Clayton - Shop, Dine & Discover
Clayton is conveniently located in western Johnston County, only 20 minutes from the state capital in Raleigh. The town is surrounded by a thriving industrial base and offers diverse recreational activities, numerous educational opportunities and a burgeoning cultural and visual arts community. Its citizens - who range from young families to retirees - enjoy the comfort and security of living within a small community, yet take advantage of the benefits of living close to the major metropolitan Triangle area.
The official slogan for the Town of Clayton is "A Premier Community for Active Families." In addition to being a great place to live and work, Clayton is a wonderful place to play. Entertainment and recreational opportunities abound and appeal to residents and visitors of all ages.
Take advantage of the opportunities available through the Clayton Chamber of Commerce to build and expand your business. See the Event Calendar at www.claytonchamber.com for more detailed information about scheduled events.
BUSINESS AFTER HOURS
Business after Hours is the perfect chance to network monthly with other Chamber members in a relaxed atmosphere. Showcase your business by signing up to be a host.
MEMBER BREAKFAST EXCHANGE
If you can’t get involved in After Hours, join other members quarterly for coffee and a light breakfast at the Chamber on the last Friday of each month. Meet fellow Chamber members and find out what the host business has to offer.
The Ambassadors are a group of dedicated volunteers who work as the personal representatives of the membership and liaisons between the professional staff at the Chamber, the Board of Directors and the members. The Ambassadors meet monthly for lunch at a member restaurant. In addition, Ambassador Training is held twice annually. For more information about the Ambassadors program, contact the Chamber staff at (919) 553-6352.
The Chamber works with the Johnston Community College Small Business Center to present speakers on a variety of business topics several times throughout the year.
The Clayton Business Expo is sponsored by the Chamber annually. The Expo provides a venue for members and other area businesses to showcase their products and services to the community. The event is open to the public.
This festival is Clayton’s biggest event sponsored by the Chamber. The annual Harvest Festival brings 20,000+ people to town for a variety of festivities, including a vendor street fair, entertainment, rides, amusements, numerous types of food and an antique car show. The five-day event is the highlight of the year in Clayton.
This event has become an extremely popular event. Clayton Idol auditions are held the week of Harvest Festival. Finalists perform live on the Main Stage to a packed crowd. The winner of Clayton Idol performs at several Chamber events throughout the year. In 2009, Scotty McCreery was chosen as the Clayton Idol and then became the winner of the national TV hit show American Idol in 2011.
Join fellow Chamber members for a day on the links on the last Friday in April.
CLAYTON CHRISTMAS PARADE
The Chamber also sponsors the annual Clayton Christmas Parade, which draws thousands to downtown Clayton in early December to kick off the holiday season.
The Chamber also sponsors other special events throughout the year. The Chamber is proud to sponsor numerous community events, which includes two blood drives during the year. In addition, during the school year, the Education Committee honors a Superstar Education Staff Member and presents them with a gift certificate and goodies from Chamber members
The community which has grown into the Town of Clayton was built on a road cut blazed by Governor Tryon's troops around 1770 as they marched North from New Bern to Hillsborough against the Regulators. Nearly 100 years later the railroad came through and the community had it's first name-Stallings' Station, since the depot for the North Carolina Railroad was in the home of Mrs. Sarah Stallings. The name lasted only three years, however, before officially becoming Clayton. Incorporation followed in 1869. The new town was far from prosperous, however the Civil War made a depressed local economy even worse. Many prominent citizens moved away during that period. But, following the war, the railroad was extended and businesses began to pop up. Ashley Horne developed a successful farming and merchandising business to become one of the most successful merchants and manufacturers in all of North Carolina. Horne's success inspired two other men, McCullers and Barbour, to open businesses that also did well, beginning an era of growth that lasted well into the next century. Among some of the businesses that flourished during that time were lumber plants, a brick kiln, a cotton gin, a gristmill, a sawmill, tobacco warehouses, cotton mills and a turpentine distillery. By the early 1900's, the town had become a major market for cotton, watermelons and tobacco. In 1907, the Raleigh Evening Times of nearby Raleigh wrote that there was "more money per capita in Clayton than any city its size in the world". Unfortunately, the town lost its financial eminence in the 1930's with the onset of the Great Depression, and its population grew slowly for the next forty years. The three local cotton mills continued to be a major source of jobs during that time, with 1,000 employees, but the local economy was modest and cotton was soon on its way out. By the early 1960's the mills were gone and cotton was no longer a player in the local economy. But, tobacco was in, and the population shot up for awhile before settling back down as farming became less and less profitable. The state began to change during the 1970's. An industrial base began taking shape and residential growth was increasing in the Raleigh area nearby. Clayton's workforce adapted, shifting to a more service/trades-oriented economy and the town began to grow once again. By 1980, the population had grown increased to 4,091, to 4,756 by 1990 and, then jumped to 6,973 in the year 2000 census. Today, manufacturers like Caterpillar and bio-pharmaceutical companies like Talecris and Novo Nordisk are big local employers. Commercial development along US 70 through town has changed the face of Clayton in recent years with thriving retail and service sectors.. However, downtown Clayton still boasts quaint specialty and coffee shops, a thriving financial services area, furniture stores, restaurants, jewelry stores, and more than a dozen personal care businesses. Some of Clayton's oldest businesses, Beddingfield's Drugs (1919), Jones' Lunch (1958) and TR Lee Gas & Oil (1958) still operate downtown today. In recent years, a strong effort to protect and preserve the traditional downtown has helped the area maintain its economic vigor and historic charm.
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Citizens and visitors find Clayton easily accessible. Located on the western edge of Johnston County in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, the town is only about a 20-minute drive to the state capital in Raleigh and about a 30 or 35 minute drive to Research Triangle Park and Durham, respectively. Clayton is near Interstates 40 and 95 and U.S. 70, and is a 30-minute drive from Raleigh/Durham International Airport. The airport services eight major airlines and 18 regional airlines with an average of 372 daily arrivals and departures.
A four-lane, divided highway was constructed to relieve congestion on existing U.S. 70 and provide motorists traveling to Raleigh or to the coast with an alternate route. Motorists traveling to I-40 through Clayton now have a faster, less-congested route.
• It is a new four-lane, divided highway.
• There are access points at interchanges including I-40, N.C. 42, Ranch Road and the U.S. 70/U.S. 70 Business Split.
• The new road includes 22 new bridges.
• Existing U.S. 70 has become U.S. 70 Business.
• The 10.7-mile highway stretches from I-40 at mile marker 310 in Wake County to the U.S. 70/U.S. 70 Business Split in Johnston County.
The Johnston County Airport is located approximately five minutes east of Clayton. Its 5,500-foot runway and taxiways are paved and lighted, and charter service is available. Amtrak can be boarded in Selma or in Raleigh. Bus service is available from Smithfield and from Raleigh.
The scenic North Carolina Mountains are just three and a half hours to the west, and the beautiful North Carolina coast is just two hours to the east.
- According to the US Census Bureau, the 2010 population of Clayton stands at 16,116, which represented a 131.1% growth rate since 2000.
- Clayton is one of the fastest growing towns in one of North Carolina's fastest growing counties.
- The Clayton Center, located in the heart of downtown, has become a premier cultural, performing arts, and conference center in the region.
- Clayton offers a small-town atmosphere, coupling an attractive mix of suburban and rural living.
- Clayton area schools are ranked among the top in the state.
- The most recent Demographic Information (2006) shows 1,097 companies doing business in Clayton and employing nearly 11,165 people.
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MOVE TO CLAYTON
Newcomers to Clayton will find a variety of housing communities to visit when searching for a home. Clayton features several real estate styles, ranging from the traditional in the heart of town to flourishing golf course communities with award-winning architecture. PUBLIC SERVICESThe following list of service offices and telephone numbers will help newcomers settle into life in Clayton: United States Postal Office
Main Street Clayton, NC Phone: 553-1867 Driver's License Office - N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles
N.C. 42 West Clayton, NC Phone: 550-2351Emergency Services:
For all emergencies, dial 911 Administrative phone numbersClayton Fire Department
- Phone: 553-1520Clayton Police
- Phone: 553-4611Clayton Area Rescue
- Phone: 553-5493Licenses, Fees and Permits: Town of Clayton Inspections Department-
Phone: 553-5002, ext. 208License Plates
- N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles Fourth Street Smithfield, NC Phone: 934-8707 Media The Clayton News-Star
(Weekly) Ellington Street Clayton, NC Phone: 553-7234The Smithfield Herald
(Weekly) Smithfield, NC Phone: 934-2176 News & Observer
(daily) Raleigh, NC Phone: 829-4500 Public Libraries Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library
Clayton, NC Phone: 553-5542 Public Libraries of Johnston County
Smithfield, NC Phone: 934-8146 Public Utilities Town of Clayton (water, sewer, electric)
Customer Service Phone: 553-5002 Public Works Department
Phone: 553-1530 Trash Collection
Town of Clayton Customer Service Phone: 553-5002 NC Natural Gas
Raleigh, NC Phone: 1-800-275-6264
Information packets are available to people interested in relocating to Clayton. Please contact the Chamber office via email or by calling (919)553-6352. Packets will be mailed out within 48 hours of receipt of the request. Request more information here.
Packets also can be picked up at the Chamber Office, 301 E. Main Street, Clayton, free of charge.
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Johnston County Schools
Vision: Empowering All Students to Become Successful in a Global Society!
Welcome to Johnston County Schools! Our district serves over 32,000 students in grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. Doubling the student population in the past 15 years, Johnston County's growth is due to the excellent education JCS provides to our students. We enjoy strong community support through funding for new schools, partnerships with business and faith based organizations, and fabulous parental involvement. Evidence of this is the opening of two new high schools with state of the art technology in every classroom. What are the results of this support? Student achievement ranks among the top 20% of all North Carolina districts. We are proud of our 256 Nationally Board Certified teachers, placing JCS within the top 50 school districts in the nation. Johnston County Schools is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, meaning that our graduates are prepared to be accepted into the finest universities and colleges. Extracurricular activities abound through strong arts and athletics programs. Global is not just a buzz word in our vision statement. Our diverse culture includes over 40 languages spoken by students and their families. The Visiting International Faculty Program provides teachers from around the world and many of our schools are involved in global partnership programs. It is our commitment to live our vision as we empower all students to become successful in a global society!
For more information, please visit our website: www.johnston.k12.nc.us
Johnston Community College
Johnston Community College has been awarding associate's degrees, certificates, and diplomas for more than 40 years to students pursuing occupational, technical, and continuing education skills.
JCC ranks among the 15 largest community colleges in North Carolina. On its main campus in Smithfield and at its off-campus centers across Johnston County, JCC serves more than 20,000 students annually in its curriculum and community development and lifelong learning programs.
JCC is transferring more students than ever before to four-year colleges and universities to earn bachelor degrees. For the past two years, JCC's nursing graduates have posted a 100-percent passing rate on state licensure exams. JCC has a special workforce training center in Clayton and offers the longest-running biopharmaceutical training program in North Carolina. The College is home to the North Carolina Truck Driver Training School, the oldest publically-operated program of its kind in the nation. JCC is also very proud of its Performing Arts, Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center, and Arboretum, all of which are unique outreach offerings at community colleges.
For more information about these and other opportunities at JCC, please visit http://www.johnstoncc.edu
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CLAYTON AREA CHURCHES - A complete list of local churches can be found in the Yellow Pages section of the telephone book. Local telephone books are available free of charge at the Clayton Chamber of Commerce offices.
Clayton is surrounded by a thriving industrial base and offers diverse recreational activities, numerous educational opportunities, and a burgeoning cultural and visual arts community. Its citizens - who range from young families to retirees - enjoy the comfort and security of living within a small community and are able to take advantage of the benefits of living close to the major metropolitan Triangle area.
Clayton's public schools are a major factor in attracting residents. Administered by Johnston County Schools, area elementary, middle, and high schools are among the top performing schools in the county. JCS is committed to providing a high-quality education for its students and boasts 19 schools of distinction and nine schools of excellence countywide.
Clayton strives to be a diverse town that provides avenues of growth for education, industry, small business, and recreation. The Clayton Chamber of Commerce works cooperatively with town officials and area businesses to promote business and economic development, increase civic awareness and community involvement, and support educational opportunities throughout town.back to top
The Clayton Town Council and the Johnston County Economic Development Office are proactive in recruiting new businesses of all types to the area. Information about local economic development can be obtained through the Town of Clayton
at 919-553-5002 or the Economic Development Office
SMALL BUSINESS START-UPS
The Small Business Center
at Johnston Community College in Smithfield is one of 58 centers throughout North Carolina that supports the development of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses by being a community based provider of training, counseling, and resource information.
The Center provides information for the person interested in small business topics and computers on site for writing and researching business plans and proposals. In addition, confidential business counseling and a variety of business seminars are available. For more information, call 919-209-2015.back to top