City Initiatives

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Wilson is fortunate to have the largest manufacturing base in Eastern North Carolina, with five major life-science manufacturing facilities and many other diversified industries. City leaders have always invested heavily in infrastructure to serve industry with world-class amenities. The City supplies electric, natural gas, water, sewer and broadband utilities. Wilson is an employment center for many surrounding counties, with a net in-migration workforce of approximately 3,500 daily.


The city received a highly-competitive $10 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VII grant to improve a section of the U.S. 301 corridor. The city of Wilson will add $3 million to the project, increasing the overall investment to $13 million. The scope of the project includes intersection improvements, medians, sidewalks, walking paths and drainage. The goals are to make the area safer for pedestrians and traffic while also encouraging new investment and development. The work zone will be along U.S. 301 from Lipscomb Road to Black Creek Church Road.

To learn more about this U.S. 301 initiative with videos, images and contact information visit the TIGER Grant project page.

Innovate NC

Wilson is one of five communities selected to participate in InnovateNC, an intensive, two-year cross-city learning collaborative. Through its participation in InnovateNC, the city will develop an inclusive entrepreneurial economy while retaining its rich community character. These efforts will build on local assets including the community-owned Greenlight Gigabit Network.

To learn more about this economic development initiative with videos, images and contact information visit the InnovateNC project page.

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum

The Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum (501(c)3 nonprofit), along with many public/private partnerships, is developing a world-class public sculpture park that will be a catalyst for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, a year-round tourist destination, a community gathering place, and provide innovative educational programs integrating science, art, and the history of Eastern North Carolina.

The park was conceived originally in the 2030 Comprehensive Plan, our community’s economic growth plan, which was created with the help of thousands of citizens from across Wilson and was adopted by City Council in 2010. During the early stages of the park project, Vollis Simpson’s Whirligig’s had the honor of being named the North Carolina State Folk Art.

The park project has spurred private development in Historic Downtown Wilson. Directly across from the park, both on South Street and on Goldsboro Street, there are private sector historic property redevelopment projects underway to complement the park. To date The City of Wilson has supported the project with in-kind professional services and staff time but no direct investment. In late January 2016, the City Council voted to ensure that the park will be completed.

You can like the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum Facebook page to see more images, videos, and news.