Ask Us: Who are the largest employers in Rowan County?

Published 12:30 pm Monday, January 31, 2022

Editor’s note: Ask Us is a weekly feature published online Mondays and in print on Tuesdays. We’ll seek to answer your questions about items or trends in Rowan County. Have a question? Email it to

A reader asked for the list of largest employers in Rowan County, including public sector employers.

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Food Lion is the county’s largest employer, followed by the Veterans Administration, Freightliner and Rowan-Salisbury Schools as of the second quarter of 2021.

The list shifts around somewhat each quarter according to the commerce site. In quarter one, for example, RSS was listed as the second-largest employer, followed by the Salisbury VA and Freightliner.

RSS ranked second in most fiscal quarters dating back to at least 2019. The database does not list numbers of employees by quarter, but it does note which employers have more than 1,000 employees: Food Lion, the Salisbury VA, RSS, Freightliner, Chewy, Rowan County and Novant Rowan Regional Medical Center.

The department’s list also omits Gildan, though the Rowan County Economic Development Commission recognizes the company as one of the largest employers in Rowan County with 706.

Rowan EDC Executive Director Rod Crider said the top employers have not changed much over the past decade with the exception of Chewy being added to the list.

In order, the following are the top 10 employers in Rowan County as of the second quarter of 2021, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. Note: Gildan is excluded from the list.

  • Food Lion
  • Veterans Administration (Salisbury VA)
  • Freightliner (Daimler)
  • Rowan-Salisbury Schools
  • Chewy
  • Rowan County government
  • Novant Health Rowan Medical Center
  • Rowan-Cabarrus Community College
  • R and L Carriers
  • N.C. Department of Public Safety

What is the latest on the Monroe Street School restoration?

SALISBURY – A reader asked for an update on Monroe Street School, which Livingstone College secured funding for to restore the historic building.

A Livingstone spokesperson last week said the college has secured $1 million for the restoration and is pursuing other funding for the project as well.

The college is working with a National Park Service architect to ensure it is compliant with authorizations needed to work on historic buildings.

The school was built in 1923 and damaged by a fire in 1941 but restored. It began as J.C. Price High School, which was Salisbury’s only public school for African Americans at the time. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 2003.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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