Weekly Reader

Friday, January 10, 2020

Economic Development
The CWCOG is hosting a Local Investment Program organizational meeting on February 5 at the Cowlitz Event Center. This effort is intended to connect businesses needing investment with local investors. If you are interested in attending please RSVP to CWCOG at cwcog.org.

Here is an article on the shifts in wages that are impacting the country as we enter 2020. There are some interesting numbers in the article including the fact that 49 percent of U.S. workers reported seeing higher pay in 2019, verses 38% last year.

U.S. Census Plays an Even Bigger Role in Allocating Federal Funds to Local and State Governments according to Fortune Magazine and a recent study. “More than $1.5 trillion in federal funding to state and local governments is parceled out based on census data—much more than previously thought, researchers said Monday.”

The first Freight News & Notes was published this week by the CWCOG. The CWCOG has held two Freight Advisory Committee meeting since 2018 and has scheduled the next meeting for May 6. Details on the meeting are included in the publication available on the CWCOG website. Future editions of the Freight News & Notes will be posted in the Reader and on the website. Let us know if you want to engage in the Freight Stakeholders group that includes members from Cowlitz, Grays Harbor and Lewis Counties in Washington and Columbia County Oregon.

The National Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) Transit Acronym Dictionary was updated in December 2019. The resource now includes over 470 industry acronyms, including new additions like ROUTES (Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success) and TTT (Transportation Technology Tournament).

In October, FTA selected the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) to manage a new Technical Assistance Center called the National Center for Applied Transit Technology (N-CATT).  Visit the site for a variety of resources and training information on transportation technologies as well as learning and planning resources for transportation providers and communities.

The draft 2019 Washington State Rail Plan is now available for your review. Please help WSDOT further refine its contents by providing comments by Friday, February 14, 2020. Contact the CWCOG staff to provide your comments or request the formal comment form from WSDOT. The Washington State Department of Transportation prepares a State Rail Plan every five years to provide a framework for future actions that meet federal and state requirements. This draft plan represents a snapshot in the continuous improvement of the rail system in Washington and therefore reflects information, projects, and activities that are in place at this time. Should new policies, budget decisions, or actions be undertaken in the next few years, WSDOT may perform a technical update as appropriate prior to the next five-year plan update. The final State Rail Plan is expected to be published near the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Community Development / Other
The following is taken from the US Census Website. “This holiday season marks the end of a decade, the start of the 2020s, and the beginning of one of the U.S. Census Bureau’s most important missions: counting every person in the United States in the 2020 Census.

This year alone, the Census Bureau conducted more than 100 surveys and released more than 400 economic reports.

While preparations for this once-in-a-decade event are intense, the Census Bureau continues to release data products that tell the story of America’s people, places and economy.

Some of the highlights include:

  • 2017 Economic Census— We started releasing statistics in September and will continue through 2021. This once-every-five-year look at our economy measures the impact of nearly 4 million businesses. The Economic Census is the most extensive collection of data related to business activity.
  • 2020 Census “Shape your future. START HERE.”— We launched this communications campaign for the 2020 Census to help explain why it matters and how it can shape your community. The 2020 Census advertising campaign will be in English and 12 other languages.
  • America Counts: Stories Behind the Numbers— Our new content platform, launched in September 2017, is on track to publish 100 stories this year. In 2019, we had our best year (more than 1 million visits), month (146,617), week (49,908) and day (14,661). Thanks for reading and sharing!
  • census.gov— In July, we launched this new data platform to replace American FactFinder. It will be the primary way to access Census Bureau data, including upcoming releases from the 2017 Economic Census, 2018 American Community Survey, 2020 Census and more.”
  • Statistics in Schools— This program offers K-12 educators free online activities, games and other resources to help them bring statistics into their classrooms, including activities for students to learn about the importance of having everyone in their families counted in the 2020 Census.

Here is a link to the Washington Counts website that is a resource for Census Day 2020. Check it out so you can clearly see the benefits of the Census.

Three Ideas

-Optimize for tomorrow—as in, literally, one day from now.
-Save to be a little richer tomorrow. Exercise to be a little fitter tomorrow. Read to be a little smarter tomorrow.
-1% better every day.
Taken from JamesClear.com

Here are some key dates for you to keep in mind:

February 3: Iowa Caucuses Take Place

February 4: State of the Union Address

May 22: Several federal health programs expire, including:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program
  • Community health programs
  • Medicare programs

July 13-16: Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, WI

August 3-September 4: House Summer Recess

August 10-September 4: Senate Summer Recess

August 24-27: Republican National Convention in Charlotte, NC

September 30: Several critical deadlines, including:

  • Fiscal Year 2021 Appropriations
  • Surface transportation authorization (FAST Act)
  • National Flood Insurance Program
  • Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) reauthorization

November 3: Election Day