RALEIGH — The N.C. Department of Commerce announced today that Winterville has been designated a North Carolina Certified Retirement Community. The N.C. General Assembly established the program in 2008 to designate communities that offer unprecedented quality of living that is desirable to retirees.

“This designation will be a valuable economic development tool for the town of Winterville and its residents,” said N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker. “The people of Winterville recognize the valuable contributions that retirees can make to the overall enhancement of their community.”

“North Carolina is experiencing a healthy in-migration of retirees to the state, and this program aims to attract retirees and persuade them to put down roots here,” said Wit Tuttell, Vice President of Tourism and Marketing for the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

To gain certification, a local government must submit an application that includes a comprehensive community survey and assessment tool that reflects the city’s readiness for retiree attraction. Ratings criteria include:

  • Demographics
  • Housing/technology
  • Healthcare
  • Local economy
  • Leisure/cultural opportunities
  • Services for retirees
  • Community/education/military

“Our designation as a Certified Retirement Community is really special,” said Winterville Mayor Douglas Jackson. “Located near an outstanding medical facility and hospital, a well-known university [East Carolina University] and the Pitt Greenville Airport, Winterville has almost any service that most retired individuals would like or need. There are many new homes already constructed and new subdivisions in the process of being developed. Several new restaurants are under construction at this time, also. We welcome retirees to come and visit us and make Winterville their home.”

Winterville, which submitted its application in July, was recognized for its many local amenities that are attractive to retirees. Communities with this official designation receive marketing and promotion assistance from Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

The N.C. Department of Commerce accepts applications for the Certified Retirement Community Program in January and July of each calendar year. For more information on the program, contact andre.nabors@VisitNC.com.

North Carolina previously named the following cities as Certified Retirement Communities: Lumberton, Asheboro, Marion, Sanford, Mount Airy, Pittsboro, Eden, Tarboro and Edenton.

The N.C. General Assembly, during the 2008 short session, recognized the inherent abundance of quality living that the state offers and established the N.C. Certified Retirement Community Program (S.B. 1627) as a vehicle to designate communities that offer this unprecedented quality of living that is sought by the mature community.