Catawba County is ideal for those who have a sense of adventure and a heart for hard work: for people with a passion for making something of themselves, their community, and the future. We are actively crafting a living and a life rich in both tradition and promise.

Catawba County has a long tradition transforming possibility into prosperity. Our creative, industrious spirit is reflected in a legacy driven by invention – and reinvention – to make life better. Today, this looks like revitalized Mill Districts that have renovated abandoned mills into thriving corporate and retail spaces; the initiation of several major, long-term community development projects designed to enhance walkability, livability, connectivity and aesthetic appeal; and the expansion of access to our incredible natural recreation spaces through the addition of hundreds of acres to our local park systems.

We're Making. Living. Better. in Catawba, and others are starting to take notice.

“In 2014, Hickory citizens voted in favor of a $40M bond referendum to fund an economic revitalization of the City - it led to the creation of four major projects: Riverwalk, Class A advanced manufacturing park called Trivium Corporate Center, City Walk, and Streetscapes and Gateways.

Keep up with the latest progress and dirt moving via this updated page.

Similar redevelopment efforts are underway all over the County, offering pedestrian and traffic improvements, as well as new outdoor amphitheaters and adult playground space.


From restoring old mill buildings to creating new streetscapes, reinvention is the word when it comes to reimagining a better future for our community. Examples abound in every city and town, from the revitalized Mill District in Hickory to the reinvented Conover Station facility in downtown Conover.

Several major projects are currently in the works to create appealing spaces for enhanced walkability and connectivity, including Hickory's City Walk and Riverwalk, Streetscape and Downtown Improvements in Hickory , Conover and Newton , as well as the Mill District in Hickory.

Gaining Momentum

In 2016, the Catawba County Board of Commissioners embarked on a collaborative strategic planning process to proactively drive local economic and population growth through job creation and enhanced quality of life. Focus was given to Economic Development, Water & Sewer Infrastructure, Education, Healthy & Safe Community, Arts & Culture, Housing, Parks, and Branding & Marketing.

The Board examined each of these areas in-depth through a series of collaborative workshops, meetings, presentations and site visits that explored opportunities for the Board to catalyze action, either through their own leadership or in collaboration with local municipalities and community partners.

In November 2017, this work culminated in the identification of key goals, strategies and tactics that, taken together, position Catawba County for growth that not only supports a strong economy but also enhances the County's existing quality of life.

Early successes include the following:

  • A commitment to develop Mountain Creek Park, a nearly 600-acre site featuring more than 25 miles of mountain biking and hiking trails on the banks of Lake Norman.
  • Creation of K-64, a local education and economic development initiative shaping future careers and meeting workforce demands by connecting students and employers throughout the local educational continuum.
  • Breaking ground at Trivium Corporate Center, a Class A business park jointly developed by Catawba County, Hickory and the Catawba County EDC. Corning Optical & a new German manufacturer, ITM, will be the park's first two tenants.

​Read more about Catawba County’s Strategic Plan here.

George: Director, Catawba County Cooperative Extension
Soraya: Spanish Instructor, Lenoir-Rhyne University

"Then we applied to the Peace Corps again, and we went to Panama for 3 years…”

Making A Difference

Catawba County's legacy goes beyond making quality goods to making quality lives. Catawba County is a community that cares about not only making life better today, but also ensuring a better community for future generations.

The nonprofit community in Catawba County works collaboratively to improve quality of life for all residents. Their efforts span from helping meet basic individual and family needs to implementing community-wide, large scale prevention programs.

Catawba County residents also benefit from many private foundations, actively funding community betterment efforts for many years in the form of grants and donations.

Visit the National Center for Charitable Statistics to view lists of nonprofits and foundations in Catawba County.


Volunteerism thrives in Catawba County, where there are countless opportunities to get involved and be directly engaged in helping make life better in our community.

To connect with volunteer opportunities, visit the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce's Volunteer Opportunities page or search Volunteer Match in our area. These represent just a fraction of the opportunities to get involved in the community. If serving the community through a particular organization interests you, give them a call to find out how you can get involved!

Catawba County is home to more than 40 civic clubs and organizations whose mission is to serve the local community. These groups provide the ability for members to not only give back, but also to meet new people and extend their social and business networks in a supportive environment. To find some of the civic clubs in our area, search the following directories: Kiwanis Clubs; Lions Clubs; Rotary Clubs; Optimist International Clubs.

Specific to the veteran community, please visit our Veteran & Family Resource page to learn about veterans organizations working to improve our region.