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March 29, 2014

Study finds community needs more, better paying jobs

A Community Needs Assessment report by the United Way of Daviess County found a lot of things about the county. The 24-page document contains plenty of information but the down shot is that people who are struggling here don’t want another handout. They just want a hand up.

“We have a lot of people who want more and are willing to work for it if they get the opportunities they need,” said Brenda Sobecki with the United Way. “This study showed what people want for themselves what they dream to be.”

The study’s conclusion found that the thing separating people from reaching their dreams are a lack of jobs and that the jobs they can find are low paying. It found there is a need for more job skills training, and transportation to let them get to jobs services and continuing education. The study also concluded that many in the county find themselves needing more money to pay for education and everyday essentials such a food and housing.

“There were not a whole lot of surprises in the study,” said Sherry Davis with Connections, who was contracted to work on the study. “Much of what we found is similar to what we learned in a similar assessment in 2004. People are struggling with low pay and a lack of transportation and they want better housing.”

“In many ways the assessment confirmed a lot of the things we already knew,” said Sobecki. “I think the order of priorities has changed from ten years ago.”

One of those priorities appears to be transportation. “Transportation was an issue that came up repeatedly,” said Davis. “We have public transportation that seems to work throughout the week during the day, but the real weakness is on the weekend and evenings. We have jobs available in the community on the night shift and people can’t take them because they can’t get to and from work.”

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