Pitt County, also known as the Greenville, NC MSA, is one of the fastest growing urban centers in North Carolina. It is also a leading retail center in eastern North Carolina and ranks as one of only a dozen billion dollar retail markets in the state. The local economy is well diversified with industries in advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, life science, and food processing. Agriculture is still a strong contributor to the economy – tobacco, corn, soybeans, wheat, peanuts, eggs, livestock, poultry and vegetables are the primary agricultural products. Major employers include: East Carolina University (education), Vidant Medical Center (health care), Patheon (pharmaceutical manufacturing), DSM Dyneema (chemical manufacturing), Hyster-Yale (lift trucks), Grady-White (boats), ASMO (electric motors), Attends Healthcare Products (paper products), Mestek (steam unit heaters), and The Roberts Company, Inc. (metal fabrication).
Access is provided by an east-west Interstate-quality freeway (264), a north-south four-lane highway (13), two railroads, and two commercial airports. An international airport is approximately a 90 minute drive. Approximately 30 motor freight carriers, including several special commodity companies, provide regular service.
The area’s educational system is the pride of eastern North Carolina. The public school system receives extensive local support, reflected in modern classroom facilities, a wide range of extra-curricular activities, and student performance above state and national averages on standardized achievement tests. Pitt Community College, sixth largest in North Carolina’s 58 campus community college system, offers a wide variety of business/industrial curriculum programs (machining, electronic servicing, industrial maintenance, information systems, etc.). Special training programs are specifically designed to meet the start-up and up-grade skill needs of industry, regardless of the type of operation or employment size of the facility. East Carolina University (ECU), the state’s third largest institution of higher education, offers over 100 undergraduate and 99 graduate degree programs in concentrations such as Engineering, Technology, Business, Medicine, and Dental Medicine. ECU also holds the distinction of being classified among the Doctoral/Research Universities by the Carnegie Foundation.
The creation of the Brody School of Medicine at ECU stimulated the emergence of Vidant Medical Center as a regional health care referral center. The medical center serves a 29-county referral area with a multitude of services that include organ transplant, a Level I Trauma Center, air ambulance service, neonatal intensive care and centers for rehabilitation, diabetes, cancer, and cardiac care.
One of the most unique characteristics of the area is the wide assortment of leisure and cultural activities. Parks, rivers, golf courses, historic old towns, coastal sounds, and the famous beaches of the Outer Banks offer many recreational outlets in addition to organized activities sponsored by local recreation departments. The mild climate allows residents the opportunity to enjoy outdoor recreational activities throughout the year. The presence of the College of Fine Arts at ECU with its schools of Art, Theatre, and Music provides the cultural diversity of a major metropolitan area.