This last month has been very productive: employment is at an historical low, businesses are expanding and the EDC is working with public and private partners to ensure that we have successful entrepreneurs and a trained workforce. We look forward to a successful August of greater growth for our community.


Workforce Development:

In August, TIP Strategies will host a series of meetings to address workforce training needs. TIP will be connecting with Centralia College and employers to identify current workforce training needs and the future demands of employers. Future needs may include: industrial electricians, CNC operators, and millwrights. If your company has an unmet training need please contact the EDC to provide your input into this process.



Our community has handful of programs to serve entrepreneurs wishing to startup or grow their small business. The most ubiquitous programs that serves small business is the SBDC program. Ron Nielson, the director of the SBDC in Lacey, serves Lewis County. He is available to meet both virtually and in person. The EDC is identifying ways to better serve our community’s entrepreneurs.



Many business owners site issues with finding adequate and affordable housing for their current and future employees. Currently the median home price for Lewis County is around $188,000 while neighboring Thurston is $270,000, and Cowlitz $168,000. There is clear demand in our market place for more housing. The EDC sees this challenge as an opportunity for local government and the private sector to work together to identify new housing development.



Lewis County’s unemployment rate has dropped to an historical low of 6.1% in June, the lowest rate since September of 1990. The previous historic low point was 6.9% just before the market crashed in 2007. The county with the lowest unemployment in Washington State is King County at 3.7%. In June, the U.S. and Washington state unemployment rates were about equal at 4.4% and 4.5%. This is good news and we are optimistic that this upward trend will continue.




Industrial Commission

The Industrial Commission is nearing completion of a 10,000-square foot building on Bishop Road. The metal building features two grade doors and a large yard area with full insulation and LED lighting. The building is available for lease or sale and would be a great facility for a manufacturer. To learn more about the new building go to Industrial Commission Building link or contact Benjamin Baria at


Business Retention & Expansion:

Made in Chehalis

The Port of Chehalis has attracted attention to the diverse goods producing businesses in the area with their new list titled, “Made in Chehalis.” The list includes over 60 different businesses such as: metal fabrication, sheep cheese, mint oil, bus parts, and many more. To see a full list of the products made here please visit the Port of Chehalis at their website.


The EDC would like to invite our members to participate in creating a “Made in Lewis County” list to highlight the businesses that are producing products here in our community. If you would like to contribute to the list please contact the EDC with your suggestions.