economic development lewis-clark valley
313 D. Street, Suite 201, Lewiston, ID

Area Profile


The Lewis-Clark Valley offers a high quality of life that ensures a stable quality workforce. Here you’ll find a comfortable feeling, where 35,000 people in the labor force blend their skills, talents and expertise to create a productive environment for business.

In this setting, there has been a steady influx of individuals and families seeking a clean, less complicated lifestyle where they know their neighbors, escape long commutes with traffic jams, and still have the opportunity for business growth.

Local governments have planned for the growth that’s occurring. Zoned land, available industrial and research parks, utility capacity, natural resource management and transportation are all factors that have received attention in planning for new industry and population. Two universities, a 4-year college and a community college provide a diverse curriculum in continuing education for employees of growing businesses. This dimension is one way we return big dividends to employers. And our two-state environment provides ready access to a variety of financial resources to support training.

Civilian Labor Force by County
Nez Perce & Asotin Counties (ID & WA) 31,990
Whitman County (WA) 22,850
Latah County (ID) 19,775
Idaho County (ID) 6,640
Clearwater County (ID) 2,935
Lewis County (ID) 1,600
Garfield County (WA) 861
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The Lewis-Clark Valley boasts a highly educated workforce. There are many programs available for employers to train employees in groups as small as five.

Valley Vision can provide you with more information and resources for employee training. Should you have any questions, please contact us for more information.

Two universities, one state college and one community college provide the research and training connection for business. Research is an ongoing function in nearly all curricula at institutions of higher education, and sponsored programs conducted by the two universities exceed $140 million annually.


A large number of businesses have traditionally thrived in this valley, including Clearwater Paper, which has grown into a leader in paper products and technology.

The completion of the waterway system which made Lewiston into the West’s most inland seaport accelerated business growth and diversity. The Ports of Lewiston, Clarkston, and Wilma offer a gateway for manufacturers to the West coast as well as to other countries in the Pacific rim. A network of river, rail, and highway transportation facilities, along with economic assistance offered by area banks and community agencies, combine to give Lewiston an excellent business climate.

employer / employees
Washington State University (Pullman, WA) 6,130
University of Idaho (Moscow, ID) 4,843
Clearwater Paper 1,414
Vista Outdoor 1,410
Nez Perce Tribe (Lewiston, Lapwai) 1,346
Lewiston School District 1,200
St. Joseph Regional Medical Center 950
Lewis Clark State College 750
Costco Wholesale 540
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (Lewiston,ID) 620
Regence BlueShield of Idaho 509
Tri-State Memorial Hospital 650
U.S. Forest Service, Clearwater Idaho Counties (Orofino, ID) 454
Swift Transportation 400
Walmart Supercenter (Clarkston, WA) 340
Clarkston School District 330
City of Lewiston 289
Nez Perce County 220
Lewiston Morning Tribune 160
Poe Asphalt Paving, Inc. 140
Northwest Children’s Home 140
Idaho Forest Group (Lewiston, ID) 205


We have the highest value choices (electricity and natural gas) at rates among the lowest in the United States.

Even small businesses can achieve substantial savings here; there is a significant disparity in energy costs throughout the country (i.e. in New York, electricity costs as much as 4 times, depending on usage; in California, 40-100% more).

The Valley also provides substantial water resources, as well as significant unused sewer treatment capacity.

We offer four economical modes of transportation to accommodate business needs.

Air travel and air freight needs are served, and rail service is provided by three competitive carriers. We have river port sites which readily link us to domestic and international markets. A network of federal, state and county roads round out our intermodal transportation system.

Located 465 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Lewiston and Clarkston are the most inland port on the west coast. The Columbia-Snake River System is supported by an inland barge service that transports bulk commodities and containerized cargo. The Ports provide the largest cranes, warehouse facilities and grain storage facilities on the inland river system. Download Brochure

Container barge service began on the Columbia River in 1975 with an average of 50 containers per month barged into the Port of Portland. In 1978 the Port of Lewiston began shipping containers on barge, moving a total of 507 TEUs for the year.

Today there is consistent service provided by tug and barge lines allowing shipments of containerized cargo to meet vessel schedules calling the Port of Portland.

With the Lewis-Clark Valley 465 miles inland, all major modes of transportation are available to Port shippers to route their products globally and still remain competitive in the marketplace.


Air transportation is available at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport. The airport is served by one commercial operator, Delta. It is also home to a new 80 acre Industrial Airpark with direct taxiway access.

Airlines Servicing Lewiston: 2

Air Cargo Companies Serving Lewiston-Nezperce County Airport

  • FedEx
  • UPS



Lewiston and Clarkston are located next to the intersection of US Highway 12 and 95. Highway 12 provides a direct link to markets in Montana, while Highway 95 allows for links in Boise, Idaho to South and Canadian Markets to the North.

Motor Freight Services: 15
Airport Car Rental / Shuttle / Limousine Service: 8
Bus line: For Lewiston, ID, and Asotin/Clarkston, WA bus routes: 1

Major Highways:

  • U.S. 12, E-W
  • U.S. 95, N-S
  • U.S. 195, N-S



The Columbia/Snake River System provides barge service to the Port of Portland and west coast ports with connections to steamship lines serving the Pacific Rim.



A feeder line of the Great Northwest Railroad provides the Lewis-Clark Valley with a direct link to the main lines of the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroads.

  • Great Northwest Railroad offers connections with Burlington Northern and Union Pacific for access throughout North America

The people of the region welcome industry and encourage economic development and business growth.

National Geographic featured our region in their article “A Paradise Called The Palouse.” Another beautiful part of our region is the acclaimed “Gateway to Hells Canyon.” From Paradise to Hell, it’s a country of contrasts…with fertile cropland and timberland interwoven between mountain ridges, river valleys, and deep scenic canyons. See more about Hells Canyon.

Our region is noted for its:

  • forests
  • agricultural production
  • scenic beauty
  • our unusual concentration of higher education institutions in a rural area
  • climate
  • rivers

And…these features lead to a lot more! Our lifestyles are a mixture of outdoor recreational leisure, community events, arts and festivals. We are bordered by national forests, wilderness areas, pristine lakes, whitewater rivers, and rugged canyons. In less than an hour’s drive, you can be fishing, camping, hunting, skiing or sailing.

We also have a wide range of cultural, ethnic and educational advantages, including ballet, symphony, theatre, concerts, and university seminars. Football and basketball headline the athletic events. Many fans also enjoy the complement of other sports played here. Our recreational and cultural opportunities are fantastic…but our business opportunities are too!

From the business perspective, the region’s centralized location within four western states plus British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, combined with our intermodal transportation system, places the area in an enviable position. Access to local, regional and international markets is convenient and affordable. A loyal and dedicated workforce produces more and costs less.

The Rivers

Nearly all the great rivers in the Northwest come to, through, or near Lewiston. While the Snake and Clearwater Rivers are right outside our front door, the Salmon, Selway, Lochsa, St. Joe, Grande Rhonde, and dozens of smaller waterways are all within easy driving distance.

As beautiful as the rivers are, the landscape around them is even more spectacular. From the craggy cliffs looming above the Snake (which flows through the deepest gorge in North America) to the pine and fir forest which line the Selway, from the green glades of the shadowy St. Joe to the sage country framing the Grande Rhonde, there’s a setting to match every taste.

Lewiston is just a stone’s throw away from the largest contiguous wilderness area in the lower forty-eight states: The River of No Return, Selway-Bitterroot, Gospel Hump, Mallard-Larkins, Sawtooth, and Eagle Cap Wilderness Areas are all part of this watershed, not to mention another half-dozen National Forests and twice as many state and regional parks.

If it’s natural beauty you’re after, head for the rivers!

river fun
  • Jetboating
  • Waterskiing
  • Sprint Boat Races
  • Fishing
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Jetskiing
  • Beaches
  • Rafting
  • Wildlife
  • Sunshine

Lewis Clark Valley Climate

Lewiston, Idaho and Clarkston, Washington are located at the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater Rivers at an elevation of 738 feet above mean sea level. The Weather Office is located on the bench at an elevation of 1,413 feet above sea level and about 2 miles south of Lewiston. Although Lewiston is at about the same latitude as Duluth, Minnesota, the climate, especially in the wintertime, is comparatively very mild. This mildness can be explained by its location with respect to the effects of Pacific air masses from the west and by the sheltering effects of the mountains that surround the valley in almost every direction.

Snowfall in the valley averages about 18 inches during the year, concentrated mostly in the three months of December, January, and February, but in the higher country surrounding the valley the snowfall is much heavier.

Precipitation normally amounts to about 13 inches annually, which is rather evenly distributed through the year except for the months of July and August, which are characterized by infrequent thunderstorms that usually drop only small amounts of rain. Records show that several times during these two months not more than a trace of rain has been recorded and at times not even a trace. The thunderstorms on the prairie are, at times, accompanied by heavy hail and windstorms.

Many winters have gone by without a temperature of zero being recorded in the valley, but the prairie sections usually experience lower temperatures. The summers experience hot and dry periods with as many as 10 consecutive days with afternoon temperatures reaching 100 degrees or more. Considerable cooling after sunset makes the nights very comfortable. Cold waves occur when arctic air, originating in the Yukon Territory, moves southward. Such cold waves are relatively infrequent when compared to the number of arctic outbreaks east of the continental divide in Montana only a short distance away.

Winds are light, usually prevailing from the east, with occasional stronger winds accompanying the well-developed frontal systems from the west.

Relative humidity averages about 70 percent during the winter months and gradually lowers to about 40 percent during July and August.

The growing season of approximately 220 days in this part of the country, makes conditions favorable for the growing of many types of fruits, vegetables, and berries.

  • 22 Motel/Hotels
  • 5 Convention Centers
  • 10 Banks
  • 5 Credit Unions
  • 2 Non-Bank Small Business Lenders
  • 69 Churches representing 43 denominations
  • Hundreds of acres of city parks with playgrounds, picnic shelters and tables
  • Casino’s
  • Skate Park
  • Burling Pond
  • 2 National Forests
  • 5 State Parks
  • 8 Tennis Courts
  • 8 Soccer Fields
  • 3 Swimming Pools
  • 4 Baseball Fields
  • 7 Softball Fields
  • 3 Bowling Alleys
  • Civic Theatre
  • Art Galleries
  • Museums
  • Lewis-Clark Center for the Arts
  • Golf Courses: 2 private; 2 public; 1 putting & driving range (18 holes)
  • 2 Marinas: Hells Gate State Park & Hells Canyon Resort


economic development lewis-clark valley
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