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Lee County, Iowa

Located in the heart of America in the southeastern portion of Iowa, Lee County not only embodies Midwestern charm, but is home to a multitude of Fortune 500 and international companies that are continuously growing. Located along the Mississippi River and centered between Interstates 80, 35, 55 and 70.

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Manufacturing Jobs

Potential Regional Labor Force

Students Participate in Grow Lee Programs

%

of Lee County Schools participate in STEM Scale-Ups

Grow Lee

A Workforce/Business Retention and Expansion project focused on growing and increasing the quality of Lee County’s workforce

Grow Lee is a collaborative effort spearheaded and facilitated by Lee County EDG

Goal:  Ensure an adequate workforce that meets the current and future needs of our employers.

One-on-one Synchronist interviews were conducted with industries representing Lee County’s top 20 employers. These companies represent over 4,000 workers, or 94% of manufacturing employees in Lee County.  Data from the Synchronist interviews determined workforce to be the No. 1 Business Retention and Expansion issue facing Lee County industries.  

Lee County EDG has hosted 15 Talent for Today and Tomorrow over four years to solicit input from our investors and Lee County stakeholders. Information from these meetings, combined with data collected from our Synchronist interviews, to form a program of action called Grow Lee.

Initially, Grow Lee consisted of 10 workforce initiatives however through collaboration it has expanded beyond the original programs. The initiative was designed to develop a pipeline of workers for current and future careers. The programs included a Lego Robotics program for elementary school students, to an employabiltiy class for high school students called 12 Plus, and up-training our existing workforce through stackable certificates utilizing our community college's new Industrial Technology Center.   

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Buy Lee County Program Pumps Over $60,000 into Lee County Economy

The Buy Lee County program has been met with overwhelming support from our communities. The program allows individuals to purchase $30 in Chamber Checks from the Fort Madison Chamber or Keokuk Kash from the Keokuk Chamber for $20.
 
Through the four rounds, spread out one per month since May, over 2,000 certificates have been sold equaling $63,000 that will be spent in Lee County.
 
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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Lee County Recognized for Leadership in the Wind Energy Industry

Lee County was presented the Iowa Wind County Seal Award by Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Economic Development Director Debi Durham. The American Wind Energy Association recognized communities for helping wind build a sustainable, affordable, and prosperous energy future. 

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Monday, June 29, 2020

Lee County EDG Team Appointed to Governor's Recovery Team

Lee County EDG's President and CEO Dennis Fraise and Economic Development Project Director Dana Millard have been asked to serve on Governor Reynold's recently announced Economic Recovery Advisory Board working group focused on Workforce.

 This working group will be developing recommendations to the Advisory Board related to Iowa's recovery from a workforce perspective.

 

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Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Buy Lee County Program Exceeds Expectations

To help support local small businesses, several Lee County groups came together to provide Buy Lee County Certificates; where individuals could purchase a $30 certificate for $20 and use it at any Lee County business.

This Monday certificates went on sale and by the end of the business day Tuesday they were completely sold out.

The Keokuk and Fort Madison Chamber sold 600 Buy Lee County Certificates within two days.

This program is designed to give incentive to people to shop at the over 240 small businesses in Lee County. Certificates can be used at local restaurants, retail, or services from a Lee County business. A complete list of businesses can be found here.

“We were very excited about the community’s response to the program,” said Dana Millard with Lee County EDG. This was the first round of Buy Lee County Certificates. The groups plan on launching a second round June 15th. “We want to make sure the people who are purchasing the certificates are turning around and spending them to help local businesses and not holding on to them,” explained Millard.

Several studies have shown that money spent at a locally owned business stays in the local economy and continues to strengthen the economic base of the community. There are other benefits to buying local as well.

Small, locally-based businesses make vital contributions to communities and neighborhoods; they account for the largest share of net new jobs generated each year, and provide some of the most stable employment opportunities in a community.

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