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Debbie Lilly, CEcD

VP, Business Development
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The first public university and the first choice for major employers.

Amid the pastoral landscapes and historic towns of Orange County, a vibrant center of education, culture, research and commerce thrives. The combination of strategic location and great quality of life makes Orange County a sought-after place in which to live, work, learn, and play.

The county's towns - Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Mebane, and Hillsborough - as well as its rural areas are marked by a stable labor market, well-educated workforce, low unemployment and diversified employment base. Recent job growth has been strong in the areas of health care, high-end manufacturing, service, and retail.

At the heart of Orange County is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The first public university to open its doors in 1795, the school is perennially ranked as one of the nation's best undergraduate and graduate institutions. In 2011, Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked UNC-Chapel Hill the No. 1 Best Value in Public Colleges - making it a remarkable ten-year run. The county's two public school systems - Chapel Hill/Carrboro and Orange County - also are rated among the best in the Southeast.

The convergence of Interstates 40 and 85 in central Orange County gives the area access to Research Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions. An ambitious infrastructure plan is currently underway that will make this area very attractive for a variety industrial and commercial applications. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is 15 miles east of Chapel Hill, while Piedmont Triad International Airport is about 40 miles west of Hillsborough.

In addition to solid education and location, Orange County offers exceptional dining, nightlife and eclectic shopping opportunities in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, along with a good dose of history - Hillsborough is home to more than 100 structures dating from the late 18th century to the early 19th century.

For any (or all) of these reasons, this is a great pick for a growing employer. Just ask some who are already here: UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, General Electric, Sports Endeavors, PHE, Inc. and A Southern Season all call Orange County home.

Helpful Links

Orange County Economic Development
Major Employers
Demographic Profile
Available Buildings and Sites