Local stats look grim, attend the meeting | Columns

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Did you know that more than half of Adams County’s working residents leave the county every day to work in order to earn a higher salary so they can increase their salary?

Did you know that of the 55,188 active residents of Adams County, approximately 37,861 of those residents will be retiring in the next 10 to 15 years? And there are currently only 16,970 workers between the ages of 25 and 39 in the labor force.

Did you know there seems to be a mismatch between the skills/education the workforce has and the skills/education county employers need?

Did you know Adams County’s unemployment rate is 3.85% (meaning it’s very low)?

Did you know that 65.8% of working residents leave the county for work?

Did you know that only 34.2% of residents live and work here in the county?

Did you know that 28% of Adams County households live on insufficient income? These are working families who do not earn enough to be stable.

Did you know that 7% of households in our department live in poverty?

These statistics look grim and they are, and they deserve our attention.

@Home in Adams County works with community members – partners and residents – to find solutions to barriers that limit a household’s access to essential resources. While @Home cannot create jobs that pay decent wages, we can advocate for industries to pay their employees enough to live here. We can educate people on how much money it takes to live in this county. By working together, we can help develop innovative ideas on how to attract a workforce with the skills our industries need. And we can help create ways for this workforce to access these jobs.

Between 40 and 60 community partners and residents regularly attend our coalition meetings. And over the next few months, you’ll hear us asking everyone to share what they’re learning with others, educating our friends and neighbors on how to help Adams County remain a strong and vibrant community. You will help us develop strategies and ideas to ensure we all have access to affordable housing, viable transportation options and decent wages. These things are all connected.

But we can’t do it alone! If each of our 40-60 community partners and residents spoke to 10 people about these issues, we would reach 400-600 people. And if those 400 to 600 people were talking to 10 people each, we would reach 4,000 to 6,000 people. You see what I mean. It’s a ripple. Not a tsunami. This ripple, your voice, is invaluable to @Home’s mission.

Why should you care? Think of your children. Do you want them to grow up and move away from you? Do you want your aging parents on fixed incomes to live independently for as long as possible? Would you like your own tax burden to be lightened a little?

Attend our May Coalition meeting. We’ll learn more about how to champion @Home initiatives. We hope you can join us on May 23 at 1 p.m. via Zoom.

Stacey Rice is the coordinator for @Home in Adams County. @Home is focused on resource coordination, advocacy, and developing solutions for affordable living in Adams County. This is an initiative developed and funded by the Adams County Community Foundation and managed by South Central Community Action Programs. His email is [email protected]

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