Weekly Reader

Friday, October 25, 2019

New CWCOG website is live: www.cwcog.org

Economic Development
Business development ideas – how do we spur creative thinking in the region to assist in job and wealth creation? Click here for a story on two guys who came together to build a business. Is there a way to spur this type of activity? The CWCOG and partners will be hosting a meeting after the first of the year on a project idea that is meant to help attract local funding for local startups. Watch for more information.

Matt Roth just returned from the National Association of Development Organizations annual meeting with ideas and thoughts from the workshops. Watch the Reader for the details from the conference.

Working from anywhere: The good, the bad, and the lovely of how remote work is quietly remaking our lives.

According to a recent presentation by John Karras of TIP Strategies, the region is lagging in the development of the remote worker sector. This is an area of interest for future Economic District efforts. Karras suggests that “Going to work” ain’t what it used to be. The office, the job, and the work are less tied to a location.”  Factors driving growth of remote work include: It’s what workers want; It’s what companies need; and new tech and tools make it work.

Monthly employment data released – click here for the full story. Cowlitz County – 6.0 % unemployment Wahkiakum County – 6.6 % unemployment.

Transportation
FHWA continues its work to research and implement the Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP) program. Click here for the latest information. FHWA is working to create cost-effective countermeasures to decrease the number of pedestrian fatalities. In 2016 there were 5,987 pedestrian deaths across the country.

Staff was told that the Longview/Kelso/Rainier Intelligent Transportation Architecture passed the third-party audit process following its recent completion. 23 CFR 940 and equivalent FTA policies specify the requirements for regional Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) architecture development use and maintenance. The statute specifies that all ITS projects must adhere to the regional ITS architecture. It also specifies that the architecture should be developed consistent with the transportation planning process and the Metropolitan Planning Organization long-range transportation plan. CWCOG is working with transportation stakeholders in the Longview-Kelso-Rainier Metropolitan Planning Area to improve the use of intelligent systems to assist in our transportation efforts. The architecture is available for review at this link. A regional ITS architecture is essential for deploying, integrating, and operating technology-based improvements to the transportation system. ITS technologies help advance transportation safety and mobility and improve the movement of goods and services by integrating communication technologies into the infrastructure and connected passenger and commercial vehicles. Maintaining and implementing an ITS architecture will help prevent potential crashes, keep traffic moving, decrease the negative environmental impacts of the transportation sector on society, and help to prepare the region for connected autonomous vehicles.

Efforts to provide resources and guidance for rural community use of Intelligent Transportation protocols will begin after the first of the year with a report expected by June 30. Watch for more information.

Click here for information on the Department of Ecology VW Workplace Charging at state and local government buildings Grant. Competitive grants to help local government purchase and install light duty, electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).  It also covers level 2 and direct current (DC) fast chargers and includes $2.25 million in available funding.

Community Development / Other
According to the National Association of Regional Councils “Most U.S. Adults Intend to Participate in 2020 Census, but Some Demographic Groups Aren’t Sure. As the 2020 U.S. census gets closer, the Pew Research Center has conducted a survey aimed at determining how much of the population plans to participate. According to the survey, Americans overwhelmingly are aware of the census, and more than eight-in-ten (84%) say they definitely or probably will participate. Despite a broad knowledge of the census, 16% of people expressed at least some uncertainty about responding. Black and Hispanic adults, as well as those with lower income levels, are more likely to say they probably or definitely will not participate in the census. Black and Hispanic adults have been undercounted in the past, while lower-income adults are classified as a “hard to count” population, according to Census Bureau research.” Click here for the story from the PEW Research Center.

Up-coming events and activities

  • Cowlitz Regional Information Forum, November 8, 7:00 am, Port of Kalama
  • CWCOG Board of Directors will not meet in November