Economy in Dunn, NC
Harnett County economic development officials give a lot of site tours, and for good reason. Employers, both new and potential, who are looking for a great location, infrastructure, workforce and business climate can find it all here.
Fort Bragg, Multiple Airports
“Our proximity to the Raleigh-Durham area, in terms of research and development companies as well as being near Fort Bragg, are big selling points for us,” says Phyllis Owens, director of the Harnett County Economic Development Commission. “We also have our own Harnett Regional Jetport as well as the major airports in Raleigh and Fayetteville. We work with companies that support the military because we can put them on land, or in an industrial park, that is less than 20 miles from Fort Bragg. And for companies that want to be near Raleigh, we offer a lower cost of living with a better quality of life.”
Owens says about 30,000 people live in Harnett County and drive north or south for work every day, so there’s a solid workforce in place for new businesses.
“We think a lot of those people would love to give up that commute, so we want to bring in companies to help make that happen,” she says.
Industrial Parks, Workforce Development
The county offers multiple sites for new and continuing development, including Edgerton Industrial Park near I-95, and Western Harnett Industrial Park, which has 227 acres of available property. It also can offer significant help for startup and growing companies through the Triangle South Enterprise Center, based at Central Carolina Community College.
“We serve as the small business center for Harnett County, and have many programs to help them meet the many challenges they face,” says Nancy Blackman, director. “We have classes, seminars and counseling to make sure they are headed in the right direction.”
Educational Institutions Booming
The Brightwater Science & Technology Campus and park, which now has a new hospital and community care center, and is now building a health sciences building, is one example of how education and technology have taken off in Harnett County. It’s joined by East Carolina University, which has added a four-year dental program, and Campbell University, which has added an osteopathic medical school to its offerings. Not to be outdone, Central Carolina Community College continues to expand its course lineup, and also work with new and existing companies on training programs.
“They are all huge for us,” Owens says. “Our education instructions are a major engine in our economic development.”
Loyal Local Businesses
Companies that start here stay here, and few are better examples than Family Medical Supply, which is based in Dunn. While the overall economic climate is challenging, Harnett County has proven to be a great base of operations for this growing company, says Joey Tart, president and CEO.
“Everybody says things like that,” Owens says. “We have an excellent team here, from our businesses to our elected officials. We constantly work together. If I pick up the phone and say I am down the road with a client, showing some property, and they have questions, I can end up with someone coming down to answer those. We collaborate really well here.”
Find more on business in Dunn, NC.