Economic Development

What We Do

The Hoke Economic Development team works to enhance job growth and prosperity across Hoke County through attracting new industry and expanding existing industry.  Our goal is to strengthen Hoke County's economy and diversify our community’s tax base. We focus on promoting the County's best assets in an effort to entice  industry decision-makers, site-selectors, and developers to bring their businesses to Hoke County. 

Gracious Living. Great Location.

Welcome to Hoke County, where gracious living meets a great location for business. In 2017, the county’s population topped 54,000, and Hoke continues to be one of the fastest growing counties in the state.

Founded in 1911, Hoke was a rural county with an economy based on cotton. Raeford, which became the county seat, was incorporated in 1901, after the Aberdeen & Rockfish extended its line to this early railroad town. Over the years, Hoke County expanded agricultural production to other crops and livestock, growing to become one of the nation’s leading turkey producers.

Poultry plays a key role in the economy and culture of Hoke County. When one producer consolidated operations and closed their Hoke facilities, Butterball was waiting in the wings. They now provide 600 quality jobs for area residents. Each year, Hoke County celebrates its poultry “connections” with the North Carolina Fall Festival. This acclaimed event attracts more than 30,000 visitors from near and far.

Hoke County offers a number of benefits for business and industry, including its central location and excellent workforce training programs. Prime industrial space available includes sites with dual rail service, through Aberdeen & Rockfish connections to CSX and Norfolk Southern. The Raeford-Hoke Economic Development Commission is a joint city-county operation. Working in collaboration helps the ED Commission be more effective and extremely supportive of existing and prospective new business.

Among other industries in Hoke County, Tyton Biofuels – the first ethanol plant in North Carolina – is a biorefinery operation with plans to transition from corn to energy tobacco. Hoke also has an excellent retention record for its business neighbors, which include Burlington Industries and Unilever.

Hoke County treasures its close connections with Fort Bragg, one of the world’s largest military complexes, part of which is actually located on county land. Expansions at Fort Bragg account, in part, for the county’s significant population growth. Hoke is proud to be a place that many of these brave men and women and their families call home. Retired military and military spouses are a valuable part of the outstanding workforce available in Hoke County.

When it comes to quality of life, Hoke County has retained its pastoral, pine-wooded beauty, while population growth has brought new amenities and services. This includes significant school improvements and major expansions in local health care/hospital facilities.

With the distinctive city-county blend of an intimate community, reasonable cost of living, wide range of home choices, mild year-round climate and convenient central location, Hoke is a great place to live. A supportive community and economic development organization – as well as unique advantages and opportunities, including viable rail service – make Hoke County a great home for business and industry.

Progress, Pride, and Peaceful Living

Welcome to Raeford/Hoke County. A community with a proud past and promising future. A place where peaceful hometown living and pastoral beauty combine with all the amenities of a metropolitan hub, without the hustle and higher prices. In our fabled Carolina Sandhills setting, fragrant pines, stately magnolias and brilliant blooms proclaim the southern hospitality that welcomes all. You’ll love our year-round mild climate. And we have a great location, between Fayetteville/Cumberland County to the east and Pinehurst/Moore County to the west.

Bordering Fort Bragg, we offer easy access to this military post. New neighbors continue to discover the benefits of living here, making Hoke one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina. That’s bringing new amenities and plans, including the renaissance of downtown Raeford and school expansions and improvements.

Homeowners Haven

Hoke County has welcome news for home buyers. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of choices – from new construction to historic homes, established neighborhoods, golf communities and acreage to build on. Home prices are well below the national average, and we have one of the lowest tax rates in the area.

We’re not just growing quickly, we’re growing wisely – with prudent oversight by the Hoke County Planning Board. We’ve got room to grow and still retain the character that sets us apart from city sprawl.

Faith and Fellowship

Blessed by our southern heritage and cosmopolitan influences, our region is home to a wonderful diversity of religious institutions. People of all faiths and denominations will find a place to worship – and share the fellowship – in and around Raeford. Through our active faith-based community, you’ll find opportunities for involvement in service programs and projects for the greater good.

Good Grades

In Hoke County, quality education is a top priority. A broad spectrum curriculum caters to the needs of all students, from the academically gifted to the learning disabled. The theme for our school system is “Transformation: Preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world.” And we’re proud of the innovation and improvements continuously implemented in our schools.

We’re also extremely supportive of our teachers. In addition to offering financial incentives, we have opened an apartment complex in Raeford designed exclusively for teachers. Among numerous national awards, Hoke County Schools’ national AdvancED accreditation has been renewed. Sandy Grove Middle School was named a US Department of Education Green Ribbon School for incorporating the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) program into the curriculum – and for integrating “green” concepts. Sandy Grove was the nation’s first net positive energy, LEED Gold, leased public school. What’s more, Hoke County Schools recently completed a $6.2 million renovation project to equip all schools and offices with energy efficient features.

Hoke County High School recently opened a million dollar, state-of-the-art health sciences lab, fully equipped with hospital grade equipment and patient simulators. The CTE (Career and Technical Education) program offers exciting pathways including animal science, horticulture, firefighting, barbering, cosmetology and culinary arts.

Private schools in the area provide other K-12 options. And, there’s a wealth of opportunities for pursuing higher education in and around Hoke County, including community colleges and outstanding four-year institutions, both public (part of the prestigious University of North Carolina system) and private.


Hoke County has fun! Right here and nearby. Located within putting distance of the golf capital of the world in Pinehurst, our area has excellent public courses, with affordable greens fees and readily available tee times. 

With great places to play, our excellent parks and recreation system offers youth and adult sports leagues and children’s activity programs. The 211 Sports Complex – with splash pad, sports fields and facilities – is a great addition. Nicholson Creek Game Land/Callaway Forest has 3,500 acres for horseback riding, hunting, fishing, biking and hiking. This scenic expanse includes the 8-mile All-American trail. Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving in Raeford has the world’s largest vertical wind tunnel, where you can try the thrilling sport of free-fall “Body Flight.” Or, tandem-jump from a “real” plane at Paraclete’s aviation field.

Home to Heroes

Many active duty military families call Hoke County home. Neighbors are always ready to support those faced with deployment and other challenges of military life. And retirees often chose to stay or return to this welcoming community, where we cherish our military connections.

A number of attractions in the area celebrate our nation’s military heritage – from the fascinating museums and exhibits at Fort Bragg, to the world-renowned Airborne & Special Operations Museum and North Carolina Veterans Park in downtown Fayetteville.

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    Will Wright

    Executive Director