Over 50 representatives of local nonprofits and other community organizations gathered virtually yesterday to hear a report on the state of employment in Adams County. The meeting was sponsored by the @Home in Adams County Coalition and the statistical report was presented by Matthew Ross, Business Services Program Officer with SCPa Works.
Ross said SCPa Works provides training and career opportunities at career link sites in Pennsylvania, including one in Adams County.
Ross said the current population in Adams is about 103,000 and is growing at about 1 percent a year, and that the median household income is about $67,000.
Ross said the county was elderly with few millennials, that it was not racially diverse, but that there were many military veterans. He said the lack of young people was a potential barrier to job growth.
Ross said Adams has a very low crime rate compared to other Central PA cities, and especially bigger cities such as Philadelphia. “People should feel safe,” he said.
Over 90 percent of county residents have a high school education and over 50 percent have some college education. “Employers are more likely to accept individuals with less education than ever in the past,” said Ross.
Ross said employment in the county was strong, with “essentially full employment” at a little over 3%. Ross said he was troubled however by the number of unemployed in the 24-54 age range.
Saying it was no surprise, Ross noted a drop in employment over the pandemic, but said the situation was now rebounding.
Ross said a goal to increase employment would be to try to reengage people who are not currently in the workforce but might be. Out of the 84,000 who would be expected to be part of the labor force, there were 30,073 who were not employed but also not looking for work.
Some of the top employers in the county are Gettysburg College, Wellspan Health, Knouse Foods, Walmart, ACNB Bank, and HACC.
Ross said there was a great deal of manufacturing the in the county and that the most common jobs were in that area. Other common jobs were office and administration, transportation, food processing, management, sales, instruction, healthcare, and construction.
Adams Economic Alliance President Robin Fitzpatrick said a new 90 acre industrial center was on the books for Adams. The site will host manufacturing companies and is connected with rail and trucking infrastructure.
Ralph Serpe from the Adams County Community Foundation reminded people that the rabbittransit Gettysburg-Hanover Connector (HGC) bus is running on a regular schedule. This service can help Adams residents get to and from jobs in Hanover.