- Incorporated: 1855
- 2010 population: 13,000
- Newton utilities: electricity, water, and wastewater
- Major employers: Target Distribution Center, Flowers Baking Company, Lee Industries, General Dynamics, ZF Lemforder, Sarstedt, Technibilt, Renwood Mills, Catawba County Government, Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools
- Highways: I-40, US 321, US 70, NC 10, NC 16
- Railways: Norfolk Southern
- Airports: Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (38 miles away),
- Hickory Regional Airport (12 miles away)
CAPITALIZING ON ASSETS AND DETERMINATION
Newton is located in Catawba County, positioned in the triangle formed by Asheville to the northwest, Winston-Salem to the northeast, and Charlotte to the southeast, all within an hour-and-a-half drive. The gently rolling terrain blends into the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains offering residents and visitors an abundance of scenic attractions, a wealth of recreational options, and a temperate climate with four seasons that are as distinct as they are mild.
The shelter of the mountains moderate winter temperatures and provides refreshing summer breezes providing an environment and ambiance favorable for year-round outdoor activities. Newton’s average annual temperature is 57 degrees, with a range of 41 degrees in January to 77 degrees in July. The usual freeze-free period extends from the first week of April to the first week of November. Precipitation averages 49 inches yearly. The City’s location in the foothills of the mountains exerts a strong influence on the comfortable and pleasing climate. Elevation within the county ranges from 705 to 1,780 feet, with Newton averaging about 1,000 feet.
Newton was selected as the county seat in 1845 and was incorporated in 1855. The second largest city in the county, Newton has experienced a steady rate of growth since 1970, expanding from 7,600 to the current population of over 13,000 people. The City has a wide array of advantages–challenging places to work, low cost of living, diverse cultures, a vast array of recreational opportunities, arts and culture, and an unparalleled lifestyle. In fact, Catawba County has been recognized as being one of the top ten areas in America to raise a family.
Over the past several years, Newton has diversified and balanced its threatened traditional manufacturing base. A productive partnership with Catawba County and regional economic development organizations has produced a comprehensive methodology for identifying and recruiting new business and industry, both manufacturing and non-manufacturing. The transition from a traditional manufacturing economy to a more modern, diversified structure has benefited from a pool of skilled, productive workers loyal to the area. With hard work and determination, Newton has been highly successful in advancing its economy.
DEVELOPING A QUALITY HOMETOWN EXPERIENCE
Newton has created an enviable living environment offering friendly neighborhoods and hospitable businesses, shops, and restaurants. The Downtown Newton Development Association has created an effective public-private collaboration to promote business development and preserve the friendly atmosphere of the downtown business district. This district includes the city government complex, the historical museum, and residential properties.
On the 1924 Courthouse Square in the downtown area, visitors can get a sense of Newton’s past at the Catawba County Museum of History, where the region’s story is artfully displayed in the unique setting of the former Catawba County Courthouse, an imposing National Register Renaissance Revival structure. Other attractions include the Old Post Office Playhouse, the Historic Newton Depot and Museum, and the Newton-Conover Auditorium. The Newton Parks and Recreation Department helps advance the attractiveness of the community and its quality of life through a diverse and comprehensive program of recreational, educational, and cultural programs for both old and young alike.
ACCOMPLISHING EMPLOYMENT OBJECTIVES
Newton strives to maintain its competitive position by providing both new and relocating business and industry with an excellent infrastructure, access to a productive labor force, a wide range of expansion/relocation incentives, outstanding technology and training, and proximity to a vast number of suppliers. These efforts were rewarded in July 2006 when Target Corporation announced that they were going to locate a major regional distribution center in Newton that brought at least 550 new jobs to the area. Construction on the $90 million, 1.5-million square foot facility began in 2007 and the grand opening was held in August 2009. Newton provides all utilities to the site, and also provides a generator to ensure an uninterruptible power supply.
Key factors in building the reputation leading to this type of recruiting success include the area’s unparalleled support of new and small businesses and one of the nation’s best public-private sector partnerships supporting local businesses and industries. Businesses are confident that if they make a business investment in the region, it will be a sound and profitable choice. The area has a proven portfolio with outstanding returns.
- Newton is strategically located in the Hickory Metropolitan Area. The City has a diverse industrial base, with companies producing fiber optic cable, automotive parts, baked goods, medical supplies, telecommunications technology, as well as traditional industries such as furniture and textiles. Over half of the nation’s furniture is produced within a 200-mile radius of Newton.
- INC Magazine has twice named the region as one of the top entrepreneurial areas in America in both traditional and high-tech industries. The region has been recognized as offering businesses all the necessary tools to excel in a world-class business environment.
- The Newton Parks and Recreation Department maintains five parks (including numerous ball fields, tennis courts, walking/jogging trails, and picnic tables/shelters), a swimming pool, two recreation centers with gymnasiums, and a fitness center. The department also sponsors many athletic and entertainment activities throughout the year.
- Newton is home to the annual Soldiers Reunion, featuring almost a week of patriotic and entertaining activities for area residents, including a parade in downtown. The event is the oldest patriotic celebration in the nation that is not based on a holiday.
- Business North Carolina magazine ranked the region as having the second-best business environment of the state’s 50th largest communities.
- The planned widening of N.C. Highway 16 will provide a direct, four-lane link between Downtown Newton and Charlotte within the next several years. The construction of the U.S. Highway 321 freeway to the west of the City has already shortened the drivetime to the Charlotte metropolitan area and ushered in a new life for the rural southern portion of the county. Highway improvement will bring rapid commercial and industrial growth along this important transportation corridor, and Newton is open for business.
For more information about the City of Newton, visit www.newtonnc.gov, or call 828-695-4300.