Lynchburg has been manufacturer-led city throughout its 230 year history. The first industry to develop was tobacco in the early 1800’s. Then, prestigious factories like Craddock Terry, the first shoe and boots manufacturer in the South, thrived in the late 19th century. But perhaps the biggest industry to shape our city has been metals and machinery manufacturing. Today, the City of Lynchburg supports 17 metal and machinery firms, which employ more than 870 workers—a number that is 17 times the U.S. average. In order to remain true to our industrial roots, our city will continue building this vital sector with these key objectives during the next five years.
Expand Business Support
Lynchburg is already an ideal location for the metal and machinery sector as there are an estimated 2,100 local workers with the skill base needed for this field—that’s 42 percent larger than the national average. Therefore, we want to help retain and grow the natural pool of talent here locally. So, in order to ensure there are opportunities, we’re focusing on building support programs, like local incentives, to help encourage business expansion for the existing manufacturers in the area.
Develop Skill Base
The average salary for a local manufacturer worker is $39,500 annually, while the cost of living is 13.2 percent lower than the U.S. average. This means that skill base employment can flourish in our city. Thus, we want to continue to not only support the businesses in place, but the workers as well. For those looking to learn the skills needed for manufacturing, we offer TechHire, a retention program designed to help residents develop and hone specific talents needed for local industry leaders.
Grow Real Estate Opportunities
The Lynchburg population has grown 6.4 percent since 2010. Therefore, placemaking initiatives, or the process of creating public spaces for residents to take part in, will be a priority to support the influx of skilled workers. This includes developing real estate opportunities, both commercial and residential properties, that help the city meet population demands as well as quality of life needs.
See Where We’re Going
We know that current businesses are crucial to driving economic growth, as an estimated 70 percent of job creations occur when a local company expands. So as our city continues to grow, we want you to grow well along with us. You can read more about our strategic 5-year plan in our Blueprint for Opportunity.