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Economic Development

“When you look at key segments of Economic Development – manufacturing, logistics, health care and services, we are diverse in all segments.”

Jeff Hatling, Community Development Director

Can you imagine a community that has more jobs than workers? Can you imagine a community that moved forward during the recent recession? Positive growth in Kernersville is demonstrated by our attractive downtown, medical facilities, and continuously strengthening local industry. It is not a figment of your imagination – it is Kernersville at its finest. During the depths of the national economic recession, Kernersville grew its manufacturing and employment base. We completely replaced North Main Street to match previous beautification efforts on South Main Street. We secured a hospital that has already attracted significant additional health care facilities. So, how are Kernersville’s legacy industries?

Manufacturing: Deere-Hitachi expanded its facilities, attracting visits from President George W. Bush and the two most recent governors of our state. Highland Industries moved their world headquarters to Kernersville. Grass America increased their production. Piedmont Aviation consolidated two operations at their Kernersville plant. Caterpillar opened a new axle manufacturing plant and Herbal Life up-fitted the former Dell facility for its product manufacturing. Both are located within a stone’s throw of the Kernersville town limits.

Logistics: Several years after FedEx Air opened a hub at nearby PTI, FedEx Ground opened a regional hub in the newly formed Triad Business Park, located within town limits. That distribution facility has already been expanded to meet demand. Our road network has always been an asset, helping Kernersville to become a logistics center for the region. The first leg of the Northern Beltway/I-74 is under construction. This will connect Highway 158 with I-40. Our economy has been generating momentum because of the ability to quickly ship business products, creating a major draw for attracting other industries to our community.

Health Care: The health care industry became a major strength in Kernersville even before the Novant Kernersville Medical Center became a reality in 2011. Cone Health MedCenter opened a multi-practice specialty center. The next major domino is the massive VA clinic, scheduled to open in 2016. Other specialty medical practices are springing up, making Kernersville regionally important in health care.

Services: The service industry has been the backbone of the Kernersville economy for many years. Smaller employers, the financial services industry and nonprofit providers, meet the demand of our steadily growing population. Many companies in the service industry establish their base in Kernersville and serve the entire Triad.

Town economic development has been the result of a 25-year plan for business development. Lawrence E. Pope’s vision to preserve land for key industries was largely responsible for the site of the Novant Kernersville Medical Center and the new Veterans Affairs Health Center. The Pope Companies also developed several business parks that strengthened the local economy, particularly the South Park Business Park and North Park, now home to the Deere-Hitachi expansion.

What about the claim that Kernersville has more jobs than workers? There are an estimated 14,000 jobs in Kernersville. With a population of 24,000, including youth and retirees, Kernersville has more jobs than working adults. Kernersville is an employment center, attracting people from throughout the Triad to keep our economy vibrant.

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