Vital Signs Publication Highlights Marshfield’s Well-Being

(C) Branden Bodendorfer Photo

Vital Signs Publication Organized by United Way and Community Foundation

Covering everything from unemployment statistics to population trends, the Sixth Edition of “Vital Signs” publication is now available.

Produced through a partnership between Marshfield Area United Way and the Marshfield Area Community Foundation (MACF), the project represents the two organizations’ joint interest in and commitment to understanding the Marshfield community’s well-being across a series of civic, economic and social indicators.

“This annual report is a snapshot of the trends and issues affecting the quality of life in our community,” said Amber Kiggens-Leifheit, Executive Director at MACF. “We produce this report in conjunction with the United Way as a way to help inform the decision makers in our community and help them make the best choices.”

“It provides members and groups in the community with a way to measure change and trends that are impacting our community,” added Paula Jero, Executive Director at Marshfield Area United Way. “We hope that organizations use it as a tool to assist them in making decisions, and non-profits use the data in grant applications.”

The publication highlights areas of progress and areas of challenge to the community that need to be addressed. Using the Institute of Medicine’s proposed community health profile indicators, the information in the report is used to study and help the community respond to various needs. It helps identify developing problems, highlight areas of progress, and demonstrate areas of strength.

These indicators include population, construction, housing value, foreclosures, unemployment, income, economic assistance, and food insecurity. This year’s report reveals a variety of illuminating data, especially pertaining to the correlation between housing and income.

Sample chart – click for more!

“The population continues to decline in the Marshfield area, we had no new home starts, the average cost of a home is almost back to where it was before the housing decline in $141,122 (2007) $139,478 (2016), foreclosures are down across Wood County and in Marshfield, the median income in Marshfield is up but as compared to Wood County and the state it has not kept pace,” said Kiggens-Leifheit. “We looked at the surrounding townships and see income differences there. We think it shows the people with less income live within the city limits.”

“The economy continues to allow more individuals to be in the workforce but the economic assistance numbers are trending only slightly down, meaning that while more people are working they aren’t necessarily working living wage jobs,” said Jero.

Kiggens-Leifheit also noted that the report reveals important information about assistance programs in Marshfield.

“People continue to use public economic assistance programs,” she said. “It has held steady or increased slightly over the past five years. Unemployment is declined over 3% since 2012. 2016 has the lowest rate in the past decade. Nutrition on Weekends has exploded. Currently over 400 students receive lunches for the weekend.”

“We hope that organizations use it as a tool to assist them in making decisions, and non-profits use the data in grant applications,” said Jero. “This report is a great collaboration between United Way and the Community Foundation – something that doesn’t happen in other communities,”

Leifheit encourages groups that would like a presentation to please contact the Marshfield Area Community Foundation.

Download Vital Signs 2017 here.