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HARNETT COUNTYNC 2016 • Courtesy of Harnett Co. Economic Development Commission, Dunn Tourism & Local Chambers of Commerce

g n i liv

Living the Good Life in Harnett

Playing Around in Our Backyard

Expanding the Medical Corridor


l contents 3

Welcome to Harnett County

in this issue Location & Demographics

4

Quality of Life

8

Natural Attractions

15

Education

20

Business & Industry

26

Healthcare

32

Publisher Joy Crowe, Main Street Media www.mainstreetmedianc.com Writer & Editor Karen Poppele Design Contributions Wildhair LLC Contributing Photographers Mike Fleming Photography, Larry Lynn, Michael Walker, Tricia Bristow - Just Smile Photography Marketing Andrea Julian Published by Main Street Media on behalf of Angier Chamber of Commerce, Coats Chamber of Commerce, Dunn Travel & Tourism, Dunn Chamber of Commerce, Erwin Chamber of Commerce, Harnett County Economic Development and Lillington Chamber of Commerce. On the cover: Raven Rock State Park is a wonderful place to experience the beauty of the Cape Fear River as it rambles by rock formations. Through the ages, flowing waters and swirling winds gradually eroded the land, carving and sculpting Raven Rock. This immense crystalline structure rises to 150 feet and stretches for more than a mile along the Cape Fear River. This photo was taken at Cedar Rock, part of the cliff face that runs along

On behalf of the Harnett County Board of Commissioners, our county employees and our citizens, I want to welcome you and thank you for your interest in our county. We have an exciting story to tell, and we’re eager to share it. In Harnett County, our motto is “Strong Roots, New Growth.” Our strong roots come from our history in agriculture. We are also blessed with abundant natural resources that make Harnett County a great place for an outdoor adventure. You can go for a hike at Raven Rock State Park, go kayaking or rafting through Class II rapids down the Cape Fear River, play golf on one of several acclaimed golf courses in the county with PGA connections or go back in time with a tour of Averasboro Civil War Battlefield. We’re a proud county with a rich heritage, but we also embrace the new growth of the future. Conveniently located between Research Triangle Park to the north and Fort Bragg to the south, Harnett County is one of the fastest-growing counties in North Carolina, with a population that has grown from 68,000 residents in 1990 to nearly 130,000 today. Harnett County is also an attractive place for business and industry, with direct access to numerous major interstates and one of the premiere countyowned water systems in North Carolina. We have seen numerous success stories in the last several years, capped off by last year’s opening of Rooms To Go’s 1.4 million-square-foot regional distribution center and retail store in Dunn. We are a business-friendly county, and Harnett County Economic Development is constantly working to attract new business and industry, to help existing businesses grow and expand and to provide resources for residents to start the next Fortune 500 Company. Industries in Harnett County also have access to Central Carolina Community College and its workforce development programs, which can train employees for any industry. One of our county’s greatest assets is Campbell University, which has dramatically renovated its Buies Creek campus and added several highly regarded programs. The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine was the first new medical school to open in North Carolina in more than 35 years. Campbell is currently constructing a new $22 million addition to its 40-acre Health Science Campus, which will house its Nursing School, and the university will add an Engineering School this year. Campbell also provides a wealth of entertainment options, including arts, lectures and sporting events. With all we have going on in Harnett County, our best asset is still our people. Harnett County residents are ready to extend a warm welcome to visitors and new residents alike, and to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. It’s this down-home demeanor that so many people find attractive about our county. We feel we’ve got a lot to offer and hope you’ll come see for yourself just what makes Harnett County such a special place to work, play and build a life.

the southern shore of the Cape Fear. Photo by Michael Walker, Park Ranger, Raven Rock State Park.

Joseph Jeffries, Harnett County Manager


4 location and demographics

Cotton farm at sunrise in Lillington. Photo: Mike Fleming

Harnett County — “Strong Roots, New Growth” Harnett County, located in the Coastal Plain region of central North Carolina, offers residents easy access to the best of many worlds, from ever-expanding educational and business opportunities, to a great “small-town” living experience and abundant recreational activities, all wrapped up in a picturesque rural setting.

History and Heritage First settled in the early 1700s and then later by Scottish immigrants who traveled up the Cape Fear River in search of reasonably priced land, present-day Harnett County was part of Cumberland County until 1855, when a growing population warranted the establishment of a new county. The county was named for Cornelius Harnett of Wilmington, an American Revolutionary War soldier and NC delegate to the Continental Congress,

in legislation introduced by one of his descendants, Cornelius Harnett Coffield. Early residents worked small farms and raised livestock, as well as extracted resin from the abundant longleaf pine forests to support the naval stores industry. Today, Harnett County maintains its ties to a rich heritage deeply rooted in agriculture and natural resources, yet provides vibrant and viable economic opportunities for growth and expansion to meet the demands and challenges of an ever-changing global economy –– and an excellent environment in which to live and play! Location and Connection Bordered by Sampson and Johnston counties to the east; Wake County to the north; Chatham, Lee and Moore counties to the west; and Cumberland County (Fort Bragg US Army Base) to the south, Harnett County’s central location and proximity to major highways enable residents to

enjoy the combined benefits of living and working in a rural county and easy access to the economic, educational and cultural amenities of nearby metropolitan areas. Less than an hour north are the state capital of Raleigh, the globally recognized Research Triangle Park (RTP) and Raleigh-Durham (RDU) International Airport. Just 20 minutes to the south is Fort Bragg, the largest US Army base in terms of population and home to the 82nd Airborne, US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) and US Army Reserve Command (USARC) Headquarters. Fayetteville and its regional airport are a 30-minute drive away. Home to Campbell University, Harnett County also lies within an hour’s drive to the University of NC System campuses, North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus, Duke University and community colleges. The state’s pristine beaches and coastal waterways are only two hours away and the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains,


location and demographics 5 less than four. Primary transportation routes include I-95, US 301, US 421 and US 401, with connections to I-40 a short distance away. North Carolina routes 24, 27, 42, 55, 82, 87, 210 and 217 link businesses, communities and attractions throughout the county. Communities “on the Grow” Nearly 126,000* people call Harnett County home, and thanks to a friendly business environment, an affordable cost of living and a significant connection with nearby Fort Bragg, the population is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 2.8% to over 146,000 by 2019. The county is home to five municipalities: Dunn, Erwin, Angier, Coats and Lillington. (*According to a July 2014 Certified Population Estimate.) Dunn – “Where Community Matters!” Dunn, incorporated in 1887, is the largest town in Harnett County, with nearly 10,000 residents. Known as Tearshirt and Lucknow in its early days as a logging town and center for distilling turpentine, it was renamed Dunn in 1886 to honor Bennett R. Dunn, a construction engineer with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad who was responsible for laying the railroad through Dunn that connected the cities of Wilson and Fayetteville.

League in 1989 and 2013. It is also the hometown of Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, the “Father of the American Airborne,” and early rock-and-roll guitarist Link Wray. Dunn prizes diversity and is home to one of the historic Rosenwald schools, at its time one of the largest black schools in eastern North Carolina. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Harnett County Training School has been preserved through restoration as apartments for senior citizens, and the campus is home to a satellite campus for Central Carolina Community College. Erwin – “Pride in our Past…Hope in our Future” While Erwin’s history spans just over a century, the community near the banks of the Cape Fear River sits in an area rich in history dating back to colonial times. The town is located near the site of Averasboro, an old settlement mentioned in both the Revolutionary War and the War Between the States. Timber rafters traveling to sawmills near Wilmington,

often carrying cotton bales and turpentine, stopped at Averasboro for rest and supplies. Home to nearly 5,000 residents, Erwin was founded in 1903 as a mill town known as Duke. Success in the tobacco industry enabled the Duke family of Durham to invest in textiles. Erwin Cotton Mills Company Mill No. 2, with William A. Erwin as manager, and its proximity to cotton fields and plentiful labor, drove the town’s growth and development, including establishment of Harnett County’s first hospital in 1910. The mill workers had access to a swimming pool, bowling alley, baseball field, theater, park and even a zoo. In 1926, when Trinity College in Durham became Duke University, the village of Duke was renamed Erwin, which became known as the “Denim Capital of the World.” In April 2015, the Erwin Commercial Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and though the mill closed in 2000, a tight sense of community continues to weave through Erwin as residents look to future industry and growth through ecotourism and healthcare. Angier – “Town of Crepe Myrtles” Angier, chartered in 1901, was named after Col. Jonathan Cicero

Today, Dunn enjoys a growing economy rooted in agriculture, distribution, manufacturing and tourism, and was designated an All-America City by the National Civic

Ideal Location & Weather Location – 35.3700º N, 78.8600º W

Weather

Avg. Annual Low Temperature – 50ºF

Land area, 2010 Census – 594.99 square miles

Annual Rainfall – 49 inches

Avg. July High – 89.5ºF

Annual Snowfall – 5 inches

Avg. Jan. Low – 30.4ºF

Elevation – 246’

Avg. Annual Temperature – 61ºF

Precipitation Days – 103

Population – 125,730 (July 2014 estimate)

Avg. Annual High Temperature – 72ºF

Sunny Days – 217


6 location & demographics Angier, who, with the backing of the Duke family, was instrumental in bringing what would become the Durham and Southern Railroad to the area to move lumber and later cotton, tobacco, turpentine and other goods to and from Raleigh and Dunn. Home to one of the first high school buildings in Harnett County, Angier is also known as the “Town of Crepe Myrtles” after the trees, which bloom all summer. In the 1930s, the Angier Woman’s Club planted the trees along the roadways leading into town from all directions. A sleepy little Southern town not long ago, Angier has experienced rapid growth of nearly 34% over the past 15 years, due in part to its close proximity to Raleigh, about 20 miles away, and Research Triangle Park. And though the town has grown significantly to

accommodate the influx of new residents, it remains a quiet place where neighbors know one another, and opportunity abounds. Coats – “N.C. First Licensed Aviator” The Town of Coats was named for James Thomas Coats, originally from Johnston County. In 1870, 26-year-old Coats, who served as a corporal in the Confederate Army, purchased 700 acres of valuable farm and timberlands in Harnett County. He opened a general store, attracting other farmers and the railroad, and in 1903, the town was established. Today the town of over 2,000 citizens covers approximately two square miles, with an additional mile around the town under the town’s zoning jurisdiction. Main Street is home to renovated buildings, new sidewalks and a true “small town” feel.

Coats’ Main Street is home to renovated buildings, new sidewalks, and a true “small town” feel. Photo: Tricia Bristow, Just Smile Photography

Located about seven miles west of Interstate 95 and four miles from Harnett Regional Jetport, Coats is just three miles from the second-largest private university in North Carolina, Campbell University. Many residents work in Research Triangle Park, and others commute to the U.S. Army Base at Fort Bragg. Coats enjoys small-town advantages like friendliness, low traffic, low crime rates, excellent schools and affordability, as well as access to recreation, larger shopping areas and entertainment centers nearby. It is home to the second oldest Farmer’s Day Festival in the southeast, museums that preserve its heritage and North Carolina’s first

licensed aviator, Alton Stewart, who developed his flying interest at Camp Bragg’s Pope Field during World War I. Lillington – “Community on the Cape Fear” Lillington, the county seat of Harnett County, was named in honor of Alexander Lillington of Wilmington, one of the Patriot commanders at the Battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge in 1776. Chartered by the State of North Carolina on March 4, 1903, the Town of Lillington was established when the Harnett County Commissioners purchased 100 acres of land near a ferry crossing on the south side of the Cape Fear River. Located in central Harnett County along the scenic banks of the Cape Fear River, Lillington is centered between Raleigh and Fayetteville and enjoys a proud, small-town heritage with an excellent quality of life. The population increased 16.9% to 3,408, from 2000 to 2013. Lillington is growing to the north with proximity to Raleigh, to the east with expansion of Campbell University and to the south with military interest from Fort Bragg. The town is home to a new Botanical Trail, a one-mile loop over 12 acres that opened on Earth Day 2015. A $250,000 Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Grant awarded in October 2015 will fund Phase I of the Lillington River Park on the Cape Fear River, a nearly eight-acre park providing a unique riverfront amenity for Lillington, including playground, picnic shelter and amphitheater. Lillington’s progressive land use plan update in 2015 envisions “the region’s premier version of small-town urbanism,” underscoring Lillington’s investment in and emphasis upon the live-work-learn-shop-play lifestyle in the times to come. In addition to the healthy growth experienced by the five municipalities, western Harnett County, just north of


location & demographics 7 Fort Bragg along the Hwy 87 corridor, continues to grow, thanks to the significant impact of a vibrant and expanding defense community, part of the 11-county All American Defense Corridor. The area between Spring Lake and Sanford includes Spout Springs, home to about 41,000 residents, which encompasses parts of Barbecue, Anderson Creek and Johnsonville townships. Anderson Creek Club, a fast-growing gated community featuring a Davis Love III-designed golf course, focuses on this military connection, providing neighborhoods with a vision of serving as a “Military Welcoming Community,” working to “enhance the lives of the active, reserve, guard and retired members of the United States Armed Forces.” With a cost of living lower than the U.S. average and a variety of affordable housing in small-town settings complemented by a central location and easy access to the conveniences of nearby metropolitan areas, Harnett County offers inviting opportunities for both living and doing business.

Community Profile

Population

127,348*

Age 10.54%

18 and under

10.13%

27.67%

18-34 35-54 55-64

27.04%

65+

24.62%

**Percentages based on total 118,793.

Welcome to Harnett County, where our strong roots continue to grow deep and wide. Sources: http://accessnc.commerce.state.nc.us/docs/countyProfile/ NC/37085.pdf, www.bestplaces.net/climate/county/north_carolina/

27

Transportation

harnett, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/37/37085.html

$132,600

Median Travel Time to Work

Minutes

Median Home Price

$544

Closest Airports

Median Rent

6 miles from County Center to Harnett Regional Jetport 50 miles to Raleigh Durham International Airport 1.06% .89%

Race**

7.6%

White Black

Angier is ready to welcome you. With quick, easy access to the Triangle area, but a small hometown feeling, your opportunity awaits. Come grow with us.

919-639-2071 • www.angier.org

Other

21.02%

69.42%

Asian American Indian or Alaska Native

11% Hispanic Ethnicity 13,213, or 11.12%, of population is Hispanic or Latino**

*Source: 2014 Projected population, AccessNC, North Carolina Economic Data and Site Information. **Source: US Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey.


8 quality of life

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quality of life 9

Living the Good Life in Harnett County From history and sports to festivals and food, Harnett County offers something for everyone in the family to explore and enjoy.

S

ettled in the 1700s, Harnett County is rooted deep in history. It is home to numerous museums detailing the area’s development, honoring the contributions of individuals and celebrating the events that give Harnett County its unique and rich heritage. Averasboro Civil War Battlefield and Museum details the events of the March 1865 Battle of Averasboro and is the site of annual living history events and reenactments. The Coats History Museum and Coats Cotton Museum offer a glimpse of ancestors’

lives and work on the farm, and visitors will relive the stories of timber rafters and learn how the textile empire grew at the Erwin History Room. The Harnett County Indian Museum in Kipling preserves the memory of the Harnett County Indian villages that once thrived along the Cape Fear River. And military history buffs can explore the life of Dunn native Maj. Gen. William C. Lee, known as the “Father of the American Airborne,” and the story of the early years of the US Army Airborne at the General William C. Lee Airborne Museum. North Carolina has an outstanding zoo just over an hour away in Asheboro, but one does not have to travel far to see local and not-so-local wildlife. Noah’s Landing, a 12-acre nature center in Coats, features a wide

variety of unusual domestic and exotic animals, and privately owned Aloha Safari Zoo in Cameron houses hundreds of animals that have been injured, abused, abandoned or donated from various people who no longer wish to care for them, as well as miniature horses bred and raised on the property. The Lundy-Fetterman Museum and Exhibit Hall at Campbell University includes 175 exhibits of exotic specimens from as far away as Iran and Africa that one may otherwise never encounter. Plenty awaits exploration for both residents and visitors alike in Harnett County, from historic homes, plantations and churches to museums — featuring cars, the history of scouting, and even gourds — many of which are free, encouraging repeat visits!

Harnett County is home to people with a deep love of history and heritage. Over 100 churches serve a diverse population of all faiths. This is Summerville Presbyterian Church, built in Lillington in 1849. The sanctuary, one of the few surviving examples of early 19th century architecture in this region, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cemetery contains the graves of many notable community leaders, as well as original immigrants from Scotland. Photo: Mike Fleming.


Averasboro Civil War Battlefield and Museum hosts living history events. Photo: Larry Lynn

10 quality of life Fine Arts The fine arts are alive and flourishing in Harnett County, from performances to instruction at the professional and amateur levels. The Harnett County Arts Council, a nonprofit arts organization in Lillington, supports visual, performing and liberal arts, as well as historical and cultural programs. Campbell University Arts Department in Buies Creek presents musical and drama productions all year. Harnett Regional Theatre in Dunn offers live productions in Stewart Theatre, a remodeled movie theater with stage. Heart of Harnett Playhouse, a local nonprofit theater in Lillington, invites locals to join and share their talent in producing outstanding Broadway musicals, dramas and mysteries. For those wishing to explore their own talents or broaden their experiences, privately owned studios offer instruction in musical instruments and voice, dance and art. And thanks to the county’s close proximity to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Fayetteville, additional opportunities to enjoy concerts, theater and art museums are within a short drive. Sports and Golf Sports enthusiasts will find that Harnett County has got their game. Fans can cheer on the Campbell University Fighting Camels in a variety of men and women’s NCAA sports, or take a quick drive to the Triangle area for other collegiate sports, professional

Averasboro Civil War Battlefield hosts living history events. Photo: Larry Lynn

minor league baseball with the Durham Bulls and NHL hockey with the Carolina Hurricanes. The area’s mild climate allows golfers to hit a round on a number of fun and challenging courses all year, including award-winning Anderson Creek Club in the western part of the county. Other area courses include Carolina Lakes Golf Course in Sanford, Chicora Golf Club of Dunn, the Keith Hills Golf Courses in Buies Creek (owned and operated by Campbell University and home of the PGA Golf Management and Fighting Camel Golf Teams), Pine Burr Golf in Lillington, Ponderosa Golf Club in Cameron and Sandy Ridge Golf in Dunn. Recreation for the family includes team sports through municipal parks & recreation departments and Western Harnett Youth Recreation. Other sports activities available include bowling, cheer, cross-fit, cycling, dance, disc golf, kayaking, lacrosse, paddleboarding, paint ball, skating, waterskiing — it’s all here in Harnett County!

Shopping and Dining While residents of Harnett County enjoy quick access to the Triangle area’s many shopping and dining options, the county’s local stores and restaurants invite folks to eat and shop local. Growth in Harnett County has led to revitalization efforts within the towns, bringing a greater variety of retail and restaurant offerings. From individually owned boutique and antique shops to thrift shops and familiar chains, from barbecue and Thai to the convenience of fast-food options, residents will find plenty of choices, and all close to home! Festivals and Events Harnett County is proud of its heritage and the citizens who have made significant contributions within the county and beyond. Each year, towns and communities gather together to celebrate the area’s history and the legacy of its residents at family-friendly festivals and gatherings attended by locals and visitors alike.

Fine Arts Angier Creative Arts Center 26 N. Broad St., Angier 910.263.0128 www.angiercreativearts.com

Harnett County Arts Council 816 S. Main St., Lillington 910.814.2807 www.harnettarts.org

Heart of Harnett Playhouse Old Lillington School auditorium 900 11th Street, Lillington 910.893.6333

Campbell University Arts Department Campbell University on 143 Main Street, Lillington 910.893.1495 (Music), 910.893.1509 (Drama), www.campbell.edu

Harnett Regional Theatre 114 N Wilson Avenue, Dunn 910.892.3282 www.onlinehrt.org

Stewart Theatre 114 N Wilson Avenue, Dunn 910.892.6011


quality of life 11

Festivals and Events 30th Anniversary Celebration of General William C. Lee www.generalleeairbornemuseum.org Coats Bluegrass in the Park www.coatsnc.org/festivities-.asp Coats Farmer’s Day www.coatsnc.org/festivities-.asp

Crepe Myrtle Festival, Angier www.angierchamber.org Erwin Denim Days www.erwin-nc.org/denim-days Erwin Wilderness Challenge www.erwin-nc.org

Lillington Independence Day Celebration www.lillingtonnc.org/news NC Cotton Festival, Dunn www.nccottonfestival.com Wings Over Harnett Fly-in www.harnett.org/wings

Lillington Fall Festival www.lillingtonchamber.org In 2016, the General William C. Lee Commission will host the 30th Anniversary Celebration of General William C. Lee, the “Father of the American Airborne,” June 5-11 in Dunn. A celebration held every five years, this event features community singing, a wreath-laying ceremony, essay contest, flag dedication ceremony, golf tournament and gospel sing, lawn party, parade, live entertainment and fireworks. June also brings the annual Erwin Wilderness Challenge, an 18-mile kayak/bike/run triathlon that runs through the countryside, down the Cape Fear River, and into Downtown Erwin. The County Seat of Lillington is home to the Fourth of July Celebration, including entertainment, food, children’s games and activities, exhibits and, of course, fireworks. You can find several Independence Day parades and celebrations across the county. Autumn brings an abundance of local festivities, including the Crepe Myrtle Celebration in the “Town of Crepe Myrtles,” Angier, held the second weekend in September. Beautiful blossoms, arts and crafts, food, entertainment, rides and fun for all ages bring visitors from across the state. Held annually the third Saturday in September, the Lillington Fall Festival is a downtown street festival that offers shopping with 75 vendors, all-day entertainment, fair food and children’s activities. Erwin, once known as the “Denim Capital of the World,”

celebrates its prestigious past the first weekend in October at “Denim Days,” with concerts, performances, a parade, crafts and foods, contests and pageants, car show, rides and more. Also in October is the Annual Coats Farmer’s Day. Started in 1910, this event honoring the area’s farming heritage consisted of competitions in field crops, garden and orchard products and canning. Today the celebration includes a golf tournament, a tractor show, live music, a kids’ park, assorted competitions and races, an antique-car show, military displays, a pig cook-off, judged crafts and baked goods and a street dance. In October, the Carolina blue sky takes center stage at the Wings Over Harnett Fly-in. Held at Harnett County Regional Jetport, this event is exciting for the entire family and features aircraft displays, parachute performances, helicopter rides and a

classic car cruise-in. Cotton is king at the NC Cotton Festival, held the first Saturday of November in historic downtown Dunn. This event celebrates and brings recognition to one of North Carolina’s prime agricultural products — cotton — with food, crafts, music, dancing, tours through an operating cotton gin and a cotton photo contest. Agriculture is still important to the area, and residents enjoy the benefits of locally sourced food at farmer’s markets in Dunn, Erwin and Lillington, or pick their own from farms throughout the county, many of which practice organic and sustainable farming practices. Throughout the year, communities come together for fun and support at other events like Annual Coats Chamber Bluegrass in the Park, Boogie on Broad in Dunn and Kellie’s Crew 5k Run, celebrating the things that make the Harnett County area great.

Thousands of residents come out to enjoy the Wings Over Harnett Fly-In, held annually in October. Photo: Brian Haney.


12 quality of life

Museums and Attractions Aloha Safari Zoo 159 Mini Lane, Cameron 919.770.7109 www.alohasafarizoo.org

The Howard House 402 S. Layton Avenue in Dunn’s historic section 910.892.5453 www.howardhousenc.com

Averasboro Civil War Battlefield and Museum NC 82, Exit 71, I-95 910.891.5019 www.averasboro.com

Lundy-Fetterman Museum and Exhibit Hall 165 Dr. McKoy Street, Buies Creek 910.814.4398

The Campbell House US 421 Buies Creek 910.893.3132 (Catherine King) Coats History Museum Corner of Hwy 55 (McKinley Street) and Jackson Street, Coats 910.897.5611 or 910.897.8352 www.coatsmuseum.com

Noah’s Landing 1489 Live Oak Road, Coats 910.897.NOAH (6624) www.noahslanding2x2.com General William C. Lee Airborne Museum 209 W. Divine Street, Dunn 910.892.1947 www.generalleeairbornemuseum.org

Coats Cotton Museum Corner of Hwy 55 (McKinley Street) and Jackson Street, Coats 910.897-5611 or 910.897.8352 www.coatsmuseum.com

Gourd Museum 28 N Raleigh Street, Angier 919.639.2071 www.angier.org

East Coast Classic Cars Hwy 421, Lillington 910.893.2484 www.ecoastcc.com

Hammerstone Scout Museum Leaflet Church Road, Lillington 910.814.2955 www.hammerstonescoutmuseum.org

Erwin History Room 110 W. F Street, Erwin 910.897.7300

Harnett County Indian Museum US 401N, Kipling 919.552.2336

Oak Grove Plantation House 8640 Burnett Road, Godwin 910.489.2907

Aloha Safari Zoo.

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Raised in Harnett County, Photographer Mike Fleming is known for his stunning landscape photos of the area. You can view his beautiful images of Harnett County at www.facebook.com/mflemingphotos.com and www.mflemingphotos.com.


14 quality of life

Experience Fun & Adventure on the Cape Fear!

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Central Carolina Community College offers a wide variety of programs at its Lillington campus and multiple instructional locations throughout Harnett County. Within these programs, students can earn associate degrees or college transfer credits, diplomas, or certificates. Some programs are offered entirely, or in part, via online distance education.

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Harnett County is Naturally Inviting Whether your interests include birding, biking, camping, canoeing or hiking, outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of natural, unspoiled beauty to explore in this unique and diverse region.

At one time, the coast was much

closer than a quick two-hour drive south! Harnett County is located in the Sandhills, a strip of ancient beach dunes believed to have formed at the edge of former coastlines created by rising and falling ocean levels as the polar ice caps melted and refroze in the geologic past. The hills, topped with a layer of coarse sand and extending from North Carolina to Georgia, divide the Piedmont from the Coastal Plain, and the scenic Cape Fear River slowly meanders across the

county on its journey to the Atlantic Ocean. The sandy soil of the area supports an extremely diverse ecosystem of plants and wildlife adapted to its harsh conditions, including the longleaf pine tree, and the longleaf pine-wiregrass forest contains rare plants and animals found nowhere else. Virgin longleaf pine forests, now reduced to about four percent of the original 90 million acres covering the Southeast, supported the naval stores industry and later logging, providing impetus for growth and development in the Harnett County area. Today, the river that enabled early settlers to move to the area, repurposed abandoned railroad routes that once moved goods and people throughout the region and natural and manmade features invite nature lovers

of all ages to explore and experience the beauty of Harnett County’s great outdoors. Cape Fear River By tube, canoe, kayak or standup paddleboard, a trip down the Cape Fear River offers an opportunity to slow down and take in the sights and sounds of nature as well as the history of Harnett County. The Cape Fear Canoe Trail, a 56-mile stretch of this blackwater river — so named for its color, stained dark brown by tannins leached from decaying vegetation as the river flows slowly through forested swamps or wetlands — is designated specifically for recreational water travel. Glimpse bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons and vultures in flight, or observe turtles lazily sunning on logs. Those seeking a little more adventure will find it as they maneuver

The Cape Fear River The Cape Fear River is a 202-mile long blackwater river – so named for its color, stained dark brown by tannins leached from decaying vegetation as the river flows slowly through forested swamps or wetlands. It is formed at Haywood, near the county line between Lee and Chatham counties, where the Deep and Haw rivers merge. The Cape Fear River cuts through Harnett County and offers a great opportunity for canoeing and kayaking. It makes its way to Wilmington, widening as an estuary and entering the Atlantic a few miles west of Cape Fear. Photo by Mike Fleming.


16 natural attractions the rapids at Lanier Falls. In fact, Harnett County offers some of the best whitewater rapids east of the mountains. One area where paddlers can access the river is at The Cape Fear River Park Trail. Located in Erwin on Hwy 217 and open since May 2008, the park offers 16 acres of walking trails, overlooks and a picnic shelter with restrooms. Canoeists may contact the Harnett County Parks and Recreation Department for the canoe access lock code at 910.893.7518. New to the paddling world or looking for more than a few hours on the water? Cape Fear River Adventurers, a family-owned and operated rental outfitter in Lillington, offers everything needed, from lessons and equipment to shuttle service and guides for special tours. Enjoy a self-guided flat-water float or an easy paddle down the river, an overnight canoe camping trip or, for an adrenalin rush, guided whitewater expeditions through Class II and III rapids. Dunn-Erwin Rail-Trail The popularity of trains as the dominant mode of transportation for moving people and goods and connecting both cities and rural areas may have long passed with the arrival of the automobile and later, the interstate highway system. But what’s left behind has provided an opportunity

for some serious repurposing: taking up the abandoned rails and putting down trails for walking, running, biking and more. North Carolina has about 30 of these trails, Paddling the Cape Fear River. Photo: Larry Lynn. and one of the longest and Park Connect Trail, a 2.5-mile most well known is the Dunn-Erwin extension linking the Dunn-Erwin Rail-Trail. Opened in January of 2003, Rail-Trail with the Cape Fear River Trail, this 5.3-mile gently inclined stretch connects downtown Erwin with the along the Aberdeen and Rockfish river, joining a blueway (paddle trail) Railroad corridor crosses the Black River with a greenway (shared-use path). and wetlands, connecting the Open during daylight hours, the downtown areas of Dunn and Erwin. gravel trail is close to shops and Trail users can take a break and reflect restaurants and includes interpretive on history by following the steps to the markers and signs. Nearby attractions burial site of a Civil War soldier just off include the Averasboro Battlefield the trail between Ashe Avenue and Museum, the Cape Fear River, the Watauga. Centennial Trail in downtown Erwin, The rail-trail is also part of the East the Erwin History Room, the General Coast Greenway (ECG) project, a Lee Airborne Museum and parks. The 2900-mile “urban (meets rural) trail hosts events throughout the year, Appalachian Trail” development from including the annual Nutcracker Maine to Florida connecting cities and 12-hour Endurance Run in December linking rural areas rich in cultural, and the Rail-Trail 5k Run/Walk for historical and natural beauty resources. CareNet Counseling each spring. The completion of the Cape Fear River Raven Rock State Park

The Dunn-Erwin Rail Trail is part of the East Coast Greenway project.

Raven Rock State Park, at the end of Raven Rock Road off Hwy 421 nine miles west of Lillington, comprises 4,684 acres along the Cape Fear River and exhibits topography and ecosystems reflective of the Piedmont-SandhillsCoastal Plain boundaries. The park sits along the fall zone, where the rocky foothills of the Piedmont give way to the softer rocks and sediment of the Coastal Plain. Over geologic time, wind and water carved out the crystalline centerpiece of the park, Raven Rock, rising 150 feet above and stretching for a mile along the Cape Fear River and


offering spectacular views of the river. The park features a visitor center and interactive display detailing the ecology and geology of the area as well as trail maps. South of the river, visitors will find 12 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate in difficulty; nine different trails range from one-half mile to five miles in length. The park is looking forward to being a destination for mountain bikers as well, with bike trails currently under construction and plans to build up to 20 miles of bike trails over the next few years. Undeveloped woodlands on the north side of the river include seven miles of trails for horseback riding. The trails wind through a diverse topography, from high bluffs and low floodplains along the river to flat, dry uplands, each featuring a distinct ecology of wildflowers, tree species, birds, reptiles and mammals. Camping is available by reservation, including primitive backpack camping for families and groups, five group wilderness campsites accommodating up to 20 people each and six campsites along the Cape Fear River Canoe Trail for canoe camping. Guests may also reserve picnic facilities and grills, and fishing is permitted during posted park hours with a state fishing license. Recognizing that education and youth engagement are important to the future of parks and conservation, rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs as well as special arranged explorations

An overlook in winter at Raven Rock State Park. Photo: Jeff Davidson. of the park. And the TRACK TrailTM program features self-guided brochures that turn a child’s visit to the park into a fun and exciting outdoor adventure. Raven Rock State Park offers something for all ages, from hiking and camping to fishing and simply sitting still, taking in its natural wonder. Harnett County Parks and Recreation Located throughout Harnett County are parks and recreational areas that bring nature and outdoor sports and activities to area residents and even surrounding counties. Anderson Creek County Park in southwestern Harnett County is the newest, opening in May 2014 after completion of Phase 1 of the park’s master plan. This 1014-acre park features a little over three miles of walking trails, interpretive signage, a picnic shelter, restroom facility, a pond with a nature overlook, disc golf course and playground. Focused on

Lifting spirits. Holding hope. CareNet offers hope, growth, and healing through spiritually integrated counseling and professional services provided by licensed professionals, regardless of the client’s financial circumstance. Our clinicians are equipped to counsel children, adolescents, adults, couples and families regarding a wide variety of concerns, including depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, career, identity, marriage, parenting, and much more. 400 Denim Dr., Erwin, NC 28339 | www.carenetcentralregion.org | 910.897.8930

Raven Faudel PO Box 483 Lillington, NC 27546 C 910-824-0972 raven.faudel@ mwarep.org

sustainability and nature, the playground is constructed of locust and rhododendron wood and resembles a tree house or a fort, and the restrooms use rainwater for flushing purposes. The disc golf course, which can also be used as a trail, was designed by local amateur player and member of the Professional Disc Golf Association, Todd Brookhart. Future phases of development include more walking trails, mountain bike trails, picnic shelters, playgrounds, special use campsites and several overlook areas, as well as an interpretive education center and gathering area, additional interpretive and directional signage, passive/ mature-oriented activities, an outparcel for a potential school site and equestrian trails. All facilities within the park are ADA accessible, including the trails, shelter, first through eleventh holes of disc golf and the playground.

Control your financial future by planning for life today. Let’s talk. PFL0813


18 natural attractions

Harnett County Parks Al Woodall Municipal Park Erwin 810 S 16th St., Erwin 37-acre green space supporting baseball, football and soccer games, two tennis courts, skateboarding park, basketball gymnasium, and half-mile jogging track; picnic shelter and gazebo available for rent. Anderson Creek County Park 1491 Nursery Rd., Lillington www.harnett.org/parkrec/andersoncreek-park.asp Barbecue Creek County Park 10891 NC Hwy 27 West, Lillington www.harnett.org/parkrec/barbecuecreek-park.asp Adjacent to Western Harnett High School and Western Harnett Middle School. Six tennis courts, two lighted baseball/ softball fields, a batting cage, a multipurpose building, a multi-purpose field, 0.5 miles of walking trails, picnic area and playground. Home of Western Harnett Youth Recreation, offering year-round team sports. C.B. Codrington Park 308 S. Burke St., Dunn Picnic shelter, walking trail, playground, basketball and city pool.

Cape Fear River Trail Park Hwy 217, Erwin www.harnett.org/parkrec/cape-fearriver-trail-park.asp Clarence Lee Tart Park 1300 S. Elm Ave., Dunn Seven ball fields used for soccer, football, baseball and fast-pitch softball. One-mile walking track, basketball gymnasium, racquetball court, indoor batting cage, playground and picnic shelters. Coats Recreation Park 454 Park Lane, Coats Three baseball/softball fields, tennis court, volleyball court, walking trails and jungle gym. Variety of activity programs for all ages, including swimming and CPR. Jack Marley Park 149 East Williams St., Angier 33.3-acre park with a six-acre pond, tennis courts, volleyball, horseshoes, shuffleboard, playground and nine-hole disc golf course. Lillington Park 405 S. 1st Street, Lillington Includes athletic fields, tennis courts, a playground and a walking trail. Lillington Community Center 607 S 13th St., Lillington New center featuring a fitness room, meeting space, and a variety of classes for youth, adults and seniors. Neill’s Creek County Park 3885 Neill’s Creek Rd., Angier

www.harnett.org/parkrec/neills-creekpark.asp 25 acres next to Harnett Central High School; six tennis courts (three lighted), two lighted softball fields, a concession building with a storage room and restrooms, and an open/activity field. South Harnett County Park 8335 NC Hwy 210 S, Lillington www.harnett.org/parkrec/south-harnettpark.asp Adjacent to South Harnett Elementary School. Eight acres and an open space with baseball/softball backstops at opposite ends. Tyler Park 201 North General Lee Ave., Dunn Newly renovated. Three new athletic baseball fields, three lighted tennis courts, bocce course, splash pad and play area, Veterans Memorial and “miracle” sports field designed for special needs children and persons with disabilities. Spout Springs Church Park 346 H.M. Cagle Dr., Cameron Playground equipment with slides, swings and climbing area, hiking trail and picnic shelter. W. N. Porter Memorial Park 402 N 13th St., Erwin Newly renovated. Two picnic shelters, two large playground areas, outdoor basketball courts, lighted walking trails, restroom facilities.

Focused on sustainability and nature, the playground at Anderson Creek County Park is constructed of locust and rhododendron wood and resembles a tree house or a fort.


dedicated to providing quality and personalized care with respect and compassion

We care for Harnett hospitals

Betsy Johnson Hospital 800 Tilghman Drive · Dunn

Dunn Medical Services 803 Tilghman Drive, Suite 100 · Dunn (910) 892-1091

Central Harnett Hospital 215 Brightwater Drive · Lillington

Lillington Medical Services 716 10th Street · Lillington (910) 814-1212

physician practices

Harnett OB/GYN 608 Tilghman Drive · Dunn (910) 892-4092

Angier Medical Services 185 Rawls Road · Angier (919) 331-2477 Coats Medical Services 25 N. Johnson Street · Coats (910) 897-6423

Premiere Pediatrics 802 Tilghman Drive, Suite 700 · Dunn (910) 892-4248

outpatient centers

Benson Rehab & Wellness Center #1 Medical Drive, Suite B · Benson (919) 894-1057 Lillington Rehab & Wellness Center 55 Bain Street · Lillington (910) 814-5885 Outpatient Rehabilitation (at Betsy Johnson Hospital) 800 Tilghman Drive · Dunn (910) 892-1000 ext 4610 Cardiac Rehabilitation (at Betsy Johnson Hospital) 800 Tilghman Drive · Dunn (910) 892-1000 ext 4607

www.harnetthealth.org

Breast Care Center (beside Betsy Johnson Hospital) 714 Tilghman Drive · Dunn (910) 892-1000 ext 5000 Wound Care Center (Harnett Health Medical Park) 803 Tilghman Drive, Suite 300 · Dunn (910) 230-7858 Outpatient Cardiac Testing (Harnett Health Medical Park) 803 Tilghman Drive, Suite 500 · Dunn (910) 892-1000 ext 5000


20 education

Cultivating Future Success through Excellent Education Opportunities Harnett County offers access to educational opportunities to help meet the demands for skills as well as interests in an increasingly competitive global business community.

and all Harnett County middle school students have access to a computer. HCS supports over 26,000 computing devices, including Mac desktops and laptops, PC desktops and laptops, iPads, ChromeBooks and NetBooks.

fields. By focusing on each student’s individual learning style, readiness, prior understandings and experiences, the STEM program goes beyond the basics, working to bring a true understanding of subjects.

Technology and the global business community continue to evolve at an ever-increasing pace, and the demand for well-educated and highly skilled and trained professionals to meet the challenges of this fluid environment persists. Harnett County offers access to educational opportunities to help meet these demands and enable individuals and businesses to compete successfully on national and global levels as well as support local entrepreneurs and businesses. Harnett County Schools “Through safe, nurturing, world-class learning environments for students and staff, Harnett County Schools promotes innovative thinking through collaboration, technology, and life experiences that produces globally competitive individuals.” – Harnett County Schools Mission Statement The Harnett County School (HCS) system is one of the top-five fastestgrowing systems in North Carolina, serving over 20,000 students at 28 schools and employing over 2100 staff, including 125 National Board Certified Teachers. The student population is diverse, in part due to the proximity to and growth of Fort Bragg over the past 10 years. The system’s student-to-computer ratio ranks 17th out of the state’s 115 Local Education Agencies (LEA) and is first among comparably sized districts,

Harnett County Schools supports over 26,000 computing devices.

“One of our focuses in the school district is to continue to add schools one-to-one,” says Patricia HarmonLewis, Director of Public Relations/ Community Schools. In addition to integrating one-toone computing technology to facilitate and ensure a competitive edge in student learning, HCS incorporates initiatives to help meet students where they are and assist them in reaching their full potential to become successful individuals in their fields. Among these special programs are the • Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) Program. Initially offered at two sites, one for third- to fifth-graders and the other for sixth-graders to seniors, STEM is a free program that uses hands-on experience, project-based learning and one-to-one technology to introduce students to and foster interest in these

• Career and Technical Education. Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses currently serve 10,000 students taught by 98 Career and Technical Education staff members in 75 Career and Technical Education courses in eight different program areas: Agricultural Education, Business Education, Career Exploration Education, Family and Consumer Sciences Education, Health Science Education, Marketing Education, Trade and Industrial Education and Technology Education. Beginning in the middle grades and expanded at the high school level, students are exposed to the world of work and focus on skill development in preparation for further education and/or employment. Included under the umbrella of Career and Technical Education is the new Apprenticeship Works Program. The Central Carolina Apprenticeship


education 21 Works program in Computer-Integrated Machining is a partnership between Central Carolina Community College (CCCC), Harnett County Schools and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. This three-year apprenticeship program prepares students for employment in the metalworking and manufacturing industries and begins during the high school senior year, providing valuable “hands-on” industry experience and offering a paid work experience while students are enrolled in college courses working toward a diploma and/or Associate in Applied Science degree. The Harnett Health Sciences Academy, another new initiative offered under CTE through a partnership with Central Carolina Community College and Harnett County Schools, allows high school freshmen and sophomores to earn credits toward a health industry-recognized credential, diploma, certification or other college

transfer options. Eligible high school students fast-track through general high school courses to maximize the community college opportunities in the healthcare field during their junior and senior years. Students successfully completing the program enhance their eligibility for acceptance into a CCCC Health Sciences Diploma/Degree program. And expansion within the strong CTE program includes the addition of a second Fire Academy at Western Harnett High School, part of the Public Services Academy. This full two-year program for high school juniors and seniors allows them to earn their high school credits and upon completion of the course, graduate as a certified firefighter. “We were one of the only school systems to start it. We’ve been visited by counties across the state to see how we’re doing the fire academy,” Harmon-Lewis says. The Pathways to Prosperity Project also supports the CTE’s goal,

using a collaborative approach between educators and employers, not only to train the next generation of workers, but also to help develop their transition from adolescence to adulthood. A successful approach to education can be measured in many ways, including job placement and continued education at institutes of higher learning. In 2015, students earned over $12.5 million in scholarships. But HCS excellence starts at the very foundation of the system, with award-winning educators. And LEGO Education chose Harnett Primary School as a LEGO More To Math training site, one of only two schools in the nation. “We have excellent teachers,” says HarmonLewis. Those seeking other options in successful K-12 education will find alternatives in private secular and faith-based schools and a nonprofit Montessori school, as well as secular and faith-based homeschool groups.

Central Carolina Community College offers Laser and Photonics Technology, a high-tech program focusing its instruction on understanding the application of electronic, fiber optic, photonic and laser principles. Graduates are employed as laser technicians, manufacturing test technicians, fiber optic, field service and electronics technicians. The program, offered at the Harnett Campus in Lillington, is designed to be completed in two years. CCCC photo by Neil McGowan.


22 education Central Carolina Community College Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) is a public two-year college focused on student success –– and it shows! BestColleges.com has ranked CCCC ninth among the two-year schools in the Best Colleges in North Carolina rankings and ninth among the online associate degree programs in the Most Affordable Online Colleges in the United States rankings in 2015. And CCCC is one of only four of North Carolina’s 58 community colleges to have met or exceeded the excellence level in at least four areas of the 2015 Performance Measures for Student Success report announced in June by the NC Community College System. A member of the North Carolina Community College System and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, CCCC offers Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, and Associate in Fine Arts degree programs. Through articulation agreements with many four-year colleges and universities, graduates may transfer these degrees.

Additionally, the college offers a University Transfer diploma, many Associate in Applied Science degrees and diploma and certificate programs that prepare students for immediate entry or reentry into the workforce. The college partners with Harnett County Schools in the Apprenticeship Works Program and the Harnett Health Sciences Academy, and students may also take non-college level classes in adult basic education, English as a second language and continuing education in technical, vocational, enrichment and general interest areas. The Harnett Campus, including a full-service library, is conveniently located on Highway 421, between Lillington and Buies Creek. Among the wide variety of programs offered are machining, electronics, and cosmetology curricula. The laser and photonics technology facilities include two state-of-the-art electronics labs, four high-powered laser labs and high-tech, Internet-ready classrooms. Harnett Health Sciences Center is Central Carolina Community College’s

state-of-the art healthcare education facility, preparing students for careers in this vital and growing industry. The Harnett Health Sciences Center is located in the Brightwater Science and Technology Campus in Lillington. The Center offers both curriculum and continuing education programs in healthcare. Whether you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur or are already an experienced small business owner, Central Carolina Community College and the Small Business Center (SBC) can help. As a part of the Small Business Center Network (SBCN), the Small Business Center recognizes the importance of local business and work to address the needs of the business community. The Harnett Small Business Center is located at the Triangle South Enterprise Center, 600 S. Magnolia Ave., Dunn. And as the county grows, CCCC continues to expand to meet the needs of area residents. The Dunn Center, located in the renovated former Harnett High School at 660 E. Johnson St., offers a variety of curriculum and non-curriculum programs, including the Central Carolina Culinary Institute program, Sustainable Agriculture classes, expansion of the college’s Barbering program, Career and College Promise Pathways college courses for high school students, Continuing Education workforce training classes, creative retirement programs and small business seminars, and houses a Science Lab for college credit courses. Campbell University

Founded in 1887, Campbell University’s main campus occupies over 1,300 acres in the Harnett County community of Buies Creek, N.C.

Founded in 1887 by North Carolina preacher James Archibald Campbell, Campbell University is a private, coeducational university with Baptist roots offering over 150 majors, tracks and concentrations in the liberal arts, sciences and professions. In addition to the main campus in Buies Creek,


Dr. Andrea Mann, Chair of Pediatrics, and Elizabeth Willis (Class of 2017) demonstrate how to intibate an infant patient in the Simulation Center of Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences at Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine. Photo by Bryan Raegan. Campbell University has extended campuses in Camp Lejeune, Fort Bragg/Pope Army Airfield and Research Triangle Park; its Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law relocated to a state-of-the-art building in Raleigh in 2009. Campbell University successfully achieves its mission, “To graduate students with exemplary academic and professional skills who are prepared for purposeful lives and meaningful service,” through award-winning education and supported growth and expansion to fulfill needs in business and professions. Among its many recent accolades, Campbell University was named one of the best regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report (2015 edition of Best Colleges), selected one of the best colleges in the Southeast by The Princeton Review (“2015 Best Colleges: Region by

Region”) and included among the coveted 2015 Military Friendly Schools® list by Victory Media (September 2014). Additionally, the Campbell Law School was ranked among the top-tier law schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report (“Best Graduate Schools 2014”) and the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences listed among the Top 75 Pharmacy Schools in the U.S. by Pharmacy Technician Review (September 2013).

Campbell University is nationally recognized for its outstanding College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, established in 1985. Its commitment to healthcare continued with undergraduate and graduate programs offered in Clinical Research and Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Physician Assistant program (2011), a Master of Public Health degree (2012), Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (2014) and Nursing (2014). In 2016, the Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing at Campbell University will relocate to a 72,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art four-story learning facility including classrooms; skills labs; health assessment labs; study areas; and objective, structure, clinical and examination (OSCE) rooms. Beginning in 2013, the Campbell University Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine (CUSOM)

admitted students for instruction, becoming the second largest medical school in the state with an approved enrollment of 150 students per year. The first new medical school to open in North Carolina in 35 years, CUSOM is committed to producing doctors with a mission to practice in NC’s underserved communities. The school has established partnerships with other medical facilities in the state and is expected not only to benefit North Carolinians’ health and wellbeing, but also significantly impact the area economically. Recent additions to the College of Arts and Sciences include a four-year undergraduate degree in Homeland Security, established in 2012. Campbell University is the only college in North Carolina to offer this program, which comprises courses relating to the Critical Mission Areas identified in The National Strategy for Homeland Security. And in the fall of 2016, Campbell University will open the doors to its new School of Engineering, offering a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with concentrations in mechanical engineering and chemical/ pharmaceutical engineering. Harnett County is also home to The ECU School of Dental Medicine Community Service Learning Center in Lillington, providing “communitybased, service learning oral health education” and “comprehensive general dental services for adults, children and special needs patients in a safe, caring and professional setting.” The county’s proximity to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park offers access to additional opportunities in higher education through the University of NC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Duke University and community colleges.


education 25

The Best Gift is the

Gift of Health

For over 35 years, locally owned and operated Coats Pharmacy has been proud to serve your family’s healthcare needs. Our personal staff provides you with one on one pharmacist knowledge and expertise, medication synchronization & adherence, as well as providing diabetic education, MTM & immunization services, and after hours emergency services. We offer free delivery, an awesome selection of gifts, and we price match!

www.coatspharmacy.com

Coats Village Square 393 N. McKinley St. Coats, NC 27521 910-897-8500

Together, we have the power to make a difference. All of us at Central Electric are working hard to help the businesses and people we serve use energy more wisely.

Lillington Veterinary Hospital is a full service small animal hospital located in Lillington, the Harnett County seat. Dr. Janet Batker, Dr. Amy Allen-Graves, and Dr. Carolyn Clark are dedicated to providing top notch health care to pets using state of the art equipment. We strive to meet the individual needs of our patients and clients. Preventive wellness care, dentistry, surgery, and boarding are just a few of the services we provide. We are your partners in pet health. Visit us at www.lillingtonvet.com.

Lillington Veterinary Hospital 2366 NC 210 N Lillington, NC 27546 910-893-2081 www.lillingtonvet.com

Whether for home or work, visit our web site at www.cemcpower.com for tips to manage your energy bill, or contact us to schedule an energy consultation for your home or business. By working together, we have the power to make a difference.

Your Friends, Your Neighbors, Your Cooperative.

919-774-4900 • www.cemcpower.com


26 business and industry

Harnett County Is Good for Business! With a growing economy and diversity in business, a central location with easy access to transportation, generous incentives and an experienced, educated workforce, Harnett County makes it easy to do business. In the Center of It All One of the fastest-growing counties in the state, with a projected growth of 2.8% over the next four years, Harnett County also enjoys one of the fastest-growing economies. It is one of 16 counties that comprise the Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), a public-private alliance offering services to help companies develop in the region and assist its partners in meeting the needs of businesses and prospects. Located between the Durham Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Raleigh-Cary MSA to the north and the Fayetteville MSA to the south, Harnett County is home to the Dunn Micropolitan Statistical Area and

is a part of the Durham-Raleigh-Cary Combined Statistical Area (CSA). Harnett County is within a onehour drive to 13 colleges and universities, including three major research universities, and the Research Triangle Institute, the nation’s fourth largest nonprofit contract research organization. It is in close proximity to the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, a state-supported initiative supportive of biotech companies, and the MCNC, home to the North Carolina Supercomputing Center. With outstanding educational and research facilities nearby, Harnett County has access to a high-quality and skilled labor supply. Additionally, the southern and western parts of the county are home to a vibrant, expanding defense community at Fort Bragg. Harnett County lies within the All American Defense Corridor and is one of 11 counties that are part of a growing military-friendly region ready to meet the needs of America’s defense and homeland

security industries. Growth at Fort Bragg brings expanding opportunities for economic advancement in defenserelated business. A Key to Continued Growth Is Diversity in Industry Harnett County has witnessed an economy based in agriculture and textiles transition to one that spans a variety of industries. Among the largest employers in the county are companies focused on education, healthcare, government, manufacturing, defense and warehousing and distribution. The Food Lion distribution center in Dunn is the biggest non-government employer, with nearly 800 employees. Continued growth and revitalization within towns also brings entrepreneurship opportunities. Family-owned restaurants and retail shops provide a welcome alternative to the usual and familiar cookie-cutter chain stores. And agriculture is still an important facet of Harnett County. A new

Harnett County Makes Room for Rooms To Go On October 17, 2015, Harnett County, the City of Dunn, and Florida-based furniture retailer Rooms To Go (RTG) celebrated the opening of its biggest facility in the Southeast. The 1.455 million-square-foot Rooms To Go Super Center, located on about 120 acres approximately one-half mile south of exit 75 on I-95, includes a Rooms To Go, a Rooms To Go Kids/Teens, a Rooms To Go Outlet and a distribution center. In addition to 40,000 square feet of retail space and a capacity to hold tens of thousands of pieces of furniture available for delivery or customer pick-up, the facility brings an estimated 400 jobs to the area, including positions in manufacturing, retail and trucking. Rooms To Go, with 150 stores in 10 states, operates 17 centers in North Carolina. Harnett County’s skilled workforce and close proximity to transportation routes combined with RTG’s inventory and framework will enable the furniture chain to offer quality service to customers in the area. Area residents and the local economy will realize new job opportunities and increased revenues once the center is stocked and operating fully. Photo: Brian Haney.


location & demographics 27

Agriculture is still an important facet of Harnett County. Photo: Mike Fleming.

face of farming has cropped up, from newer family-owned farms pursuing organic and sustainable practices, to those that have shifted from cotton and tobacco to other crops, including grapes, contributing to North Carolina’s increasing renown for its vineyards and wines. Nearby resources to assist with agriculture research include North Carolina State University and its agricultural offerings, such as the NC Agriculture Extension Service. New businesses continue to find a warm welcome in Harnett County, thanks to its business-friendly environment. In October 2015, Rooms to Go opened a regional distribution center and retail showroom, creating over 200 new jobs. Looking forward, Harnett County is actively expanding its biotech industry. On the Move: Transportation Access in Harnett County One contributing factor that simplifies doing business in Harnett County is

quick and convenient access to major transportation routes. Whether moving materials or finished goods, people or services, transportation routes in Harnett County link businesses to suppliers and markets regionally, nationally and globally via I-95, US 301 and US 401 running north-south; US 421 and I-40 running east-west; and North Carolina routes 24, 27, 42, 55, 82, 87, 210 and 217. The expanding highway system links businesses with communities throughout the county, as well as with the deep-water ports at Wilmington and Morehead City and inland terminals in Charlotte and Greensboro for convenient and cost-effective transport. Other transportation options include nearby general aviation, regional and international airports; rail service and motor freight. Locally, Harnett Regional Jetport (HRJ) is four miles northwest of Erwin, next to US 421. The Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), an hour’s drive from Harnett County, offers efficient, cost-effective

travel choices for the Research Triangle Region, and Fayetteville Regional Airport, 30 minutes away, provides service via USAirways and ASA, the Delta Connection. CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Corporation provide rail service along the Eastern seaboard and nationwide and also connect to East Coast ocean ports. Excellent motor freight service throughout Harnett County handles all known motor transport services, including dry bulk, freight and liquid, or heavy hauling, furniture moving and container shipping. Harnett County Wants Your Business! Harnett County is business-friendly and offers incentives and support to make it easier and more cost-effective to start or expand a business in or re-locate a business to the area. In cooperation with the county’s governing body, Harnett County Economic Development offers the Incentive (EDI) Grant Program, a tax


28 business and industry incentive program of up to 75% for up to seven years, designed to stimulate development by creating new investments and new jobs with higher wage rates. Each of the county’s municipalities matches the terms of the county incentive grant for projects within its corporate limits. Also, the state of North Carolina provides a tax credit program for creating jobs, investing in business property, and investment in real property, as well as incentive programs for employee training, R&D, research partnerships with universities, investments in machinery and equipment, leased space and more. Furthermore, Harnett County boasts some of the lowest property taxes in the region, incentives from utilities, grants and loans. The workforce in Harnett County offers another benefit to doing business here. North Carolina has a “right-to-work” law. Neither closed shop nor union shop agreements are allowed, and an employer may not require an employee to join a union nor require an employee to refrain

from joining a union. Moreover, Harnett County has access to a high-quality, highly trained and productive workforce, thanks to area universities, community colleges and training programs. Central Carolina Community College hosts state-of-the-art workforce development programs at no cost to local industries, including a partnership with Harnett County Schools in the Apprenticeship Works Program, which gives students valuable “hands-on” industry experience and paid work experience while enrolled in college courses. In addition, Harnett County stands ready to help new businesses. The Small Business Center, located in the Triangle South Enterprise Center at 600 S. Magnolia Ave. in Dunn, provides one-on-one counseling as well as holds various seminars throughout the year to help local residents interested in starting, maintaining or expanding a small business. All seminars and services are free of charge; individuals can register for seminars at www. harnettsbc.com. For more information about the Harnett County Small Busi-

ness Center, visit www.harnettsbc.com. Central Carolina Community College also hosts small business seminars at the Dunn Center. The Harnett County Business Education Partnership, a private, nonprofit organization made up of volunteers dedicated to helping students make informed educational and career decisions, works closely with the Harnett County Schools and offers students a variety of programs and resources, including job shadow experience, mentoring, career opportunities and exploration and scholarships. And of course, Harnett County Economic Development, committed to the creation of a thriving and progressive business environment, stands ready to provide a wide range of recruitment services to help business and industry in their relocation or expansion decision process, from confidential site selection services, assistance with state and local incentives and key resource contacts to employee identification and training and market research services.

Economic Development Commission Lillington, NC 910-893-7524 www.harnett.org

Connecting Businesses to the World

A Research Triangle Region Community


business and industry 29

Harnett County Chambers of Commerce Help You Connect Membership has its benefits. Networking events, business expos, educational lunches, promotional opportunities — your local Chamber of Commerce can help you connect in the community. We’re working to advance business and economic development and improve quality of life in Harnett County. Let us help you connect.

www.erwinchamber.org

www.angierchamber.org

www.dunnchamber.com

www.coatschamber.com

www.lillingtonchamber.org


30 business and industry

Economic Profile Household Income

Median Household

$100,000 or more

14.24%

Income

$35,000-99,000

44,625

$34,999 and under

40.37%

Education Level 45.39% 5.7%

Taxes

2.25 4.75 State Sales Tax 7.00 Combined Sales Tax County Sales Tax

12.7% 30.4%

#

35.5%

Business By the Numbers

$872 million Annual Retail Sales $49 million

High School Graduate

Annual Hotel & Food Sales

7,497

Associate Degree Bachelor Degree

Total Number of Firms

Graduate or Professional Degree Percentages based on those age 25+

Total Number of

Top Employment Sectors

Households

40,677

19.25% 16.34%

Top Employers

12.69%

Harnett County Schools

8.97%

Campbell University Food Lion Distribution Center

7.81%

Harnett County Government

0

5

10

15

20

Harnett Health Hospital System

Percentage of Total Employment Health Care & Social Assistance Retail Trade Accommodation & Food Services Educational Services Manufacturing Sources: US Census Bureau, 2013 American Community Survey, 2013 County Business Patterns.


location & demographics 31


32 healthcare

Expanding the Hwy 421 Medical Corridor The Road to Good Health for All Runs through Harnett County

H

arnett County’s first hospital was established in 1910 in the mill town of Duke, later renamed Erwin, during its bustling early years of development. In 1937, with only one private hospital serving the county, Nathan M. Johnson, Sr., a Dunn businessman, donated funds to provide his community with quality medical care regardless of race, creed, color or ability to pay. The original three-story Dunn Hospital, Inc., became Betsy Johnson Memorial — and later Regional — Hospital. But with the continued growth of Harnett County, at the third-fastest rate in the state from 2010 to 2014, the need for improved and increased access to facilities and treatment options grew as well. In January 2013, the $56 million Central Harnett Hospital opened in Lillington at 215 Brightwater Drive. Central Harnett Hospital and Betsy Johnson Hospital are part of the Harnett Health system, a private, not-for-profit organization with a network of facilities throughout Harnett County and surrounding communities, and over 250 credentialed providers dedicated to offering quality healthcare services. Betsy Johnson Hospital offers

24-hour emergency services with ER Express, a birthing center, diagnostic imaging and outpatient surgery. Other services include 101-bed inpatient nursing care with hospitalists for critical care, medical/surgical/telemetry and pediatrics; breast care; cardiac rehabilitation; physical, occupational, and speech therapy rehabilitation and aquatic therapy and exercise. Central Harnett Hospital provides emergency services, outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging and inpatient nursing with 50 private rooms for medical/surgical/telemetry. Along with specialties at each hospital, Harnett Health offers primary care physician practices in Angier, Coats, Dunn and Lillington, as well as OB/GYN and pediatric practices in Dunn. Outpatient centers include Lillington Rehabilitation, Benson Rehab/Wellness Center, Wound Care Center, Breast Cancer Center, Outpatient Cardiac Testing and Cardiac Rehabilitation, all located in Dunn. Dedicated to “providing quality and personalized care with respect and compassion,” Harnett Health joined with Cape Fear Valley Health in November 2014 in a partnership

whereby Cape Fear Valley assumed management of both hospitals, as well as physician practices and outpatient services throughout the county. This joint effort focuses on a healthy bottom line, using Cape Fear Valley’s financial expertise and economies of scale. “We felt Harnett Health could be a vibrant, growing health system, and we were committed to helping make that happen,” said Michael Nagowski, Chief Executive Officer of Cape Fear Valley Health. However, growth in services was key. “Our philosophy at Cape Fear Valley Health,” Nagowski said, “is to provide care locally. Residents shouldn’t have to travel long distances to get the care they need.” Cape Fear Valley Health negotiated with Ferncreek Cardiology in Fayetteville to provide a cardiologist in Harnett County fulltime to meet the needs of heart patients. Cancer patients are able to receive chemotherapy in Dunn as Cape Fear Valley Cancer Center at Harnett expanded its service to five days a week. Cape Fear Valley has plans to further expand cancer and heart services at Central Harnett Hospital


location & healthcare 33 by building a full-service cancer center with radiation oncology and opening a cardiac catheterization laboratory for diagnostic and interventional cardiac care. As Harnett Health continues to grow, it will have the capital to reinvest in the community. Harnett Health will become an economic engine for Harnett County, as it provides exceptional healthcare to its residents. First Choice Community Health Centers (FCCHC) helps ensure that all residents have access to healthcare. A nonprofit community health center certified as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), FCCHC provides primary healthcare and dental services to Harnett and surrounding counties. FCCHC provides services at six locations throughout the county: Angier Medical Center, Anderson Creek Family Dentistry, Anderson Creek Medical Center, Benhaven Medical Center, Boone Trail Medical Center and the new Lillington Health Center. Additionally, FCCHC Mobile Healthcare Units can travel throughout Harnett County and the surrounding areas, providing access to healthcare and dental services to even more residents. FCCHC

offers a sliding scale fee for services and medications for those who qualify and can also assist citizens with health insurance enrollment. Good Hope Hospital in Erwin and Peace of Mind, Inc., in Lillington provide mental health services to Harnett County. Good Hope Hospital, a 16-bed mental health unit, is the only inpatient psychiatric treatment facility in the county. Peace of Mind, Inc., offers outpatient counseling services, including Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD), trauma treatment and military personnel and family issues, vital offerings to a county with a significant and growing military population. A brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, Emerald Health & Rehab Center in Lillington offers longterm and short-term care. A team of healthcare professionals provides high-quality individualized programs to help residents achieve their greatest physical and mental potential. While Harnett County’s close proximity to the Triangle area has enabled residents to access healthcare at Duke University Medical Center, University of North Carolina Medical Center in

In January 2013, the $56 million Central Harnett Hospital opened in Lillington.

Chapel Hill and the Durham VA Hospital, and it is convenient to the new VA Health Care Center in Fayetteville, the development of the Highway 421 healthcare corridor seeks to bring excellent healthcare even closer to home for citizens in a rural and underserved area. Over the past few years, the county has experienced major growth in the healthcare community, incorporating not only new construction, but also exciting education programs into a circle of healthcare that begins in high school, fostering a future commitment to serve the community. The Harnett Health Sciences Academy initiative offered through a partnership with Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) and Harnett County Schools allows eligible high school students at the freshman and sophomore levels to fast-track through general education requirements and maximize community college opportunities in the healthcare field during their junior and senior years, enhancing their eligibility for acceptance into a CCCC Health Sciences Diploma/Degree program.


34 healthcare class of students in 2013, and in 2014, announced a partnership with Harnett Health in hands-on medical education. In mid 2015, Campbell medical students began making rounds with Harnett Health physicians at Central Harnett Hospital, Betsy Johnson Hospital and clinics within the Harnett Health organization. The expanding healthcare industry along the Hwy 421 medical corridor has enabled Harnett County to become a center for medical services Campbell University’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine opened in 2013. and technology, addressing a critical shortage of healthcare Community Service Learning Near the new Central Harnett professionals, and bringing a bright Center, also located in the Brightwater Hospital, Central Carolina Community and healthy future for medical care Campus, opened in 2014, providing College opened its Harnett Health access for residents in Harnett County fourth-year dental students and generSciences Center. This state-of-the art and other rural and underserved areas. al dentistry residents the opportunity healthcare education facility in the Moreover, continued growth creates to perfect their skills before opening Brightwater Science and Technoloa significant economic impact for the their own practices. gy Campus in Lillington offers both county through increasing numbers of Campbell University’s new Jerry curriculum and continuing education healthcare-affiliated jobs and career M. Wallace School of Osteopathic programs in healthcare. The East opportunities. Medicine (CUSOM) admitted its first Carolina School of Dental Medicine

Kiwanis Clubs of Harnett County Welcome You! Kiwanis Club of Angier Facebook: Kiwanis Club of Angier, North Carolina Email: mack1944@charter.net Web: angierkiwanis.blogspot.com Cape Fear Long Term Care Pharmacy is a full-service long-term care pharmacy, specializing in medication management for elderly, disabled, and patients with chronic conditions. Our program is designed to serve those that are home bound or have chronic medical conditions with difficult to manage medication regimens, and is also perfect for the elderly to improve medication compliance and safety. Visit our website at www.capefearltc.com to learn more.

On Call 24 Hours • 910-893-2986 • Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 327 Pine State Street, Lillington, NC 27546

Kiwanis Club of Coats Facebook: Coats Kiwanis Email: robindhayes1939@gmail.com Kiwanis Club of Lillington Facebook: Lillington Club of Lillington Web: www.kiwanisoflillington.org Kiwanis Club of Western Harnett Email: westernharnettkiwanis@gmail.com or info@kiwaniswhc.org Facebook: Kiwanis Club of Western Harnett Web: www.kiwaniswhc.org


location & demographics 35

BY THE NUMBE RS ...


W elcome Home! Dunn is conveniently located in the heart of North Carolina, just a short drive to the beach or the mountains. We are situated off Interstate 95 at exits 71-75. We offer history, heritage and Southern hospitality, which is evident in our community. Come visit and stay a while.

north carolina

area chamber of commerce

City of Dunn

PO Box 668, Dunn, NC 28334 910-230-3500

www.dunn-nc.org

Dunn Area Tourism Authority PO Box Box 310, Dunn, NC 28335 910-892-3282

where business matters www.dunntourism.org


Harnett County Living • 2016