Tracking Pixel

Jefferson Community College Website

Notice:
Aug. 19, 2016:  

Monday, August 20, 2018 - Jefferson Community College offices will open to the public at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 20, 2018, so that faculty & staff may attend Fall Semester Convocation.

19th Annual Jefferson County Survey Findings Released

Jefferson Community College The Center for Community Studies logoJefferson Community College The Center for Community Studies logo

The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College released the findings of the 19th Annual Jefferson County Survey of the Community at the General Services Committee meeting of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

The annual survey is an inventory of the attitudes, opinions, and behaviors of a representative sample of Jefferson County adult residents, with the interviews completed every year in the month of April. The primary goal of the survey is to collect data regarding quality of life issues of importance to local citizens.  This study provides an annual “snapshot” of life in the county.  Additionally, the analysis of the 19th Annual Survey data provides an information-rich “motion-picture” of changes in the lives of county residents over the past two decades when trends are investigated through comparing with earlier-year results.

Working under the training and supervision of the Center for Community Studies research staff, students at the College utilized a hybrid sampling design with 427 telephone interviews of residents on both cellular phones and residential landlines completed on the evenings of April 10-11, 2018, and an additional 148 intercept surveys completed at Fort Drum on April 13, 2018. 

Highlights of the 2018 survey include:

  • In 2018 many local community quality-of-life indicators that are related to personal and local economics resulted with the most positive results ever measured in 19 years of surveying in the county.  Although there remains much room for improvement, residents report to feel better than ever (at least since year 2000) regarding the availability of good jobs locally, the overall state of the local economy, and their own personal financial situations.  As one example, in 2001 among local residents 66% rated the availability of good jobs locally as “Poor”, while in 2018 this rate is the lowest ever measured at only 29%.
  • Currently 81% of residents indicate that their personal financial situation has remained the same or improved in the past year (27% improved, 54% remained the same).  Residents are more than twice as likely to indicate that their financial situation in the past 12 months has gotten better (27%), than they are to indicate gotten worse (13%).  For comparison, in 2011 only 20% indicated better while 29% responded worse.
  • Continuing the theme illustrated above, when local residents are asked the largest issue facing the entire nation, in 2018 responses have dramatically changed from that which were recorded 5-10 years ago among county residents.  There has been a shift from economic concern to a concern in government/leadership and the current local and nationwide drug epidemic.  For example, in 2009 among local residents 81% cited the jobs and the economy as the largest issue facing the nation, while in 2018 this rate is only 10%.  In 2009 no participants cited either government/leadership or drugs as the largest issue, and in 2018 these rates have increased to 22% and 15%, respectively.
  • For the first fifteen years of study (between 2000 and 2014) assessment of access to higher education locally remained very stable with 58%-68% rating as “Excellent or Good” each year, and 7%-13% rating as “Poor”.  However, over the past four years there has been an improvement in satisfaction with 74% in 2018 rating as “Excellent or Good” and only 6% rating as “Poor”.  This 74% responding “Excellent or Good” regarding access to higher education locally is the highest rated community indicator in 2018 among the 21 indicators annually investigated.
  • Over the past five years (from 2014 to 2018) there has been steady positive trending in local resident satisfaction with healthcare access, with the rate responding “Excellent or Good” now at its highest ever level (60% currently, has been as low as 41% in 2009).  At the same time, there has also been steady positive trending in local resident satisfaction with healthcare quality, with the rate responding “Excellent or Good” now at its highest ever level (60% currently, has been as low as 44% in 2009).
  • This year’s survey included items related to end-of-life decisions and planning.  By almost a three-to-one ratio, if one has been given a terminal illness diagnosis, one is more likely to prioritize medical care that provides pain-free comfort (48%) rather than medical care that prolongs life (17%).  Four-in-five residents (80%) would prefer to spend their last days at “home”, and regarding planning, residents are about equally likely to have created a living will and/or healthcare proxy (44%) as they are to have not (42%).  Approximately 37% of residents indicate that they have an immediate family member who has used the services of Hospice of Jefferson County, and when asked one’s view of this organization, the results are overwhelmingly positive – 69% favorable vs. 4% unfavorable.

The summary of findings for this study will be available on June 13, 2018 on the Center for Community Studies section of the Jefferson Community College website. For a copy of the entire detailed final report for this study, and for any further information regarding this study, please contact Research Director Joel F. LaLone, Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College, at 315-786-2264 or jlalone@sunyjefferson.edu.

The detailed final report for this study includes a summary of the 2018 Jefferson County results, a copy of the complete survey instrument used this year, a trend analysis of the Jefferson County results from 2000-2018, a full analysis of potential relationships between key demographic characteristics of participants and their opinions and behaviors, and finally, comparisons to results of similar recent annual surveys completed by the Center in each of Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties.

The Development Authority of the North Country, the Northern New York Community Foundation, and Car-Freshner Corporation have partnered with Jefferson Community College in providing financial sponsorship of all three annual surveys completed by the Center for Community Studies in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties.