The economy of Lenoir County is growing thanks to a healthy mix of large and small manufacturers and a strong foundation of small businesses, tourism and agriculture, plus the region has a good transportation system in place.
The main highway in Kinston is U.S 70, offering access to the North Carolina coast and I-95, while other highways serving Kinston and Lenoir County include U.S. 258, NC 11, NC 58 and NC 55. For rail, a four-directional network of rail lines in the region is operated by Norfolk Southern as well as CSX, and Lenoir County has good proximity to deep-water ports in Wilmington and Morehead for distribution and warehousing companies.
For air freight and private flights, the region is served by Kinston Regional Jetport, whose single runway is one of the longest in the southeastern United States at 11,500 feet. Kinston Regional also houses Foreign Trade Zone No. 214. Raleigh-Durham International is the closest commercial airport, with service to more than 45 domestic and international destinations.
NC Global TransPark
North Carolina Global TransPark is a 2,500-acre industrial park located on the grounds of Kinston Regional Jetport, and current tenants include Crate Tech, DB Schenker, Henley Aviation, Lenoir Community College, Longistics, MJE Telestructure, Mountain Air Cargo, N.C. Emergency Management, N.C. Forest Service, North Carolina's Eastern Region and Spirit AeroSystems. The park’s goal is to bring even more high-tech industry and economic development to eastern North Carolina.
Lenoir Community College has a Workforce Training Center that provides free customized training programs to companies that create 12 or more jobs in a year, and participating employers may be reimbursed up to 50 percent of an individual employee’s starting wage rate during the training period. LCC can also perform skills assessments of job candidates prior to their hiring through aptitude testing at the college’s JobLink Career Centers at various locations throughout the region.
Agriculture plays a key role in the Lenoir County economy, with about 68 percent of the county’s total personal income originating from some type of agricultural production or service. Lenoir County ranks ninth in the state in tobacco and cotton production, and is among the top 20 counties for corn, soybeans and wheat production. Successful local farms include Harvey Gin & Cotton Co., Sycamore Farms, and Tull Hill Farms, which grows tobacco, cotton, soybeans, lettuce, cabbage and yams.
Check out the top employers in Kinston, NC.