Located in the east-west corridor between Raleigh to the west and the Outer Banks coastal region to the east, Wayne County is one of the leading agricultural areas of the coastal plains of North Carolina. The City of Goldsboro, the county seat, is the center of population, serving a major economic function as the trade and service center for Wayne County. The population of Goldsboro and Wayne County is 113,329.
Wayne County, formed in 1770, was named for the great Continental Army General, Anthony Wayne. Almost a century later, in 1865, the last battle of the War Between the States was fought at Bentonville, 18 miles west of Goldsboro.
Since the mid-sixties, continual industrial growth has led Wayne County to a more balanced industrial-agricultural economy. Agriculture continues to be the major source of income for Wayne County residents. Tobacco is the principal cash crop followed by corn, cotton, grains, and soybeans. Livestock and poultry are major sources of income for Wayne County farmers. Manufacturing is diversified in Wayne County, including furniture, textiles, footwear, foundry products, metal fabricating, electrical components, transformers, replacement automotive parts, and commercial baking equipment. Numerous manufacturing companies are located throughout the area.
Four local newspapers, six radio stations, and a modern 316-bed hospital serve Wayne County. There are over seventy churches which represent various religious faiths. Varied recreational facilities include swimming pools, parks, a community building, a Family “Y” and two state parks.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, one of the most important and modern bases in the United States, is located at Goldsboro. The 4th Fighter Wing of the Air Combat Command is the host unit of the base and flies the prestigious F-15 Eagle Fighter Aircraft; the Wing has the additional responsibility of providing all combat crew F15E training for the USAF. The 916th Air Refueling Wing, Air Force Reserve, is the tenant unit on the base and flies the KC-135R Jet Tankers.