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Port Orange Observer Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018 2 years ago

Community needs assessment shows residents see employment as top concern among low-income Volusia families

Two thirds of respondents have been Volusia residents for at least 10 years.
by: Nichole Osinski Community Editor

Problems in employment that low-income families in Volusia County face is a major concern for residents who responded to a 2018 Volusia County community assessment survey. 

The results of the survey, which had a total of 230 respondents, were brought up during a Human Services Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday, July 10. In addition to the issue of employment, respondents ranked housing as the second most important area, followed by support services. More than 180 people listed employment as a top issue. 

When asked how serious they thought the problem of adults being unemployed and not earning a living wage was, more than 50% of respondents answered it was extremely serious while less than 1% thought it was not at all serious. Then when asked how serious they thought lack of employment among youth in order to gain skills or income was, around 39% answered they thought it was extremely serious while 4.37% responded that it was not at all serious. 

The issue of jobs was ranked on a scale from one to five. 

"If you look on there, there's a lack of living wage jobs created in the community," Human Services Manager Clayton Jackson said. "And on a scale from one, being not serious, to five, being very serious, it scored a 4.18."

Respondents also indicated that individuals having a low net worth is another extremely serious issue. The survey showed that the majority of people felt a cause for employment issues was lack of jobs being created in order for an increase of opportunities for the people with low-incomes in the community. A majority also felt that there is a lack of living wage jobs being created within the community. 

As for employment among the county's youth, 32.09% of respondents felt that a lack of job opportunities for youth is a serious issue while just over 20% felt it was a moderately serious issue and 27.91% thought it was an extremely serious issue. 


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