ECONOMIC FOCUS … which is always Ponca City Development Authority’s focus.
New year; new emphasis. Much like trying to stick with new year resolutions, our staff renews efforts in all areas of the economy: business retention and expansion, recruitment, workforce identification and pipeline, project management and new business startups.
And this year, the 2020 Census is an added push for staff, the community and the state. If you haven’t heard, the 2020 Census is the decennial (happens every 10 years) Census and it happens this year starting in March with the official Census day April 1, 2020.
Why is this important to PCDA? Actually, the 2020 Census affects all of us. And here is why. Let us begin with the children. Demographically speaking, children are our future: future workforce, employees, business owners, community supporters, tax payers … the list goes on and on. And as all you parents know, these kids need resources to survive and thrive.
In the 2010 Census, over 4% of our children were not counted. This 4% in Ponca City 2010 population translates to over 1,000 children not counted. Some of those are under the age of five.
When those children started school in 2013 to 2015, suddenly first grade classes became overcrowded. Why? Because schools and educators look at Census numbers to prepare for class size and teacher ratios. State funds for reduced and free lunches depend on Census numbers for 10 years.
Access to future healthcare for young ones is based on Census number ratios for rural and metropolitan areas. And this is just the kiddos.
As the 2020 Census comes closer, staff will share why 20-somethings, middle-agers and especially senior citizens are affected by accurate (or inaccurate) 2020 Census numbers.
For now, if this is your only takeaway, the 2020 Census affects You, dear Ponca Citian; Oklahoman; person living or working in the United States. Because YOU are using resources where you live and work.
The 2020 Census postcards start arriving at houses and apartments in March 2020. If you have, let us say, complicated living arrangements, travel for work or don’t really have a home address, stay tuned. Information for you to support your current community will be right here. You Count for Ponca City! And for our economy.