Pitt County Economy
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)
Pitt County Leisure Activities
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.
Pitt County has more than 30 major parks facilities, nearly 200 clubs and organizations, numerous fitness centers and sports facilities, six golf and country clubs, and over 250 churches and synagogues. There are also many and diverse options for arts and culture to suit all ages, interests, and tastes.
Pitt County Shopping
The Greenville, NC MSA is a rapidly growing retail center in North Carolina. Whether exploring a small specialty shop, or browsing in a major department store, shopping in Pitt County is a pleasant, relaxed experience among friendly merchants. Explore shopping options throughout Pitt County at the following links:
Pitt County Cultural Activities
- Local Arts Councils, along with East Carolina University, present hundreds of events throughout the year.
- Events include chamber groups, major symphonies, touring Broadway shows, opera, and ballet.
- University academic departments offer a number of highly specialized visual and performing arts opportunities.
- Opportunities for personal involvement are available through community bands, orchestras, theatre, dance and vocal groups, and writers and artists guilds.
- Nine museums/galleries are located in Pitt County as well as several private art galleries.
- A number of nationally known poets and artists reside in the area.
- Pitt County and East Carolina University provide extensive library systems both in terms of number of volumes for specialized research and programs for children and adults.
- The ECU library system offers a Health Sciences Library, Music Library, Manuscripts Collection, Rare Books Collection, and a number of other specialized components.
The cultural climate of Pitt County is unsurpassed in Eastern North Carolina, providing the proper environment to nurture the artist as well as to satisfy the desires of the art lover. Everything from old fashioned cloggers to ballet, from jazz ensembles to symphony orchestras, and side walk art shows to fine art exhibits are available throughout the year. The abundance of cultural events is largely attributable to the activities and presence of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at East Carolina University.
Pitt County Healthcare
The creation of the School of Medicine at East Carolina University in 1972, followed by the construction of a modern medical center in 1976, established Greenville/Pitt County as a regional health care center in Eastern North Carolina. Pitt County has the third highest per capita ratio of physicians to population in the state of North Carolina.
Emergence as a major medical center has required the constant creation and expansion of services and new facilities to meet the needs of a rapidly expanding regional population. One such facility and service is the Ronald McDonald House, a temporary place of residence for families of critically ill children being treated at the medical center.
The following is a list of public medical facilities serving local and regional populations:
- James Bernstein Community Health Center
- Brody School of Medicine at ECU
- East Carolina Heart Institute
- ECU Biotechnology Center
- ECU Family Medicine Center
- ECU School of Dental Medicine
- Eastern Area Health Education Center
- Eastern Carolina Vocational Center
- Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center
- Walter B. Jones Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Gamma Knife Center
- James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital
- McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge
- Pitt County Public Health Center
- Ronald McDonald House of Eastern NC
- Veteran’s Administration Health Care Center
- Vidant Medical Center
- Vidant Regional Rehabilitation Center
- Vidant SurgiCenter
- ViQuest Wellness Center
All of these facilities are located in the medical district, with the exception of the Vocational Center, the Public Health Center, and the Bernstein Community Health Center which are located in the Greenville Industrial Park area. There are many other private, for-profit centers providing health care to regional populations in such areas as neurology, plastic surgery, C-T scanning, home health, radiology, and physical therapy.
Pitt County Education
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.
Pitt County Geography
- Atlantic seaboard location midway between Boston and Miami
- Longitude: 77° 22′ W Latitude: 35° 27′ N
- Elevation: 10′-100′ MSL. Land Area: 419,800 acres
- Population: Pitt County: 175,354 (2014); Square Miles: 656.52. Major City: Greenville, population 89,852 (2014); Square Miles: 35
- Greenville/Pitt County is centrally situated to serve the largest concentration of population and industry in eastern North Carolina (over 820,000 people within 45 miles)
- A coastal location, protection by eastern mountains, and proximity to the Gulf Stream serve to moderate climate
- Temperate climate makes shutdowns due to inclement weather rare and allows year-round outdoor recreation
- Average daily maximum temperature 72°F
- Average daily minimum temperature 50°F
- Any snow accumulation melts quickly (temperature usually gets above freezing any day it goes below freezing)
- Abundant supply of high quality ground water available from eight underground aquifers
- Tar River is navigable from Greenville to the Pamlico Sound (boating and water skiing are popular) with proximity to Intracoastal Waterway