RDA Happenings September 2011
Posted on September 1, 2011 – By Emporia RDA
Most of the 2010 Census data is available for Lyon County and the City of Emporia. However in the 2010 Census, the same information was not collected, such as median household income, per capita income, mean earnings and other income data, as in 2000. I have learned the U.S. Census Bureau only reported on the data for those counties over 65,000 in population. So we will have to use another data source for our income data.
The 2000 Census population for the City of Emporia in 2010 was 26,760 and in 2010 was 24,916 or a decrease of 1,844 persons or a decrease of approximately 6%. The decrease for Lyon County was 5.5% or a loss of 1,975 persons. Lyon County had a population of 35,935 in 2000 and 33,960 in 2010.
In terms of race, the majority of the categories lost population other than the Hispanic population which increased by 579 persons in the City of Emporia and 745 persons in Lyon County from 2000 to 2010.
For the City of Emporia, the 2010 Census reported the homeowner vacancy rate in 2000 was 1.5% and in 2010 was 2.4% or an increase of less than 190. The renter vacancy rate in 2000 was 7.5% and in 2010 was 16.3% or an increase of 8.8% in the City of Emporia.
One of the primary objectives of the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas (RDA) is to work with the existing and new businesses to create quality jobs in our region. In the newly released 2010 Kansas Statistical Abstract for Kansas, the average annual wages by industry has the average for private industry at $38,511. The average for manufacturing was $48,700 and retail trade was $23,511.
During the RDA budget request from the City of Emporia, a considerable amount of discussion regarding funding retail development occurred. The perception by the public was that the focus was on retail development and lower waged retail jobs. The reality is that the RDA spent 93% of its time working with existing companies and new companies. We advocate that their expansions with job creation occur in the Emporia region with higher skilled and higher wage jobs.
I am pleased to report that the VETEK expansion is right on schedule. The building expansion should be completed prior to the end of the year. Sometime in the fourth quarter of this year or next year, new jobs will be added at VEKTEK. The projected number of new jobs is somewhere between 8 to 12 jobs. Detroit Diesel is adding a new product line to their operations with the remanufacturing of a Mercedes transmission. The job creation is anticipated to be between 12 to 16 new jobs. Hopefully most of those new jobs will be created prior to the end of the year. Sauder Custom Fabrication’s business has increased with a “back log” of work well into 2012. They will be adding several new jobs over the next several months. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is currently at 106 employees. They hope to be adding another 6 employees before the end of the year.
Generally, when the local economy picks up with job growth, it begins with existing businesses then follows by new businesses considering new locations.
We continue to be optimistic that our local economy is beginning to turn; the worst is behind us and we will continue to move forward with job growth and population growth.