Washington County | About
Washington County, located in the Coastal Plain region of North Carolina, was formed in 1799 from Tyrrell County and named for President George Washington. It is partially bordered by the Albemarle Sound. Early inhabitants of the area included Algonquian Indians, followed by English settlers. Plymouth, the county seat, was incorporated in 1807 and named for Plymouth, Mass. Other Washington County communities include Roper, Creswell, Cherry, Scuppernong, Pleasant Grove, Westover, Hinson, and Wenona. Besides Albemarle Sound, notable bodies of water in the county include the Roanoke and Scuppernong Rivers, Phelps and Pungo Lakes, Beaver Dam and Kendrick Creeks, and East Dismal Swamp. The Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is located in the southeastern corner of the county.
Washington County historic sites include Garrett’s Island Home, built in the mid-eighteenth century; Westover Plantation and Homestead Farm, both built in the mid-nineteenth century; and Somerset Place, built in the late eighteenth century and today a North Carolina State Historic Site. As a consequence of the Battle of Plymouth (1864), Confederate forces recaptured the town and reopened the Roanoke River. Cultural attractions include the Port O’ Plymouth Roanoke River Museum and the Washington County Arts Council. The county hosts festivals and annual events such as Riverfest, Civil War Living History Weekend, Somerset Homecoming, Indian Heritage Week, and Plymouth Farm-City Festival.
Washington County agricultural products include corn, soybeans, peanuts, tobacco, cotton, cabbage, sage, beans, potatoes, hogs, and poultry. Manufactured products include wood pulp, paper, plywood, lumber, pallets, clothing, rope, and processed peanuts. Washington County’s estimated population was 13,500 in 2004.
- Population-13,014 (2006)- 12,012 (2016)
- Some College- 23.4%
- Associate’s Degree- 8.5%
- Bachelors- 6.5%
- Higher than Bachelor’s Degree- 3.3%
- Unemployed- 6.2%(2006)- 8.4% (2016)
- Number of people enrolled in UNC System School- 169, 0.1% of total enrollment.
- Public High School Seniors Applying to UNC System Schools- 80
Beaufort County Community College (BCCC), East Carolina University (ECU) and Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) provide Washington County residents with high-quality, public higher education resources to support a variety of career paths from skilled technical opportunities, to healthcare to business and beyond.
Career Curriculum Example from BCCC
Practical Nursing: The Practical Nursing curriculum provides knowledge and skills to integrate safety and quality into nursing care to meet the needs of the holistic individual which impact health, quality of life, and achievement of potential. Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) which is required for practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Employment opportunities include hospitals, rehabilitation/long term care/home health facilities, clinics, and physicians’ offices.
Higher Education Videos for Washington County
David Loope Shares Early College Insights
Beaufort Community College President David Loope explains the BCCC early college program where Washington County high school students can graduate in 5 years with both a high school diploma and an associates degree.
BCCC Offers Affordable Community College Options
Washington County residents can take advantage of several scholarships and other financial aid support available through Beaufort County Community College. The financial support offered enables students to earn credentials that lead to well-paying jobs without incurring a significant financial hardship.
East Carolina University Online
East Carolina University offers online classes, degrees and graduate certificates. Dr. Regis Gilman describes the program and touts the 1,000 courses, 16 undergraduate majors and 56 graduate certificates offered by ECU through their online program.
David Loope, Four Aspirations for Washington County
David Loope, President of Beaufort County Community College describes how BCCC desirs to improve social and economic mobility in Washington County, NC in order to:
1. Break the cycle of poverty.
2. Grow the middle class.
3. Reduce dependence on external aid.
4. Improve the residents’ quality of life.
East Carolina University Delivers a Great ROI
East Carolina University is proud of the many graduates they have in rural North Carolina and Washington County. They believe that ECU makes such an impact that if it did not exist, NC would have to build it right away.
ECSU – An Economic Development Necessity
Eizabeth City State University started as a teacher’s college in 1891 in an effort to educate the people of Northeastern North Carolina. The modern university now offers degrees in business, aviation and computer science, among other subjects, as well.
Washington County Jobs
Please explore the following examples of Washington County well-paying jobs that require some postsecondary credentials:
Emergency Room Nurses (Washington Regional Medical Center; Roper, NC)
- Average Salary: $79,900
- Course Requirements: Practical Nursing Degree
- Courses to take at BCCC: https://www.beaufortccc.edu/catalog/2019-2020/practical-nursing-diploma-d45660
- Additional Training/Certification: National Council Licensure Examination
Health Care Practitioner: Nursing Assistant II – ICU (Vidant Health, Washington, NC)
- Course Requirements: Nurse Aide Level II
- Courses to take at BCCC: Nurse Aide Level I/II
- Average Salary: $45,820
- Additional Training/Certification: Active NAI listing with the North Carolina Division of Facility Services is required, Active NAII listing with North Carolina Board of Nursing is required, Current American Heart Association HeartSaver certification is required, High School or Equivalent (GED) or higher.
Want to get a better paying job in Washington County, but need additional support resources to earn the needed credentials? Please see the list of support resources below that may provide the help you need:
Washington County Riverlight Public Transit
As a community transportation program, Riverlight Transit serves all residents of Washington County. It was created in 1997 from existing transportation programs operated by various public agencies and private non-profit organizations in Washington County.
Riverlight Transit provides curb to curb transportation services directly from a person’s home to his or her destination. Transportation services are also provided for persons who have disabilities.
Click to visit the website and learn more.
Tyrrell-Washington Partnership for Children
A five-star rated childcare facility with a mission to “provide opportunities for children and families to have an improved quality of life.”
According to their website, the Tyrrell-Washington Partnership for Children…
- administers Smart Start funds from the state legislature to support programs to benefit children age 0-5 and their families.
- is a catalyst for bringing different groups together for the sake of the children.
- educates the community on the critical needs of young children and helps develop solutions.
Click to visit their website and learn more.
Grace Filled Beginnings Day Care
A five-star day care center located in Plymouth, NC.
Click to visit their Facebook page to learn more.
Scholarship and Financial Aid
Beaufort County Community College has a foundation that helps students with scholarships and other financial aid. “The BCCC Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization established in 1984 to provide community-based support for the college in achieving its educational and workforce development goals. Through the Foundation, generous donors provide support for scholarships, institutional programs, faculty and staff development and facility improvements.”
Visit the website to learn more.
Financial Aid - General
Beaufort County Community College also provides help with accessing Pell Grants, other federal aid, childcare assistance and more.
Visit the website to learn more.
Please explore the following testimonials:
Marcel Bowser – Criminal Justice Student
Some of Marcel’s friends and relatives believe that getting a degree is not necessary because they can “just work.” Marcel shares why he disagrees and explains how getting a degree will help him to succeed in his chosen field of study.
Jamie Styons on Live After BCCC
Washington County resident shares why he believes that his Beaufort County Community College training will enable him to get a great paying job in his home county.
Washington County Resident Jamie Styons on the BCCC Atmosphere
Jamie Syons describes the atmosphere and support he receives at Beaufort County Community College as being part of a “school family.”