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POPULATION The Concho Valley Economic Development District comprises thirteen counties spread  over approximately 16,376 square miles of West -central Texas. It is predominantly a  sparsely populated rural area with San Angelo being the only city with a population of more than 6,000 (Figure 2). The historic population of the counties and county subdivisions is shown in Figure 3. This chart indicates a steady growth for the district over the past four decades, but, all of the counties except Tom Green have shown periods of decline, with Menard County being the only one to have declines for three of the past four decades. Crockett, Reagan, and Tom Green were the only counties showing growth during the 1960s. The rate varied from 8.34 to 22.57 percent during that decade. In the same period decreases to a high of 20.02 percent were recorded  in the remaining counties. Though the percentage of decrease in population was lower during the 1970s, Tom Green is the only county that has sustained growth. The district posted substantial growth during the 70s, but slowed in the 80s. The 90s continued to show slow but steady growth in the region. However, this growth was not informal. Some counties lost population while others grew substantially. It is interesting to note that the greatest growth occurred in the counties that diversified their economies. Both Coke and Concho counties were successful in placing detention centers in their counties, it is believed that this has a direct relationship with the growth that both counties experienced. The district's population has a median age of approximately 35.6 years (Figure 4). In the San Angelo Metropolitan Statistical Area, the net migration accounted for a third of the growth during the 1980s with the balance due to a natural increase (Figure 6). Population projections show growth of the district through the year 2030 (Figure 5). Tom Green projections show a 27 percent increase over the three decades. These figures were derived from information provided by the Texas State Data Center, University of Texas San Antonio, using the  most recent migration scenario which depicts the growth over the past decade, this is expected to be the most likely prospect for population growth for most counties. Population density in the district is sparse, except in Tom Green and McCulloch Counties. Tom Green County has the highest density with 68.3  persons per square mile. McCulloch County follows with 7.7 persons per square mile. The remaining counties have from 1.5 to 4.3 persons per square mile (Figure 2). Low densities present significant challenges to development of the district. The region is well situated with easy access to major cities outside the region. This is displayed in Figure 7. Due to the proximity of the border with Mexico and the central part of Texas, the district is located in an area of great potential. Recent developments in cooperative efforts between the United States and Mexico will lead to growth and prosperity in the development of this area. Proposed enhancements via the Texas Trunk System and the Ports-to-Plains Trade Corridor through the district will strengthen this opportunity. Population is heavily distributed toward Tom Green Copunty, with 69.2 percent of the 1990 population, and 70.1 percent of the 2000 population residing in Tom Green County (Figures 2 and 3). This compares with population projections of 71.3 percent in the year 2030 as forecast in Figure 5. Crockett, Irion and Sterling Counties each represent just about one and a half percent of the district population. McCulloch County contains approximately 7.7 percent of the district population and is the next most populated county after Tom Green. The district ranges in geography from the arid rolling prairie of the Permian Basin in the west, to the rocky hills of the Hill Country in the east. McCulloch County i n the Northeastern corner of the district is the geographic center of the State of Texas. Soils range from clays to solid limestone and granite outcropping. The educational attainment of citizens of the district is shown on Figure 12. An average of 63 percent has more than a high school diploma, with 12.3 percent having a bachelor's degree or more. The highest percentage of educational attainment is in Tom Green County. The lowest percentage attaining at least a high school education is in Crockett County followed closely by Concho County. The percent of those with at least a high school education is an average of 30.5 percent. This is disturbing as we consider the needs of a high tech society. The median family income of the district was $38,926 in the 2010 census. Per capita income grew from an average of $10,332 in 1990 to $33,908. This compares to $39,493 for the State of Texas in 2010. In 2010 the per capita income level ranged from $31,764in Crockett County to $34,731in Reagan County. The percentages of persons below the poverty level was 17.9 percent in 2010. This compares with a state average of 16.7 percent. This indicates the low wages and number of citizens who are unemployed or underemployed. The racial composition of the district in 2010 was 63.03 percent Anglo, 3.18 percent Black, 31.73 percent Hispanic, and 2.07 percent other. The percent of Hispanic ranged from a low of 16.90 percent in Coke County to 54.70 percent in Crockett County. Crockett and Sutton Counties were the only counties with a majority of its citizens of Hispanic origin in 2000, but, Concho, Reagan and Schleicher Counties are approaching that point. The increase in the percentage of Hispanic citizens has been constant throughout the past three decades. LABOR FORCE The labor force has grown considerably during the past four decennial census counts. In 1970 there were 45,585 persons in the labor force, and in 1990 there were 67,645 (Figure 15). Figure 17 demonstrates that there are approximately 74,616 persons in the civilian labor force. The trend indicates a steady growth. There are approximately 47.7 percent of all the citizens in the region in the in the workforce. This percentage ranges from 704 persons in Sterling County to 51,880 persons in Tom Green County. In looking at the counties it will be noticed that the percent working has risen in the urban area, while it declined in most of the rural areas (Figure 17B). Approximately 50.5 percent of the males and 21.7 percent of the females are employed full time. The unemployment rate for males is approximately 60 percent of that of females (Figure 16). There were 52.2 percent of the citizens of the district not in the workforce. In January of 2008 there were 2,599 unemployed persons who have registered with the Texas Workforce Commission (Figure 17B). Crockett, Mason and Sutton Counties saw a decrease in the labor force from 1990 through 2008 (Figure 17). The unemployment rate shows an increase in seven of the thirteen counties. Of the labor force in regards to races, 96.6 percent White, 99.4 percent Native American, 91.8 percent Black, 94.9 percent Hispanic, and 91.8 percent others were employed. This shows a good balance of employment without regard to race (Figure 16A). The Civilian Labor Force Unemployment Rates have declined over the past decade. With periods of increase, the rate has declined from 5.8 in January 1992, to 3.6 in February 2008 (Figure 17A). It is felt that the district has a number of citizens who have dropped out of the labor force. These people work part time and do not register with  the Texas Workforce Commission when they are unemployed. This calls for a creative plan to train citizens and bring them back into gainful  employment. The largest portions of the work force are employed in government (39.8%), trade (21.9%), services (13.7%), and mining (11.1%) (Figure 18). The majority of the manufacturing jobs in the district are in Kimble, McCulloch, and Tom Green Counties. The mining employment is predominantly petroleum production in the western part of the district; however, this sector has had a dramatic decrease in employment between 1980 and 1990 (Figure 18A). The current unemployment count is 2,599 as of February 2008 (Figure 17B). Of this number, 1,403 are male and 1,196 are female. It is widely assumed that the unemployed also include a larger number of females who have not registered as seeking jobs. If this could be documented, we would have a larger unemployment rate and a larger percentage of unemployed females. While no figures were available to document the educational level of the unemployed, the specific fields from which these workers came indicate a high percentage with no education beyond high school. The skills needed to fill the positions listed in Figure 30 will require training for most of these citizens. Average wage levels in the district are considerably below the state and federal averages with higher wages in the western portion of the district due to the petroleum industry. Figure 29 indicates that the average weekly salary in the district is $395.61, compared to the state average of $518.08. The lowest average is in Mason County and the highest in Irion County. The salary comparison on specific trades indicates that managers of eating and drinking establishments are the only ones to have a higher wage in the district than the state. A newly established West Texas Training Center will be providing greatly needed specialized training. Prior to the opening of the West Texas Training Center, few technical and vocational schools were available in the district. San Angelo has the American Commercial College which offers secretarial training, Angelo State University and Howard College which provide nursing courses, and Howard College which provides beautician training (Figure 32). H & R Block has a school to train accounting personnel in basic bookkeeping skills and secretarial skills. Aladdin Beauty College offers cosmetology courses. Central Texas College in Brady offers secretarial courses. Other technical training is done in surrounding areas such as Abilene, Kerrville, Midland, Odessa, San Antonio, Snyder, and Sweetwater. The need to travel for specialized employment training will be greatly diminished with the new West Texas Training Center. The impact of the West Texas Training Center will be enormous as many of the unemployed have specialized or no training. Many are from farms, ranches, and other agricultural backgrounds and have few offices, industrial or general business skills. We have a need for welders i n one portion of the district with a high number of petroleum industry workers in another who seek alternate employment. Figure 30 lists skills which are needed and for which demand is expected to grow over the next decade. Prior to the West Texas Training Center, the only training in the district for many of these occupations was on-the-job. The forecast for jobs through the period ending in 2000, shows a general increase in employment of 11.7% (Figure 31). The largest growth  will be in wind turbine services with a major decline in mining (primarily petroleum industry) and a flat market for manufacturing jobs. The Concho Valley has a significant population of migrant seasonal farm workers. Statistics indicate that most of these workers do not register with regional agencies. The Texas Workforce Commission has developed an outreach program to attempt to document these workers and their impact on the district. A portion of this program is dedicated to the development employment opportunities as alternatives to the migrant and seasonal jobs. This is to provide employment on a regular basis to these workers. Many employment opportunities are available to industry and unemployed citizens. We have access to Howard College and Angelo State University in San Angelo. Job Training Partnership Act programs are available throughout the district. The Texas Workforce Commission provides Job Search Seminars throughout the district. There are jobs available in San Angelo for many of the rural unemployed who are willing to relocate. The Texas Department of Human Services identifies clients with employment potential and refers them to the Texas Workforce Commission for support services. This service also identifies families from the Aid to Families with Dependent Children group. The Texas Workforce Commission also receives referrals from the Food Stamp Employment and Training Program. The Job Training Partnership Act is a federal program which directs funds to eligible individuals due to economic disadvantages and serious employment barriers. This program also serves those who are unemployed due to economic or technological change or industrial restructuring
PROGRAMS FOR LOW INCOME POPULATION AND SENIOR-CITIZENS The Concho Valley Economic Development District contains many programs for low-income and senior citizens. The City of San Angelo has recently developed a computer literacy training facility with public housing. The following facilities are scattered throughout the district: (the number after the activity indicates the number of facilities) ± Adult Enrichment Center (1) ± Adult Protective Services (3) ± Advocacy and Information (1) ± Crime Prevention (3) ± Education (4) ± Emergency Assistance (1 5) ± Emergency Response Systems (5) ± Employment (5) ± Food and Nutrition (10) ± Health (25) ± Home Repair (3) ± Hospice (2) ± Hospitals (7) ± Housing (13) ± Information and Assistance (19) ± In-home Services (2) ± Home Health Agencies (23) ± Legal Assistance (3) ± Libraries (16) ± Medicaid/Medicare (11) ± Medical Equipment and Technology (9) ± Mental Health/Mental Retardation (5) ± Nursing Home (17) ± Nutrition Program (16) ± Personal Safety (1) ± Retiree Organizations (7) ± Services for the Disabled (8) ± Support Groups (15) ± Transportation (4) ± Volunteer Opportunities (7) All of these programs provide opportunities for aged and low-income persons. Assistance is available throughout the district by contacting one or more of these agencies.