shelby at a glance
Shelby is nestled in the southwestern corner of North Carolina near the South Carolina
border and is conveniently located between Charlotte and Asheville.
Citzens enjoy the recreational advantages of a setting that allows easy access to the
Blue Ridge Mountains and the coastal areas of the North and South Carolina. Major highways serving the Shelby area are I-77, I-85, I-26, I-40 and US 74, NC 150, NC 18, and NC 226. Other available transportation includes Norfolk Southern, CSX, Charlotte Douglas Airport (International) and Shelby Municipal Airport (general aviation).
An Abundance of Development Assets
Shelby has the physical infratructure to accommodate almost any type of industry.
The transition over time from a traditional industrial structure that consumed relatively
large amounts of water to a more modern, diversified, less water dependent business
and industry base has led to ample supplies of water and excess sewer capacity. The
terrain in and around the City is well suited for development and offers cost advantages
for drainage and sewage collection systems. The City's municipal power system offers
electrical energy rate structuring flexibility to meet the special needs of business and
Compared to many other areas, the land surrounding Shelby has an abundance of
properties available for industrial sites at affordable prices, including land near the City
with convenient access to a full range of urban services. A favorable geographic
location with an excellant transportation network places local businesses within easy
reach of population centers and markets in the eastern US.
Combining these assets with a productive and reliable work force, an accommodating
business environment, a responsive and cooperative local government and a distinct
and genuine small-town character and quality of life gives Shelby a development
advantage that few comparably-sized towns can match.
To ensure that their development policies and actions are consistent with community
values and responsive to changing needs, the City recently completed a Strategic
Growth Plan to deal effectively with anticipated growth and growth-related issues.
With extensive public input, a comprehensive set of long-range policies and a
prioritized plan of short-term actions were adopted to guide decisions that will keep
Shelby as attractive and livable in the future as it is today.
In 1841, Cleveland County was carved from existing Lincoln and Rutherford Counties
and named for Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a Revolutionary War hero at the Battle of
Kings Mountain. Shelby's main streets are named for Revolutionary War heroes.
Shelby was incorported in 1843 and is the county seat of Cleveland County. It is the
largest city in the county with a population of over 21,000.
The City was designated an "All-American City" in 1970 and was named as one the first
national and state "Main Street" communities in 1980.
The City Park complex includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, a fully functioning
1919 Herschell-Spillman Carrousel, a unique miniature train and a challenging nine-hole
The Cleveland County School system serves over 17,600 students. Shelby has made
education a priority and has a number of community support programs for special
assistance in basic and advanced education and training. At-risk children can find help
through Communities in School, the Youth Assistance Program, Boys and Girls Club and
Shelby is home to Cleveland Community College now serving over 9,000 students in
both curriculum and continuing education programs. Nearby Gardner Webb University
in Boiling Springs has over 3,400 students working toward degrees in 14 undergraduate
departments offering 46 majors and 13 Master's degree programs.
Major Employers in the county are:
- Cleveland Regional Medical Center
- Cleveland County Schools
- Curtiss-Wright Controls, Inc
- Eaton Corporation
- Hurst Rescue Systems
- PPG Industries, INC
- Wal-Mart Distribution
- Ultra Machine and Fabrication
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