An Ever-Expanding Hub for Biopharma

Johnston County is one of the fastest-growing areas in the state, thanks to its eleven rapidly expanding and welcoming communities. Bolstered by Clayton, Smithfield, Selma, and Benson, four towns with the highest population, the County’s overall economy is diversified with a balance of industrial, expanding commercial, and agriculture enterprises. All helped in part by easy access to Raleigh and RTP, located just 30 minutes away.

Grow With JoCo

Johnston County Data

Johnston County's population in the 2020 census was 215,999.
Johnston County's estimated median age in 2018 was 38.
The average commute for workers is 30.9 minutes.
47.7% of residents also work in Johnston County.
The estimated median family income in 2019 was $69,409.
The property tax rate per $100 value is 73 cents.
Source: Census (2020, ACS 2015-19).

County Spotlight

Workforce Development Center

The Workforce Development Center, located in Clayton, is a 30,000 square foot state-of-the-art educational and technical skills training center with a focus on life sciences programming, business training, and workforce development in biotechnology and other sciences.

The WDC is a collaborative effort between Johnston County, Johnston County Public Schools, Johnston County Economic Development and the College, as well as local industries.

The purpose of the Workforce Development Center is to create an education and training center to support local industries, including biopharma leaders Grifols and Novo Nordisk, by offering learning opportunities from elementary through post-secondary in science and biotech, and other areas of economic influence within the county.

Johnston County Biotech Workforce Development Center (1)

Unique Developments and Contributions

Johnston County Biotech Workforce Development Center (12)

The production of pharmaceutical products, heavy equipment, electronic components, and durable goods assembly operations and distribution centers have provided relatively stable employment to County residents, and have been the object of significant capital expenditures over the years. But the real cornerstone for Johnston County’s continued success is the appeal to firms in the life sciences industry. Two large biopharmaceutical companies – Grifols Therapeutics and Novo Nordisk, and two life science companies – Bayer Crop Science and SBM Life Science Corporation – employ over 3000 people near Clayton.

Infrastructure and Accessibility

Aerial view of Interstate 95 and US Highway 64 interchange.
  • Intersected by both I-40 and I-95, offering convenient access in any direction
  • Proximity to Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Research Triangle Park
  • Johnston County Airport offers a 5,500-foot runway and accommodates aircraft up to 65,000 lbs. The Regional Airport contributes to $119,350,000 of the region's economic output.
Large plane resting on the tarmac.
Johnston County Biotech Workforce Development Center (3)
  • Low operating costs and access to manufacturing-savvy workers.

Johnston County News


December 11, 2022
Johnston County’s inventory of high-quality industrial space is set to continue growing as E.D. Parker Corporation finalizes plans for a speculative building in Benson that will span from 275,000 square-feet to 295,000 square-feet. Johnston County’s Board of Commissioners unanimously approved performance-based economic development incentives in support of the project earlier today. Economic development leaders anticipate the property can attract an advanced manufacturer or life sciences operation to Johnston County.

Johnston County Commissioners Vote Unanimously To Support New Manufacturing Workforce Center In Four Oaks

November 28, 2022
The Johnston County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to approve up to $17.5 million in matching funds to build a 60,000 sq.-ft. Advance Manufacturing Workforce Center in Four Oaks. The facility would have the same transformative economic development potential that the Johnston County Workforce Development Center (WDC) has made for the bio-pharma sector in the western part of the county.

Connect with Johnston County

Interested in learning more about Johnston County? Get in touch with their economic development team.

Our Counties

Get to know the counties that make up the Research Triangle Region.