2022 Community Needs Assessment

1. What are the major data changes from baseline? (prior needs assessment)

Highschool graduation rate increased in Washington County, while decreasing in Garfield County; Iron County saw an increase in enrollment to higher education.

2. What contributed to these changes?

  • According to the Washington County School District Communications Director, Steven Dunham, the increase in high school graduates last year was due to a shift in administration policy across the county, and how the district tracks data of students who transfer out of Washington County and graduate elsewhere.
  • Iron county saw a significant increase in enrollment at SUU due to their implementation of more online classes, and a new Bachelor of General Studies degree program, which costs students significantly less than a typical bachelor’s program to pursue higher education.
  • Garfield County School District considered school closures due to the lack of student numbers. Families were moving out of the area or choosing to home school their kids. School closures may not have happened, which would account for both the lower graduation rates and the low teacher vs. student ratio.

3. What barriers (specific to income) were made clear by the data?

  • Lack of resources to make higher education available: With education/higher education being available online, having limited internet services will hinder access. These rural areas do not have many opportunities to further their education without driving to other counties
  • Cliff Effect: People experiencing poverty often deny the opportunity to advance in their career and turn down promotions because of how quickly and drastically the income brackets change one’s ability to qualify for economical support. A small pay increase could mean a complete discontinuation of supplemental benefits. It is detrimental to their long-term employment stability, financial security, and it can contribute significantly to the risk of families experiencing Intergenerational Poverty.
  • Childcare Shortage: As parents are going back to work, finding a childcare facility that has openings is hard.  Parents are being told it is due to an employee shortage, limiting the number of children facilities are allowed to enroll.

4. What gaps in service were noted for this issue?

Quality Childcare: Kane County now has one facility, with most households still relying on family and friends for childcare while they work. There is also still a lack of early childhood education curriculum in the area.

5. Are there individual/family/community unmet needs in this area

  • Access to Internet: While jobs and education have increased virtually, internet availability in the rural areas is limited due to lack of broadband services.
  • Adult continued education/GED programs in rural counties.

6. What linkages (including partnerships) are needed to address barriers, gaps, and unmet need?

  • Iron County Adult Education, SW High School
  • Southwest Technical College, DXATC
  • Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane & Washington School District
  • SUU and UTC
  • Care About childcare
  • Iron and Washington Counties School District Homeless Liaison 
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • DWS
  • FAFSA – Department of Education

7. From reviewing the education data, what has your agency learned about the root cause of poverty in your community

Post-secondary and secondary completion limits job opportunities and high wages for households. High quality early education and internet availability ties into this, as well.

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