This afternoon, Vision 2022 presented the first look at information gained from the V22 Community Study conducted between September and October to gain a perspective on community attitudes and needs.  The “sneak peek” was shared by Dean Halverson, CEO of Leede Research and Mary Maurer, VP at HFM, at the Chamber’s Facing Our Future event at Holiday Inn, Manitowoc.  The study was conducted online through links pushed out through a variety of employer, organization and media resources.

In early August, HFM, Leede Research and Silver Lake College announced they were revitalizing the Vision 2011 program under Vision 2022.  Their goal is to assess community needs and assets and help create a focused direction for the future of Manitowoc County.  Leede reported that over 2500 people came to the survey link.  There were 934 completed interviews that averaged almost 20 minutes in length.  There were another 324 surveys that were partially completed and Leede validated for quality.  These will be included for the completed questions.

When asked about the best feature of Manitowoc County in an open question, the study found that Community was a key focal point of the open response.  There were strengths seen around the People, Lake Michigan, and Family.  Words frequently a part of the comments included; Family, Beautiful, Good, Clean, and Friendly.  These are positive and typical of discussions in the community.  When asked what changes were needed the most common word in open responses was Better.  Better was a general reference to making improvements in the community.  Better jobs, bringing in more people and businesses and added retail and restaurants were cited.

Of concern in the results was the Community Net Promoter Score.  Net Promoter Score is a cross industry measure of loyalty and experience.  Harley Davidson generally shows a score in the 80’s.  Apple is generally in the upper 60’s or low 70’s.  When asked about Manitowoc County the survey showed a -29.  Dean Halverson, CEO of Leede Research indicates that this is a terribly low score and indicates we must work on our perception within the community.  The results also asked about the 10 year trend for Quality of Life in Manitowoc County.  There were 13% of respondents who felt the Quality of Life Improved, while 54% felt that it had Declined.  Halverson shared that the results are concerning for the people and organizations that have worked over the years to improve the community.  He noted that detailed review of the results indicate that much of the negative is based on perceptions in the community that can be addressed moving forward.

The survey also gathered information on the economy and workforce perceptions.  The results indicate that people are generally employed at a level appropriate to their education and training and three quarters are not likely to change employers in the next two years.  Responses from area Employers indicate that 58% have unfilled positions.  The survey results show a total of just over 1300 unfilled positions with just 65 employers responding to the study.  Halverson believes that this is notably higher when projected into the community.  Despite strong performance the top issues identified were Jobs and Opportunities for Advancement in the overall study results.  Halverson notes this demonstrates that some issues are clearly perceptions and we need to be sharing the positive aspects of employment in the community.

The Vision 2022 group will be reviewing these results and working with local government and organizations in the community to help address key issues from the study.  There is significantly more information available including targets for future development, community health, and more.  Leede Research will be putting information together for different stakeholder groups and completing deeper analysis of the information overall.  They will make the information available to all interested groups.  Vision 2022 will be holding a Community Summit on January 17th to share more detailed results and plans for the future.