Major Population Shift is Underway

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During this month’s Lunch & Learn, held at the fabulous Packer House in Sunbury, our Community Prosperity Partnership hosted Britt Madera of the PA Wilds to tell us about their program: The Wilds are Working-A Remote Work Experience. Taylor Lightman, Director of the Lewisburg Neighborhoods and Partnership Chair moderated this session. He kicked off the presentation with some thought-provoking data. For example, he highlighted population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau that very morning which revealed that eight of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. lost population during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between July 2020 and July 2021, New York lost more than 305,000 residents, or approximately 3.5% of its 2020 population. In addition, Chicago and Los Angeles contracted by 45,000 and 40,000 people, respectively. While most of the population gains have been in Arizona, Florida, and Texas, less sunny places, such as the PA Wilds and the Valleys of the Susquehanna are also positioned very well to benefit from this urban to suburban, or even rural shift. As we move into a new calendar quarter, our laser focused ‘Strategic Urgency’ shifts to Workforce. While we are in no way shifting our momentum away from developing the potential workforce who currently live in the Greater Susquehanna Valley, we will expand our advocacy to include recruitment of new residents. What we know is we don’t have enough people currently living in our valley to fill all the jobs that remain vacant or will be created in the coming months and years. Please take a few minutes to listen in to the PA Wilds presentation. If possible, please let your Chamber know what you think of a similar program for our area.
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