What sets the workforce in Harnett County apart is its unique blend of traditional values and forward-thinking innovation. Drawing from a rich heritage of craftsmanship and agricultural roots, Harnett County's workforce embodies a strong work ethic and a commitment to quality. Additionally, the county's strategic location within the Research Triangle Region and its proximity to Fort Liberty provide its workforce with access to cutting-edge research, technology, and educational opportunities.

Regional Datapoints

(Harnett County + six contiguous counties)

2.15 m
8.1 %
$76.3 k
1.05 m
62.3 %
92.3 %
28.8 %
43.5 %
6.6 k
14.8 k

Source: Lightcast 2024 Q2

1 Campbell University is located in Harnett County and NC State University is less than an hour drive. Duke, East Carolina University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and Wake Forest University are all less than a two hour drive.

Education & Workforce Training Partners

Our relationships with local and regional education partners allow us to provide distinctive, customized workforce training opportunities. Leveraging our strategic location, we craft tailored programs such as internships, apprenticeships, and work-based learning experiences. These initiatives benefit both students, equipping them with practical skills and real-world experience, and employers, as they develop a skilled talent pool to meet their needs.

This collaboration between education and industry is essential for bolstering workforce development and driving economic growth in our communities.

  • Applied Technologies: CCCC offers a range of programs in applied technologies tailored to meet the needs of local businesses and industries. These programs include training in fields such as healthcare, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and trades like welding and automotive technology.
  • Customized Training Programs: The college works closely with local employers to develop customized training programs that address specific workforce needs. This includes on-site training, professional development courses, and industry-specific certifications.
  • Workforce Continuing Education: CCCC provides continuing education opportunities that allow workers to upgrade their skills, obtain certifications, or pursue new career paths. These courses are designed to be flexible and accessible to accommodate working adults.
  • Apprenticeships and Internships: The college partners with local businesses to offer apprenticeship and internship programs, giving students hands-on experience while meeting the workforce needs of employers.
  • Collaboration with Harnett County Economic Development: The college collaborates with the Economic Development office to align its training programs with the county’s economic goals and the needs of local industries
  • Regional Partnerships: CCCC partners with AdvanceNC and NCBiotech to enhance educational and training opportunities in biotechnology and advanced manufacturing. These collaborations provide students and local businesses with access to cutting-edge resources, industry expertise, and workforce development programs tailored to meet the evolving needs of these high-tech sectors..

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  • Professional Degree Programs: Campbell University offers a range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs in fields such as business, law, pharmacy, medicine, engineering, and education. These programs are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary for successful careers in their chosen fields
  • Campbell Engineering: Campbell Engineering offers an ABET-accredited Engineering (Bachelor of Science Engineering) degree that includes four concentration areas: chemical/pharmaceutical, electrical, mechanical and electromechanical systems engineering. Campbell Engineering has a significant impact on workforce development in Harnett County through their collaboration with local industries and businesses to align its curriculum with industry needs.
  • Health Sciences Education: The university’s health sciences programs, including the School of Osteopathic Medicine, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, and the Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing, provide comprehensive training for future healthcare professionals. This contributes to meeting the healthcare needs of the region and supports the local healthcare workforce.

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  • Career and Technical Education (CTE): Harnett County Schools offers a variety of CTE programs that provide students with practical skills and training in fields such as agriculture, business and marketing, health sciences, information technology, trade and industrial education, and more. These programs help students gain hands-on experience and industry certifications that are valuable in the job market.
  • Early College High School: The Harnett County Early College program allows high school students to earn both their high school diploma and an associate degree simultaneously. This program, in partnership with Central Carolina Community College, helps students gain advanced education and skills, making them more competitive in the workforce upon graduation.
  • Work-Based Learning Opportunities: HCS offers students opportunities for internships, apprenticeships, and job shadowing with local businesses and organizations. These work-based learning experiences provide students with real-world insights and practical skills that are directly applicable to future careers.
  • Career Exploration and Counseling: The schools provide career counseling services to help students explore various career paths, understand the job market, and make informed decisions about their education and career goals. Career fairs, guest speakers, and career-focused events are organized to expose students to a wide range of career options.
  • Partnerships with Local Businesses and Industries: Harnett County Schools collaborates with local businesses and industries to align their educational programs with the needs of the local job market. These partnerships ensure that the skills taught in schools match the demands of employers, making students better prepared for employment after graduation.

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  • Collaboration Between Schools and Businesses: The HCBEP facilitates partnerships between local schools and businesses to create a bridge between education and the workforce. This collaboration ensures that educational programs align with the skills and knowledge needed by local employers.
  • Career Exploration Programs: HCBEP organizes career fairs, industry tours, and job shadowing opportunities for students. These programs help students explore various career paths, understand the local job market, and gain insights into different industries.
  • Internship and Apprenticeship Opportunities: The partnership promotes and helps coordinate internship and apprenticeship programs, providing students with hands-on experience and practical skills that enhance their employability. Local businesses benefit from having access to a pool of potential future employees.

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  • Customized Industry Training at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC)
    The Dr. Paul Howard and Dr. Barbara James Industry Training Center at Central Carolina Community College offers flexible, hands-on, customized industry skills training in a short-course format. Featuring a simulated work environment, a welding lab, an instrumentation lab, and additional classroom space, this world-class facility meets the training needs of businesses and industries. 
  • The E. Eugene Moore Manufacturing and Biotech Solutions Center (Sanford, N.C.)
    The Moore Center's 22-acre campus will feature state-of-the-art facilities for training in biotechnology, computer-integrated machining, industrial automation, welding, robotics, and 3D printing/additive manufacturing, along with short-term, on-demand customized skills training. Additionally, the center will offer soft landing spaces for new and expanding industries during facility construction.
  • NC State Industry Expansion Solutions
    Industry Expansion Solutions (IES) is the engineering-based, solutions-driven unit of NC State University, dedicated to helping organizations grow, innovate, and thrive. Leveraging a broad portfolio and deep industry expertise, IES fosters extensive partnerships with businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies, providing access to cutting-edge expertise, research, and technology through a unique culture of collaboration.
  • The Advanced Technology & Biotech Training Center (Dunn, N.C.)
    The Advanced Technology & Biotech Training Center in Dunn, is in development through a collaboration between the I-95/I-40 Crossroads of America Economic Development Alliance (Alliance) and Harnett County Government. Renovations to the existing Magnolia School Building began in early 2024. Upon completion, the building will house the new Advanced Technology & Biotechnology Training Center and serve as an incubator for new industries regionally.

According to the 2022 Survey of North Carolina Transitioning Military Service Members: Final Report, in North Carolina, each year more than 20,000 active-duty military personnel stationed in the state transition from military service to civilian status.

  • Partnerships: The NCMBC plays a significant role in workforce development by facilitating partnerships between the military, defense contractors, and educational institutions. 
  • Training Programs: NCMBC collaborates with the North Carolina Community College System to develop training programs tailored to the needs of the military and defense industries. These programs provide specialized skills training to individuals interested in careers related to defense contracting, cybersecurity, logistics, and other fields.
  • Job Placement Services: NCMBC assists veterans, transitioning service members, and civilians in finding employment opportunities within the defense industry. The center connects job seekers with employers seeking qualified candidates, helping to match skilled individuals with available positions.
  • Industry Partnerships: NCMBC facilitates partnerships between defense contractors, military installations, and educational institutions to address workforce needs. By bringing these stakeholders together, the center helps identify skill gaps, develop training programs, and promote career opportunities within the defense sector.

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  • Partnerships: Established by the Governor in 2015, NC4ME is a public-private partnership aimed at making North Carolina the top state for military employment.
  • Educate: NC4ME informs business leaders about the benefits of hiring military personnel.
  • Provide Training: NC4ME offers accredited HR courses on recruiting and retaining military talent.
  • Connect: NC4ME links employers with high-performing military candidates to boost business outcomes.

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Other Partners

The Mid-Carolina Regional Council logo

The Mid-Carolina Regional Council aims to promote collaboration among local governments to enhance the health, safety, and welfare of their citizens, and to plan for the region's future development. Additionally, Mid-Carolina helps members address current issues and reduce financial waste.

North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Department of Workforce Development logo

The North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Department of Workforce Development helps businesses find the ideal locations, skilled workforce, and infrastructure necessary to thrive in North Carolina. Additionally, NC Commerce assists local communities in securing grants and funding to attract new businesses and ensure future growth.

NCWorks logo

NCWorks, North Carolina's statewide workforce system, offers free services and programs to businesses. With over 80 Career Centers and an online hub, NCWorks' professionals understand local labor markets, training opportunities, and challenges, simplifying the process of meeting employment needs.