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Monday, August 15, 2011

Taylor Dellinger Presents Hickory Metro Census to the Future Economy Council of Catawba County

The following presentation is from August 11, 2011. The Catawba County Chamber’s Future Economy Council invited the public to attend the meeting to hear about the “Economic Impact of the 2010 Census Data on the Hickory Metro Region.” The meeting was held at the CVCC auditorium; Taylor Dellinger with Western Piedmont Council of Governments presented the program.

2010 Census topics that were included: population trends; race and Hispanic origin; age group demographics; household composition; housing data; poverty and educational attainment among others. Questions to be answered include: What does Census 2010 tell us about the Hickory Metro? How did the region’s economy impact the Census 2010 results? How can business and industry use the results of the 2010 Census for their benefit?

Taylor Dellinger of the Western Piedmont Council of Governments gives a presentation of the 2010 United States Census as it pertains to the Hickory Metro Area and Catawba County.

This first video includes the introduction of Taylor by Future Economy Council President Terry Bledsoe.
Why Does the Census matter? Taylor displays Hickory Metro Growth and the growth in the Individual counties (Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba) and discusses the dynamics of this growth.

Taylor then goes on to compare Hickory's growth with that of other Metropolitan communities in North Carolina and gets into specifics related to the growth of specific geographic locales in the Hickory Metro Area.

The second video delves further into the growth
of specific geographic locales in the Hickory Metro before discussing the cultural growth and makeup of the area and thoughts about future population growth in the area. The growth of the Hispanic Demographic in the area. Taylor also compares these numbers to those in the other Metro areas in the State of North Carolina.

The third video in this series breaks down the Population Age Distribution in the area. This subject matter is related to the Brain Drain and the loss of the younger generations versus the aging population and influx of Seniors into the area. Information shows that Hickory ranks dead last in the Metro areas of North Carolina in growth of the 25 to 34 age bracket with a 18.6% loss of citizens in this category. The Statistics also show that the 60-64 age bracket is not keeping pace with most of the rest of the State, but still far outpaces the growth of the younger generations.

Taylor then begins to present the individual population numbers of Alexander, Burke, and Caldwell counties and the effects of these numbers.

The fourth video of this series
begins with the discussion of the effects of the population numbers on Catawba County and how this will effect the local social infrastructure. He then answers some question pertaining to the poor population growth numbers in Burke County.

The next subject involved the makeup of households in the area. This involved a discussions of numbers of individuals per household and gets into the categories of types of houses listed by the census.

In the fifth video in this series,
Taylor further explores the Household makeup in the area and more specifically Catawba County. He then goes into the progression of build out of homes in the metro and Catawba County. He goes into the issue of Vacant units of Housing in the area. He shows the loss of the Homebuilding Industry in the area over the last decade, which saw 995 permits for homes to be built at the beginning of the decade and has subsequently seen that number decrease to 152 in 2010.

The sixth video is this series exhibits the issues we see in the area pertaining to foreclosures. Annual foreclosures have more than tripled in the area over the past decade. The WPCOG initially attributed most of the foreclosures to complex and possibly predatory lending habits, but what they are now seeing is that people who have lost the jobs are having a tough time making mortgage payments.

There were several questions and comments related to this subject matter. People wanted to understand the effects on the tax base and the breakdown of how the numbers were defined. There were also comments related to the National Policy of housing.

Taylor then talked about the dynamics of Rental versus Owned Housing in the area. Next, he once again compares our area's housing vacancy to other areas in the State and displays how we aren't in that bad of a position related to this matter.

Taylor then discusses the American Community Survey and defines the parameters of that survey. What he relates in that this survey is showing an epidemic of increased poverty in our area and how this is probably hand-in-hand related to the emigration of the young people in our area. It is completely related to the jobs issue. He displays maps that show where this emigration is specifically happening and it is in the industrial corridors of Hickory (Highway 70), Morganton, and Lenoir where furniture and textiles were King not that long ago.

This is the seventh and final video in this series.
Taylor speaks about the issue of educational attainment and how we rank dead last in the State of North Carolina.

The IHS Global Insight report for the US Conference of Mayors summarized that it will take over a decade to get back the jobs that we have lost in our area. The trends mesh perfectly with the data. These numbers show the poverty located along the former industrial areas in Hickory, Lenoir, and Morganton where Furniture and Textiles were our cornerstone industries.

What are we doing to bring about a recovery and restoration of our job market? You gotta think something new! Look at that Southeast corner of Catawba County. There is something to be learned there. they are focused on Charlotte.


harryhipps said...

The data shows what we've been talking about for years. Young people and go getters are moving out and retirees are moving in. The implications for the economy, housing, and vitality are stark. We need to attract young people and quit trying to make this a "retirement village". Yes, we have to deal with the aging of the country as a whole and this area in particular, but this focus on active seniors and making Hickory a place hostile to youth is dangerous.

Silence DoGood said...

Have you ever seen the movie, “Day After Tomorrow”? How the politicians kept ignoring the advice, evidence, and recommendations of those who knew, adhering instead to the advice of those who kept saying what those in charge wanted to hear and likewise agreed with their own notions and ideas. Now switch out the ice age disaster for the economic one blighting the area and tell me how the attitudes of the politicians are different from a fictional disaster movie to the real life one here.

I seriously doubt education was ever truly a priority here for the people. Education runs counter to the obedient worker paradigm required for mindless unskilled or semi-skilled labor tasks. Education teaches you to question and the power elite certainly do not want a bunch of people who are getting screwed, realizing it. They might form themselves into an organization, not unlike the Chamber of Commerce, but with the interests of the workers paramount, rather than the CEO and bottom line. Besides, education isn’t a priority any more; the elderly aren’t interested. Employment isn’t a priority. A new labor force of minimally educated workers has been identified off shore and are willing to work for a minute fraction of what those here are willing to accept, until they run out of unemployment, social options, and savings…if they had any. Housing isn’t a priority. With nothing to bring people here or to keep people here to start their own families, who needs a house? And I’d be willing to bet that somewhere in that logic, albeit buried, but if you listen close enough you may hear it surface, is the notion that we already have enough people here, we don’t need any more.

So until there is a complete top to bottom cleansing of the power structure and then a drastic attitude change, things are not going to change. Look at the election filings. No opposition. That only serves to re-enforce the notion that things are as they should be or apathy is at a level of consensus that nothing is going to change...ever.

Do you doubt the veracity of those statements? If you do, take some time and look at who is in those little concentric circles of power. And look at the familial relationships across generations. Oh sure, every so often a new face might interlope into a circle, but the base has remained constant. So those familial and social connections are going to be a tough nut to crack.

But it can be done. The unfortunate thing for them is, they are low in numbers (read that votes). If you can bust their disinformation and rhetoric, you can bust their influence and change direction. It takes organization, it takes dedication, and it takes a willingness to stand up. While few in number however, the resources these people hold are formidable and in the face of losing control, they will stop at nothing to hold on to it.

A war was fought and ended 146 years ago that was dogmatically similar to what is being talked about today. Rhetoric and disinformation, coupled with a poor level of education lead the many to fight for the few and a concept the many had no active role in to maintain a lifestyle for the few and privileged. Does that sound vaguely familiar in the context of what is transpiring here today?

James Thomas Shell said...

In the 7th video I mention the loss of 47,000 jobs. That is the number we have lost since our peak in the year 2000, when the area was exceeding what is considered full employment. That is where I was mixed up in the numbers he was addressing, which was my fault for misunderstanding.

Taylor was addressing the numbers in the Global Insight study, which looks back to 2006. So at that point in time the unemployment level was 6% to 7%.

What Taylor addressed were actual people in the workforce. The study summarizes that to get back to that workforce level it is estimated to take at least a decade. That doesn't mean that we will fall from the current 12%+ to 6% to 7%, especially if we see a growth in population in the area.

Taylor does state that some of this growth may be attributed to people who do not participate in the workforce and subsequently those people would not contribute to the unemployment rate percentage. Personally, I don't see that happening, because seniors are going to have to work to subsidize their income and I don't think those are necessarily going to be business owners. I think, for the most part, they will work in retail stores and this will take away what used to be entry level jobs for teenagers and college aged kids.

Thus we aren't going to see full employment (5% - or good paying jobs) in this area unless there are drastic changes in the current job market paradigm.

James Thomas Shell said...

You are exactly right DoGood. That is an on target post. This is very similar to something that I wrote over two years ago. I think a lot of the ambivalence relates to the fact that not many people have a future personal vision of remaining here, so why participate in the Club's rigged game? Why participate? Why Vote? When your goal is to get out of here ASAP!!!

That is the loud and clear message that is coming from the younger generations.

Silence DoGood said...

The sad and regrettable thing is James, I wish I was wrong in my assessment. Alas, the evidence and facts clearly indicate I'm not currently with no change evident for the foreseeable future.