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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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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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Friday, March 27, 2020

Resources for COVID 19 Response

The following is a synopsis of the actions, support or resources the Iowa Economic Development/Iowa Finance Authority (IEDA/IFA) has undertaken or made available in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Information on all resources can also be found at iowabusinessrecovery.com

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Conagra Brands Invests $32 million and adds 91 new jobs

The Lee County Conagra Brands facility announced today that they are expanding their facilities, investing $31,900,000 and adding approximately 91 jobs. The Lee County facility currently employs approximately 450 individuals.

 To help facilitate this expansion and creation of jobs, the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board has awarded Conagra $1.2 million over five years as part of the High Quality Jobs tax credit program. In order to qualify for this program, the jobs must pay a minimum of $17.09 per hour at the beginning of the project and at least $20.51 once the project is completed. 

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