Target Industries

Person County's east coast location and proximity to the Research Triangle, Piedmont Triad, and Southern Virginia make it an ideal location for business and industry of all sizes and sectors. We have the regional population and educational institutions to provide an abundant skilled workforce,  amenities for quality of life, collaboration across many disciplines, and access to global markets. Top it off with affordable, abundant infrastructure and you have the recipe for success. 

Explore the specific assets for the target sectors below and learn why finding people, place, and product is Better in Person!

Minutes away from the Research Triangle Park and the Tier 1 Research Institutions that make it up, Person County is a prime location for successful ventures in the Life Sciences sector.

We are proximate to a growing cluster of Biopharmaceutical companies in Durham, Raleigh, and the greater Research Triangle Region, yet Person County has the capacity to pull from a workforce of more than a half million workers within a 50-minute drivetime that stretches into southern Virginia.

Half an hour to Durham and within 60 minutes of RDU International, a Person County location provides access to resources near, such as the NC Biotechnology Center, and far, connecting you to a global market.

Beginning with grade 6, students in Person County Schools are introduced to career pathways in Life Sciences and are supported through to post-secondary coursework at Piedmont Community College, creating a pipeline of skilled workers.

Person County offers abundant infrastructure to support the needs for this sector, including excess capacity with water and sewer, a robust fiber network, abundant electrical capacity, and affordable buildings and sites.

Since 2015, Person County has been developinging the Person County Mega Park with the semiconductor industry in mind. This 1,300+-acre site offers globally unique power capacity due to is situation between two Duke Energy power plants. Dedicated fiber has been installed at the site, as well as a waterline able to serve the site with more than 2MGD and expandable. A wastewater system has been designed to connect to the nearby City of Roxboro treatment plant with existing excess capacity of 3MGD and is ready to be constructed to match industry needs.  

Semiconductor and Microelectronics are growing sectors in the region and are strongly supported with an ecosystem which includes supply chain, nanotechnology research and development, and comprehensive workforce training programs at all skill levels. 

North Carolina’s automobile sector includes 26,000 employees that work in the automotive manufacturing cluster with 24% growth in 4 years from 2011 to 2015. There are over 290 establishments that make up the automotive manufacturing cluster in North Carolina with 34 TOP suppliers.

Two of  Person County’s largest private-sector employers are GKN Driveline and Eaton Corporation, both top-level, Tier 1 suppliers in the automobile industry. According to JobsEQ3.0 as of Quarter 2 2016, Person County has 831 people in the Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing (NAICS 3363) with an amazing location quotient of 19.74 with an average annual % change in Growth at 7.7% which is 1.5% higher than the state of North Carolina average % change and 2% higher than the US average % change. Within a 90-minute drive time, there are 4,262 employees in this industry sector with 9.5% average annual % change in employment over the last 5 years, or 3.8% more growth than the United States average! (1)

The new mechatronics engineering technology program at Piedmont Community College is yet another workforce advantage for a Person County, NC, location. Piedmont Community College is the first college in the State of North Carolina that has developed a curriculum in Continuing Education in the area of mechatronics with matriculation to a national certification program named Siemens Level I Technician Certification courses. Part A of the course covers Electrical and Mechanical, while part B covers Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) , Hydraulics and Pneumatics.

The state of North Carolina seeks to attract an OEM in the automotive sector and Person County is poised to be the location of new Tier automobile suppliers with our existing buildings, industrial property and significant business advantages.

(1) JobsEQ3.0 – October 2016

According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, North Carolina has the fourth largest military population in the U.S. There are five military bases, a military ocean terminal and a U.S. Coast Guard base located within the state. An estimated 78,000 military separations by 2018 offers a unique, ready-made workforce to North Carolina Manufacturers. Person County, NC, is geographically located in close proximity of the majority of military installations in North Carolina. North Carolina is the home of Fleet Readiness Center East,  with a mission to generate combat air power for America’s Marines and Naval Forces. Fleet Readiness Center East supports substantial aviation repair with over 200 Navy and Marine Corps activities, 31 foreign nations, 5 US Air Force activities, 3 US Army Activities and 2 other federal agencies.

The Defense Alliance of North Carolina provides information, connections, and networking opportunities to members to build relationships and promote defense related businesses within the state of North Carolina.

The North Carolina Military Business Center assists North Carolina businesses and has assisted NC businesses in winning 2,293 contracts valued up to $24.79 Billion dollars. This organization is a great resource to assist our local businesses to obtain more defense contracts.

In addition, Person County is within 3 hours of the Hampton Roads section of Virginia; another geographic area with strong naval military and port connections and a very large military presence.

Located on the campus of NC State University, the Wilson College of Textiles is the only college in the US devoted entirely to textiles. Further, NCSU is home to the world's first accredited academic program for the interdisciplinary field of engineered fabrics through The Nonwovens Institute.  

As a part of the Research Triangle, these resources are within a 45-minute drive of Person County. 

Person County has a rich history in textiles and is home to Spuntech Industries, Inc., a global leader in the nonwovens industry. 

Person County, since its formation, has relied heavily on agriculture to produce a substantial income for its local residents. In the mid 1900’s, cotton was the predominant crop. In the last 50 years, tobacco continues to be the county’s leading agricultural income producer. Person County’s soils and weather conditions allow for the production of a type and quality of tobacco that is in high demand worldwide because of its flavor, aroma, and blending quality.

A substantial part of the county’s 392 square miles of land area is in agricultural land. With harvested cropland totals at about 33,600 acres with pastures accounting for another 20,000 acres, woodland acreage is by far the largest of the county’s remaining 256,000 total acres and is becoming a more significant natural resource, as well as serving a more important role in the county’s overall agricultural basis.

Many of Person County’s top manufacturing businesses are made of agricultural raw materials. US Flue Cured Tobacco (tobacco),  Louisiana Pacific (wood products) and Spuntech (non-woven cotton) all use agricultural products as raw materials for their manufacturing processes.

With an effort to smart growth and sustainable development, Person County seeks to take advantage of her agricultural roots and provide more agribusiness opportunities to the Raleigh and Durham MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas) and for additional business opportunities in Person County’s future.

Person County’s entrepreneurial spirit is not only found in our existing family businesses;  it is a priority for future economic vitality. Our k-12 school systems have entrepreneurial courses for high school students and our high school students annually compete in regional and national high school entrepreneurial competitions.

Piedmont Community College has developed a Business Development and Entrepreneurship Center, located on Main Street in Roxboro, NC.  Business Incubator space is available for new entrepreneurs along with a small business center, free business seminars, ed2go online courses and staff to help you with the skills to grow your business.

Person County Schools and Piedmont Community College have joined forces in teaching entrepreneurial skills career needs, including soft skills, to their schools by inviting existing industry leaders  into the school system to share best practices with students.

The new Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership (PECIL)  is a free, public school that is part of the Person County School system. PECIL provides students the opportunity to graduate with the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to be successful, globally-competitive members of a workforce that invigorates the local and regional economies with a high school diploma and a two-year college associate degree in 5 years.

Revolving Loan Programs are available through The City of Roxboro as well as the Kerr Tar Council of Governments which may be combined with other statewide resources to help new entrepreneurs to take advantage of doing business in Person County, NC.

Person County Economic Development Staff is on the advisory board of the Small Business Technology Development Center at NC Central University, and this center is another resource for entrepreneurs to utilize especially on high technology efforts and Small Business Innovation Research efforts.

Person County works closely with the Center for Innovation Network (COIN) to assist high technology efforts to connect with like-minded technologists in the Research Triangle Region to collaborate, leverage their ideas and accelerate their business growth.

Person County is ideally-situated in the Research Triangle Regional Partnership region and in the Durham Metropolitan Statistical Area to attract more entrepreneurs that wish to be close to lakes, great recreation, schools, places to live and work, enjoy culture and take in a suburban to rural flavor with uncongested transportation routes.


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