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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hickory Metro's 2017 Economy versus Similar MSAs

Hickory Metro's 2017 Economy versus North Carolina MSAs
Hickory, a Legacy Community
Hickory, Creativity, and the Killa C's of Economic Regeneration
HDR Letter to the Editor: 'Time to come together on economic development'
Letter to the Editor: We've been selling. People aren't buying.

Sorry I have fallen behind in getting this series out. I will hopefully speed up the process going forward through completion.
In this, the second part of the series, we compare similar Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) that rank closest to our own (Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton MSA) in terms of population. As I showed in the previous article comparing Hickory's MSA to other Metropolitan area's within our State, we rank number 147 statistically in the country. Here I have included in this analysis, the 5 markets larger and 5 markets smaller than our own.

In terms of rank, we look at the nation's 142nd largest statistical market Montgomery, Alabama and then, Trenton, New Jersey, Eugene, Oregon, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina, Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio, Ocala, Florida, Fort Collins, Colorado, Rockford, Illinois, and finally the nation's 152nd largest market Kalamazoo-Portage, Michigan.

When we look at these similar metropolitan areas, the populations range from a high end of (Montgomery, Alabama) 374,536 to a low end of (Kalamazoo, Michigan) 326,589. With a population of 365,497, even though we are the median population within this group, we are far closer to the largest population than the smallest, we are 2.5% smaller than Montgomery, Alabama and 11.9% larger than Kalamazoo, Michigan.

The population growth, since 2010, of these similar cities range from a high of (Naples, Florida) 13.65% to a low of (Rockford, IL) -2.88%. Out of these 10 cities, eight had higher population growth rates than Hickory -- two worse. Two of these communities (Naples and Fort Collins, Colorado) had growth rates above 10% and three (Ann Arbor, Michigan; Ocala, Florida; Eugene, Oregon) had growth rates above 5%.

When looking at MSA ranks, Hickory fell 4 positions in ranking. The communities that fell the most were Montgomery, Alabama and Rockford, Illinois, which fell 5 spots from the 137th largest MSA to the 142nd largest and 146 to 151 respectively.  Hickory was next worst falling 4. Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio lost 3 spots. Trenton, New Jersey and Kalamazoo, Michigan fell 2 spots. Ocala, Florida remained in the same position. Eugene, Oregon gained a spot. Ann Arbor, Michigan gained 2 spots. Naples, Florida gained 6 spots. And Fort Collins Colorado climbed the most (9 spots).

The United States population has grown 4.6% since 2010. Of the 11 communities looked at in this article, 5 of these communities grew more than that and 6 grew by less than that. 4 of these communities had negative growth rates (Montgomery, Hickory, Huntington, and Rockford).

I have also included data, in the statistics below, from the Milken Institute. Again, this is a factor that Richard Florida used to determine his creativity index that I alluded to in the previous articles Hickory -- A Lack of Creativity?. "The Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners Best Performing Cities Index ranks U.S. metropolitan areas by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. The components include job, wage and salary, and technology growth. The full report can be downloaded here."

The cities within our correlated size  rank as high as Fort Collins, CO's 8th and Naples, FL's 17th down to Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH's 196th out of 200. Hickory's MSA is ranked next to last within this group at 167 out of 200.

When looking at U-3 unemployment, Fort Collins, CO has an unemployment rate of 2.9% as a low for the group and Rockford, IL has a high of 11.1%. Hickory ranks right at the median for the group with an Unemployment rate of 5.2%. This number fluctuates more than any of the other statistics, because it is produced monthly and constantly revised.

When looking at the Well-Being statistic, once again we see Naples and Fort Collins receiving high marks, #1 and #11 respectively. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC is next to last in the Gallup Sharecare Well-Being study of 189 MSAs. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH is the third worst in the nation.  Fort Smith, Arkansas ranks as the worst of the Well-Being studied communities. We will see them later in this series. The nation's lowest community for regular exercise in 2016 was Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton, NC.

In terms of income, the Hickory area ranks next to last amongst these studied communities. Naples, FL ranks #1 in this category with a median income of $78,473 -- by far the largest in this category. The next largest income is Trenton, New Jersey's at $51, 803. Hickory's income level ($35,406) is currently  45% of Naples. In terms of income growth, Hickory's growth is sixth out of the eleven cities in this category, but at 15.48%, it is closer to the high of Fort Collin's 19.2% than the low of Trenton's 2.33%. If we factor the two statistics together, one would be most impressed with Ann Arbor Michigan ($51,400 and 14.36% growth)and Fort Collins, Colorado ($45,318 and 19.2% growth).

When we look at the characteristics of these communities, we see that two of these communities are State Capitals (Montgomery and Trenton) and only one community has a largest city, Hickory, that is not the community's county seat.

Overall in looking at the economic quality of these communities, Naples, Fort Collins, and Ann Arbor are doing very well. Naples is a coastal retirement community. During the time I have been working on this summary, we have seen Naples hit by Hurrican Irma. Irma's after effects will have a multi-billion dollar effect on that community. Naples will always be vulnerable to such possible natural disasters. Fort Collins and Ann Arbor are the home to two major universities (Colorado State University and the Univesity of Michigan), which have helped in the modernization of both cities economies. There are many major technical companies that have located to those areas to take advantage of the research nature of both of those campuses.

It seems that through the study of the first to segments of this series that we are seeing that income level is directly correlated to the economic and health quality of communities. One can make chicken and egg arguments, but that is pretty much irrelevant, because if you have such a scenario, then you are going to have to work from both ends to fix it. Clearly, we see Hickory  and Huntington (WV) ranking in the bottom quartile in both Milken and Gallup-Sharecare (Healthway statistics). Montgomery (AL) is also in the bottom quartile with the second worst income growth and in the bottom half of incomes, which shows a stagnating economy. Rockford (IL) is in much the same boat, with a negative population growth, income in the bottom half of this group,  and industrial job losses.  

Stats below:
5-Year Job Growth - Metropolitan area job growth relative to the United States average between 2002 and 2007. U.S. average = 100.0

5-Year Wages & Salaries Growth - Salary and Wage disbursements growth relative to the United States average between 2001 and 2006. U.S. average = 100.0

5-Year Relative High Tech GDP Growth - High tech sector output growth relative to the United States average between 2002 and 2007. U.S. average = 100.0


vs 2010 MSA rank: -5

Pop: 2010 (374,536) - 2016 (373, 922) =  -.16%
Milken 2009: (102)  -  2013: (182) - 2017: (166)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (10.0) - 2017: (6.0)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (119)  -  2016: (180)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15)  Score: 93.67 Rank: 187
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth  (09-14) Score:: 87.71 Rank: 193
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth  (09-14) Score: 108.97 Rank: 31

Largest City – Montgomery, Alabama, Pop. 201,568, as of 2016, is the Capital of Alabama and county seat of Montgomery county.

Higher Education – public universities Alabama State University, Troy University (Montgomery campus), and Auburn University-Montgomery, private colleges/universities Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, and ABA-accredited law school Thomas Goode Jones School of Law

Economy and Employers
Montgomery's central location in Alabama's Black Belt has long made it a processing hub for commodity crops such as cotton, peanuts, and soybeans. Due to its location along the Alabama River and extensive rail connections, Montgomery has and continues to be a regional distribution hub for a wide range of industries. Since the late 20th century, it has diversified its economy, achieving increased employment in sectors such as healthcare, business, government, and manufacturing. Today, the city's Gross Metropolitan Product is $12.15 billion, representing 8.7% of the gross state product of Alabama.[56]
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from October 2008, the largest sectors of non-agricultural employment were: Government, 24.3%; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, 17.3% (including 11.0% in retail trade); Professional and Business Services, 11.9%; Manufacturing, 10.9%; Education and Health Services, 10.0% (including 8.5% in Health Care & Social Assistance); Leisure and Hospitality, 9.2%; Financial Activities, 6.0%, Natural Resources, Mining and Construction, 5.1%; Information, 1.4%; and Other services 4.0%. Unemployment for the same period was 5.7%, 2.5% higher than October 2007.[57] The city also draws in workers from the surrounding area; Montgomery's daytime population rises 17.4% to 239,101.
Montgomery serves as a hub for healthcare in the central Alabama and Black Belt region. Hospitals located in the city include Baptist Medical Center South on South East Boulevard, Baptist Medical Center East next to the campus of Auburn University Montgomery on Taylor Road, and Jackson Hospital, which is located next to Oak Park off interstate 85. Montgomery is also home to two medical school campuses: Baptist Medical Center South (run by University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Jackson Hospital (run by Alabama Medical Education Consortium).

Largest Employers - Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base (12,280), State of Alabama (11,639), Montgomery Public Schools (4,524), Baptist Health (4,300), Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (3,100), ALFA Insurance Companies (2,568),  City of Montgomery (2,500), MOBIS Alabama (1,400),  Jackson Hospital & Clinic (1,300), Koch Foods (1,250), Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Wetumpka (1,200), Rheem Water Heaters (1,147), GKN Aerospace (1,000),  Baptist Medical Center South (980), Regions Bank (977), U.S. Postal Service (900), Creek Casino Montgomery (850), Glovis Alabama (832), Alabama State University (792), Montgomery County Commission (700), Alabama Power Company (660), Alorica (660)
Largest City: Montgomery (Pop. 200,022) is the Capital of Alabama and the county seat of Montgomery county.

143 Trenton, NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area

vs 2010 MSA rank: -2
Pop: 2010 (366,513) - 2016 (371,023) = +1.23%
Milken 2009:(46)  -  2013:(18) - 2016:(72)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (6.9) - 2017:(4.1)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (127)  -  2016: (80)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 99.66   Rank: 89
5-yr Wages & Salaries (09-14) Growth Score: 99.97   Rank: 57
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score: 98.81 Rank: 88
Population Growth since 2010: +1.23%

Largest City – Trenton, NJ, Pop. 84,056, as of 2016, is the Capital of New Jersey and county seat of Mercer county.

Higher Education - Princeton University, Institute for Advanced Study, Rider University, The College of New Jersey, Thomas Edison State College and Mercer County Community College

Economy and Employers
The state of New Jersey

Public Transportation - Mercer county (Trenton-Ewing, NJ) hosts several New Jersey Transit stations, including Trenton, Hamilton, and Princeton Junction on the Northeast Corridor Line, and Princeton on the Princeton Branch.[57] SEPTA provides rail service to Center City Philadelphia from Trenton and West Trenton. Long-distance transportation is provided by Amtrak train service along the Northeast Corridor through the Trenton Transit Center           NJTransit's River Line connects Trenton to Camden, with three stations in the county, all within Trenton city limits, at Cass Street, Hamilton Avenue and at the Trenton Transit Center.[58]                   Mercer County's only commercial airport, and one of three in the state, is Trenton-Mercer Airport in Ewing Township, which is served by Frontier Airlines, offering nonstop service to and from points nationwide.[59]                         Public transportation within the city and to/from its nearby suburbs is provided in the form of local bus routes run by New Jersey Transit. SEPTA also provides bus service to adjacent Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

vs 2010 MSA rank: +1
Pop: 2010 (351,715) - 2016 (369,519) = +5.06%
Milken 2009: (81)  -  2013: (195)  -  2016: (90)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (12.3) - 2017: (4.6)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (72)  -  2016: (99)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 98.67 Rank: 111
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth  (09-14) Score: 96.17 Rank: 126
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score: 84.73 Rank: 167

Largest City – Eugene, Oregon, Pop.166,575, as of 2016, is the county seat of Lane County.

Higher Education – Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. Other institutions of higher learning include Northwest Christian University, Lane Community College, New Hope Christian College, Gutenberg College, and Pacific University's Eugene campus.

Economy and Employers
The US Forest Service manages 48% of the lands within the county boundaries. The federal land, which can not be taxed, previously generated hundreds of millions of dollars in logging-derived support for government, but that support was sharply reduced when various environmental regulations curtailed logging by approximately 78%.[Wikipedia - 25]

(Top Employers) - PeaceHealth Medical Group (5,500), University of Oregon (5,406), U.S. Government (1,575), City of Eugene (1,369), Springfield School District                (1,283), Lane County (1,279), State of Oregon (1,229), Eugene School District 4J (1,163), Lane Community College (1,009), McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center (895)

Public Transportation - Lane Transit District (LTD), a public transportation agency formed in 1970, covers 240 square miles (620 km2) of Lane County, including Creswell, Cottage Grove, Junction City, Veneta, and Blue River. Operating more than 90 buses during peak hours, LTD carries riders on 3.7 million trips every year. LTD also operates a bus rapid transit line that runs between Eugene and Springfield—Emerald Express (EmX)—much of which runs in its own lane. LTD's main terminus in Eugene is at the Eugene Station. LTD also offers paratransit.

vs 2010 MSA rank:  +6
Pop: 2010 (321,520) - 2016 (365,136) = +13.65%
Milken 2009: (155)  -  2013: (83)  -  2016: (17)
U3 Unemployment (January):    2009: (9.6) - 2017: (5.2)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (7)  -  2016: (1)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 111.66 Rank: 6
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score: 101.88 Rank: 14
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score: 109.64 Rank: 299

Largest City – Naples, FL, Pop. 21,845, as of 2016, is the county seat of Collier county.

Economy and Employers
The economy of Naples is based largely on tourism and was historically based on real estate development and agriculture. Companies based in Naples include Alavista Solutions, Beasley Broadcast Group and ASG Software Solutions, in addition to numerous small businesses. Due to the wealth present in Collier County, Naples is also home to many small non-profit organizations. The surrounding Naples metro area is home to major private employers. Fortune 1000 company Health Management Associates, technology company NewsBank.

Naples Community Hospital (4,000), Ritz-Carlton-Naples (1,110), Garquilo Inc. (1,110), Arthrex Inc. (1,056), Collier County’s Sheriff’s office (1,029), Home Team Inspection Svc. (900), Publix Super Markets (800), Marriott (700), Naples Grande Beach Resort (700), Downing Frye Realty (550)

Public Transportation - Naples boasts a new public transportation system that is part of Collier Area Transit (CAT). The buses run five scheduled services Monday through Saturday from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm. Buses do not run on Sundays, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

vs 2010 MSA rank: +2
Pop: 2010 (344,791) - 2016 (364,709) = +5.78%
Milken 2009: (191)  -  2013: (87) - 2016: (58)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (6.8) - 2017: (3.1)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (8)  -  2016: (27)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 99.72 Rank: 87
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score: 98.11 Rank: 84
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth  (09-14) Score: 106.61 Rank: 43

Largest City - Ann Arbor, MI,  Pop.120,782, as of 2016, is the county seat of Washtenaw County.

Higher Education
University of Michigan, Concordia University - Ann Arbor, a campus of the University of Phoenix, and Cleary University, Washtenaw Community College , Eastern Michigan University. Ave Maria School of Law

Economy and Employers
The University of Michigan shapes Ann Arbor's economy significantly. It employs about 30,000 workers, including about 12,000 in the medical center.[59] Other employers are drawn to the area by the university's research and development money, and by its graduates. High tech, health services and biotechnology are other major components of the city's economy; numerous medical offices, laboratories, and associated companies are located in the city. Automobile manufacturers, such as General Motors and Visteon, also employ residents.[59]
Top Employers
University of Michigan (30,835),  Trinity Health (7,169), General Motors Milford Proving Grounds (3,750),  Ann Arbor Public Schools (1,907), VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System (2,459), Faurecia North America  (1,850),  Eastern Michigan University (1,617), Integrated Health Associates (IHA) (1,268), Washtenaw County Government  (1,260), Thomson Reuters  (1,200)

Public Transportation - The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA), which brands itself as "TheRide," is the public transit system serving the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, Michigan, area.

vs 2010 MSA rank: 0
Pop: 2010 (365,497) - 2016 (364,187) = -.36%
Milken 2009:(185)   -  2013:(190) - 2016: (167)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (13.4) - 2017: (5.2)
Gallup Healthway - 2013:(185)  -  2016:(188)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 94.61 Rank: 180
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score: 94.28 Rank: 158
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score: 112.25   Rank: 23

Largest City – Hickory, NC,
Pop. 40,567, as of 2016, is in Catawba County.

Higher Education – Lenoir-Rhyne University, Appalachian State – Hickory, Catawba Valley Community College, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Western Piedmont Community College

Economy and Employers - The furniture industry in Hickory is not as strong as in the decades previous, but still a primary component in the area economy. Currently the area is home to many leading manufacturers of furniture, fiber optic cable, and pressure-sensitive tape.
Public Transportation - Greenway Public Transportation offers bus service to the cities of Conover, Hickory, and Newton.
vs 2010 MSA rank: -4
Pop: 2010 (364,908) - 2016 (359,588) = -1.46%
Milken 2009: (149)  -  2013: (189) - 2016: (196)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (6.8) - 2017: (6.8)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (189)  -  2016: (187)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 91.39 Rank: 194
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score:: 91.88 Rank: 181
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score: 80.08 Rank: 184
Population Growth since 2010: -1.46%

Largest City - Huntington Pop 48,113, as of 2016, is a city in Cabell County in the U.S. state of West Virginia. It is the county seat of Cabell County, and largest city in the Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, sometimes referred to as the Tri-State Area.

Higher Education
Ashland Community and Technical College, Collins Career Center, Huntington Junior College, Marshall University, Morehead State University at Ashland, Mountwest Community and Technical College, Ohio University Southern Campus

Economy and Employers
The MSA is nestled along the banks of the Ohio River within the Appalachian Plateau region. The area is most often referred to locally as the Tri-State region.
Largest Employers - Marshall University, St. Mary's Hospital, Marathon Ashland Petroleum, Cabell-Huntington Hospital, AK Steel, Applied Card Systems, CSX Huntington, U.S. Corps of Engineers, Alcon Surgical, Client Logic, Cabell Co., Board of Education, GC Services, VA Medical Center, Special Metals, Walmart, DirecTV, Steel of West Virginia, Heiner's Bakery, JH Fletcher & Co, Pritchard Electric Company

Public Transportation
TTA is the Tri-State Transit Authority, which provides bus service in the Huntington, West Virginia and Ironton,Ohio urban area. Ashland, Kentucky, which is served by the Ashland Bus System (ABS), has limited TTA service to and from Ironton, Ohio.

149  Ocala, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area   
vs 2010 MSA rank: 0
Pop: 2010 (331,298) - 2016 (349,020) = +5.35%
Milken rank: 166   Pop. 373,922
Milken 2009: (104)  -  2013: (161)  -  2016: (130)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009:(12.1) - 2017:(6.4)
Gallup Healthway - 2013: (127)  -  2016:   138
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

Milken rank: 130 Unemp = 13.4% Pop. 349,020
5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 99.23 Rank: 98
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score:  92.51 Rank: 175
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score: 97.00 Rank: 102

Largest City - Ocala Pop. 57,468, as of 2016, is the county seat of Marion County.

Higher Education
College of Central Florida, Rasmussen College, Webster College

Economy and EmployersOcala is the headquarters of Emergency One, a worldwide designer and manufacturer of fire rescue vehicles.  Today, Marion County is a major world thoroughbred center with over 1200 horse farms, including about 900 thoroughbred farms, totaling some 77,000 acres (310 km2). Ocala is well known as a "horse capital of the world."[wiki 10]  Ocala is one of only five cities (four in the US and one in France) permitted under Chamber of Commerce guidelines to use this title, based on annual revenue produced by the horse industry. 44,000 jobs are sustained by breeding, training, and related support of the equine industry, which generates over $2.2 billion in annual revenue.

Top Employers
Marion County Public Schools (6,070),  Munroe Regional Medical Center (2,648),  State of Florida (2,600),  Walmart  (2,370),  Ocala Regional Medical Center & West Marion Community Hospital  (2,200),  Publix    (1,488),  Marion County Government (1,368),  AT&T  (1,000),  City of Ocala (989),  Lockheed Martin (981)

Public Transportation
SunTran - Bus Transit system

vs 2010 MSA rank: +9
Pop: 2010 (299,630) - 2016 (339.993) = +13.47%
Milken 2009: (22)  -  2013: (20)  - 2017: (8)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009:(5.8) - 2017:(2.9)
Gallup Healthway rank - 2013:(3)   -   2016:(11)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

Milken rank -192 Unemp = 9.1% Pop. 339,993
5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 106.59 Rank: 21
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score:: 106.01   Rank: 19
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score:: 93.70 Rank: 123
Population Growth since 2010: +13.47%

Largest City - Fort Collins 
Pop. 164,207, as of 2016, is the county seat of Larimer County.

Higher Education

Economy and Employers
Fort Collins' economy has a mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Fort Collins manufacturing includes Woodward Governor, Anheuser-Busch, and Otterbox. Many high-tech companies have relocated to Fort Collins because of the resources of Colorado State University and its research facilities. Hewlett Packard, Intel, AMD, Avago, Beckman Coulter, National Semiconductor, LSI, Rubicon Water and Pelco all have offices in Fort Collins. Other industries include clean energy, bioscience, and agri-tech businesses.

Top Employers
Advanced Energy Industries ( 300-400),  Advanced Micro Devices (125), Anheuser-Busch(525), Avago Technologies (1,300), Brinkman Partners (106), CA Technologies (221), CACI International (---), CBW (110),  Connell Resources (215), Forney Industries (200), HP, Inc. and HP Enterprises (1,200-1,500), In-Situ (130), Intel (350), Martin Marietta Materials (100), Neenan Co. (125), New Belgium Brewing Co. (406), Odell Brewing Co. (101),  Otter Products (600),  Phase 2 Co. (---), Qualfon Data Services Group (720),  Schneider Electric (---), Tolmar (608), Water Pik (150), Wolf Robotics (120), Woodward (1,200)

Colorado State University (6,948 employees), Poudre Valley Health System (3,020), Poudre School District (3,014), City of Fort Collins, CO (1,864), Larimer County (1,467), Columbine Health Systems (1,200), McKee Medical Center (950)

Public Transportation -
Transfort (Fort Collins Public Bus System) - Fort Collins has an excellent public bus system and CSU students, faculty and staff get to ride it for free! The student ID you receive when you arrive at CSU is also your bus pass. The Transfort hours vary but the buses usually run Monday through Saturday from 6:30am-10:30pm. Check out the new MAX bus rapid transit system and the campus shuttle, Around the Horn.    

Zipcar - Whether you need a car for a few hours to run errands or the whole day, you can use Zipcar. They're parked right on campus. With Zipcar, you never have to worry about car payments, maintenance, gas or insurance.

151  Rockford, IL Metropolitan Statistical Area  Milken rank -142 Unemp = 8.7% Pop. 339,376
vs 2010 MSA rank: -5
Pop: 2010 (349,431) - 2016 (339,376)  = -2.88%
Milken 2009: (174)  -  2013: (145)  -  2016: (125)
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (13.8) - 2017: (11.1)
Gallup Healthway - 2013:(177)  -  2016:(178)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

5-yr Job Growth(10-15) Score: 97.02 Rank: 139
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score:: 96.50 Rank: 116
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score:  99.81  Rank: 79
Population Growth since 2010: -2.88%

Largest City – Rockford, IL, Pop. 147,651, as of 2016, is the county seat of Winnebago county.

Higher Education
Rockford Business College, Rockford College, Rock Valley College, and St. Anthony College of Nursing. In addition, it hosts several satellite branches of other schools, including Judson College (based in Elgin), Northern Illinois University (based in DeKalb), Rasmussen College[3], and the University of Illinois College of Medicine (based in Chicago).

Economy and Employers
The Rockford economy has suffered since the decline of the manufacturing industry in the late 1980s. In February 2009, The Wall Street Journal published a series of stories on Rockford and its mayor focusing on various challenges faced by the city, including higher unemployment and lower education levels of workers compared to some cities. The airport is home to United Parcel Service's second largest air-hub. The Chicago Rockford International Airport is presently ranked as the twenty-second largest cargo airport in the nation when measured by landed weight.

Top Employers
Rockford Public School District (4,800),  Chrysler (Belvidere Assembly Plant - 4,700),  Swedish American Hospital (2,600),  Rockford Health System (2,500),  UTC Aerospace Systems (2,200),  OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center      (2,000),  United Parcel Service (2,000),  County of Winnebago (1,602),  Woodward (1,200),  City of Rockford (1,135)

Kalamazoo-Portage, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area
vs 2010 MSA rank: -2
Pop: 2010 (326,589) - 2016 (336,877) = +3.15%
Milken 2009: (189)  -  2013: (184)  -  2016: (102)  
U3 Unemployment (January): 2009: (8.4) - 2017: (4.4)
Gallup Healthway - 2013:(108)   -   2016:(119)
Per Capita personal income   2008: ($xxx)   to   2015: ($xxx) = xxx

Milken rank: 52   Unemp = 9.2%    Pop. 336,877
5-yr Job Growth (10-15) Score: 96.65 Rank: 144
5-yr Wages & Salaries Growth (09-14) Score:  96.34  Rank: 122
5-yr Relative HT GDP Growth (09-14) Score::  87.1  Rank: 157
Population Growth since 2010: +3.15%

Largest City - Kalamazoo 
Pop. 164,207, as of 2016, is the county seat of Kalamazoo County.

Higher Education
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo is home to Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Davenport University, and Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC). Construction of the new Kalamazoo Valley Community College Culinary and Allied Health campus.

Economy and Employers
 In 2007, Kalamazoo was named to Fast Company (magazine)'s 'Fast 50: Most Innovative Companies 2007',[33] in recognition of the city's Community Capitalism approach to revitalize the economy. In 2012 Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranked Kalamazoo fourth of the Ten Best Cities for Cheapskates.[34] The city was named in's 2014 'Top 10 Best Cities for Work-Life Balance'.[35][36]

Largest Employer
Pfizer (6,100), Bronson Hospital  (3,000),  National City Bank (2,922),  Western Michigan University (2,887),  Borgess Health Alliance (2,410),  Meijer, Inc. (2,400),  Kalamazoo Public Schools  (2,300),  Portage Public Schools     (2,300),  Stryker Corporation (hospital equipment - 1,400),  Kalamazoo Valley Community College (1,100)