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Lee County works to lower county's unemployment rate

(MGN Online)

Lee County now ranks second in Iowa for the highest unemployment rate.

At just 4.1 percent Lee County, Iowa is struggling to fill jobs causing its unemployment percentages to spike.

Lee County Economic Development Group Chief Operating Officer Dennis Fraise said Tuesday it’s about the problem and what a solution may be to get Lee County residents back to work. Friase says a program used in Des Moines County called 'Bridges Out of Poverty' will soon translate their program to Lee County.

"Jobs are available yet we have a high unemployment rate so what is the disconnect there? So that's what Bridges is really about. We also have a lot of poverty in Lee County and southeast Iowa in general. What we are hoping to do with the Bridges program is really about taking a community-based approach to helping people build the skills necessary to move them into full employment," says Fraise.

Now the unemployment rate for Lee County has decreased by 1.3 percent since October 2016.

State officials say bringing jobs back to Lee County was the easy part.

The challenge will be providing skills and educating those to work higher paying jobs.

Here's what's next - An orientation session will be hosted next Thursday, December 7, from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Comfort Inn and Suites in Fort Madison.

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