Our Region

A History of Looking Toward the Future
Our region has a rich history as an innovation center. Strong advances in furniture manufacturing, hosiery, telecommunications and textiles helped shape our future and brought us national attention as a manufacturing center throughout the 20th Century.You can visit the History page of this site to learn more.

National Honors and Recognition

  • Hickory has been named “All-America City” three times, in 1967, 1987, and 2007. This award is given to 10 cities in the nation each year.
  • The region has also been named by Reader’s Digest as one of the top ten places in the county to live raise a family.
  • Outlook Americas has ranked three Catawba County municipalities in the top five “Best Manufacturing Small Towns in the Country”, with Conover coming in first.
  • Business North Carolina magazine reported that Hickory was the 8th best city in the state for its quality of life.
  • Southern Business and Development ranked Catawba County as the top mid-market in North Carolina in their list of the “Top 250 Places in the South to Locate Your Company”.
  • The area has even been on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for diversifying its economic base with the inclusion of technology industries.

The Arts
The region has always focused on the arts, and houses  the state’s second oldest art museum. It also boasts several community theatres, a choral society, and a symphony. The city of Hickory hosts “Art Crawls” several times throughout the year, and has many commissioned art works throughout the town.

Recruiting and Development
Today, comprehensive efforts are being directed at identifying and recruiting new sectors in manufacturing such as biomedical, pharmaceutical, technology and building products, and identifying and recruiting non-manufacturing sectors such as retirement and retail development. The once tight labor force has transitioned into a pool of skilled workers loyal to the area and its industries. Continuing education programs are abundant, and  ensure that our workforce can grow as our industries change.

We are an innovative region who has never forgotten where we came from and love the challenge of what lies ahead of us.