WYTHE COUNTY, Va. – Economic development leaders in Wythe County are pleased with the U.S. Labor Department’s most recent jobs report, which reveal that the county’s unemployment rate has reached its lowest point in nearly eight years.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wythe County’s November 2015 unemployment rate was down to only 5%.
Though local leaders say they’re still not satisfied with 5% unemployment, they note that it is an incredible transformation from the 13.3% rate seen in February 2010.
“The county has worked to seize every opportunity available to bring new jobs into the community,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Tim Reeves.
Reeves says that over the past five years, the county has strived to form a close working relationship with leaders in state government. Thanks to this effort, the Commonwealth of Virginia has approved multiple county requests to expand the county’s enterprise zones – Virginia Enterprise Zones allow partnership opportunities between state and local governments that encourage job creation and private investment through special incentives and grants for businesses wishing to expand their operation in the Commonwealth.
November’s jobs report caps off what has been a great year for the county’s economic development endeavors.
In September, the Virginia Tobacco Commission awarded the county $750,000 in grant funding to go toward construction of a regional exposition center that will have the seating capacity to hold as many as 6,000 people.
The following month, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe paid a visit to Wytheville in order to announce that Schaffner MTC Transformers would be investing $3.1 million in the county in order to expand their Wythe County operation.
The expansion is expected to create 79 new jobs that will pay above the average prevailing wage in the region, according to company officials.
“There’s still a lot of work left to be done,” concluded Reeves, adding, “but the most recent jobs report clearly shows that we’re on the right track.”
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