Paducah Economic Development is currently working with Avalanche Consulting to provide research on the community’s potential and to strategize innovative ways to create an environment conducive to growth for business and industry. The project is called FORWARD Paducah.
That process has involved three phases beginning with an initial discovery phase involving extensive stakeholder input through focus groups, individual interviews, and an online survey of residents. This research informed the identification of business clusters that could become the focus of future economic, workforce, and community development actions. In Phase 2 Avalanche developed an action plan for addressing areas of potential economic opportunity. The final phase was the creation of a strategic plan, which was presented earlier this year, and is now being analyzed for execution by PED and its partners.
One of the data reports provided good news for Paducah’s micropolitan area.
From 2013 to 2014, census data showed that among the nation’s 508 micropolitan areas Paducah showed an 8% growth in total residents aged 25-34. The number grew from 10,089 to 10,892. This ranked Paducah 68th in the nation in this demographic.
In terms of residents 25-34 with a bachelor’s degree, the growth was 27%. The total number went from 2,048 to 2,592. This puts Paducah as the 73rd highest in the nation.
A micropolitan area contains a core urban area of at least 10,000 but no more than 50,000 in population.
“To put this in further perspective,” said Scott Darnell, President of Paducah Economic Development, “our area out-performed 94% of all MSA’s in the United States. That’s very encouraging for our economic outlook.
“This is a testament to the hard work of our city and county governments, our educational systems, and the energy and commitment that so many of our PED partners have devoted to building an appealing and productive environment for business and professionals. Our FORWARD Paducah strategic plan will continue to build on this sound economic foundation.”