The total civilian labor force in Lee County for May, 2006 was 9,262 of which 8,857 were employed and 405 were unemployed. The unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. The average weekly wage for Lee County in 2005 was $515. This would be equivalent to $12.88 per hour or $26,780 per year, assuming a 40-hour week worked the year around. The total number of employees located in Lee County in 2005 was 5,192. The largest major industry sector was Health Care and Social Assistance, with 15 percent of the employment, followed by Retail Trade (44 & 45) with 12 percent, and Public Administration with 11 percent.
Lee County Industrial Development Authority
Economic development for the County is the prime mission of the Lee County Industrial Development Authority. The Authority is a seven member board appointed by the Board of Supervisors for staggered four year terms. The Authority is staffed by an economic development director appointed by the Board of Supervisors. That individual is also Community Development Director and Director of Planning.
The IDA operates an aggressive industrial development program featuring an industrial park developed using federal and state funds. It has a shell building program designed to attract industry and employment to Lee County.
The agency’s marketing strategy includes memberships in Virginia Southwest Promise and Northeast Tennessee Valley Industrial Development Association as well as the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. It is also developing an economic development home page for the worldwide web and is directly marketing through attendance at selected national level trade shows throughout the year followed by direct mail and telemarketing follow-ups.
Industrial Financial Assistance Programs
Several different organizations provide special financial assistance opportunities to interested firms. Virginia Southwest Promise offers assistance as does the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. Lee County is the only County in Virginia to have all three resources in significant amounts.