed by the County and independently by several County municipalities. The County has a 12 million gallon per day (mgd) surface water treatment plant and bulk water purchase agreements with public utilities in adjacent counties. The total supply capacity is 17.6 mgd. A 24” and 16” diameter pipeline network extends east/west and north/south generally tracking US Hwy. 70 and Interstate 95. The transmission network is supported by interconnecting 16” and 12” mains, 17 booster pumping stations, and 11 elevated tanks with an aggregate storage volume of 3.8 million gallons. The Towns of Benson, Clayton, Kenly, and Princeton operate separate wastewater treatment plants while the Towns of Smithfield, Selma, Pine Level, Four Oaks, and a portion of the Town of Clayton’s service areas is treated by the Central Johnston County Wastewater Treatment Plant located in Smithfield. The Central Regional Plant has a capacity of 9.5 mgd. Costs for County utility services can be obtained by directly contacting the Public Utilities Department. For more information, see the Public Utilities web site.

Education

Education is a key component for all location decisions. Twenty-two percent of Johnston County's workforce is employed in manufacturing. Manufacturing operations include companies such as Caterpillar, Novo Nordisk, Grifols, and more, as well as numerous distribution operations. You can view the List of Current Manufacturing Facilities.

Because of interconnecting interstates and US highways, labor migration in and out is accomplished easily. A significant portion of Johnston County's workforce commutes to work outside the county, primarily in Wake County. Wake County is the home of North Carolina State University (NCSU), Peace College, Wake Technical Community College, NC State Government, and medical complexes including Wake Medical, Rex Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, as well as an extensive service economy.

Johnston Community College, located on a 100-acre campus in Smithfield, offers associate degree programs and specialty training for industries. Under the new and expanding industry program, custom designed courses offered by industries can be taught at no charge to new employees. This program is also available to companies that are currently located here and are expanding.


 

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Johnston County Economic Development Office
3149 Swift Creek Road, Smithfield, NC USA 27577
Phone: 919-205-1232     E-Mail: econdev@johnstonnc.com