Jasper City Council heard a presentation on Dubois County’s Economic Resiliency Wednesday night. The study, presented by Amanda Straight and Chris Holcomb with Thomas P. Miller and Associates, examined the variety of jobs within the county. There are 31,082 jobs in the county, with a 7% growth since 2013 and an estimated 3% increase by 2023. Currently, Dubois County ranks 2,507th out 3,142 counties across the United States in industry diversity, having variety economically provides the ability for counties to recover quickly in the event of financial hardship. 11,947 jobs in Dubois County represent manufacturing jobs alone, that is 38.4% of the total jobs. Highlighting further, 23.5% of the jobs are in the furniture industry. Since 2013, manufacturing jobs have expanded by 9%, but estimates place the continued growth of the industry at only 1% by 2023.
The study examined ways to Jasper can strengthen the resiliency of Dubois County’s economy, in part by looking at comparable counties Dubois can aspire to. One such method is to look at what products are currently imported into the county that we could potentially produce in county. Another approach presented suggested expanding opportunities within the current industries already here. Asking the question, what other products can be produced within industries like wood-working? The third route is through complimentary industries, areas that can benefit the established employers already here. Ultimately the goal of the study is to look at possible needs for the city to address as they begin building a new comprehensive plan for Jasper.