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Jefferson Community College Website

1st Annual St. Lawrence County Survey Released by CCS

The Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College released the findings of the 1st Annual St. Lawrence County Survey of the Community at a meeting of the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators on Monday, December 14, 2015.

The survey is an inventory of the attitudes and opinions of a representative sample of St. Lawrence County adult residents. The primary goal of the survey is to collect data regarding quality of life issues of importance to local citizens. A similar study has been completed annually by the Center for Community Studies in Jefferson County since 2000, and in Lewis County since 2007.  The sponsors of these annual surveys of the North Country communities are the Northern New York Community Foundation and the Development Authority of the North Country, who both provide financial support to assist in the funding of these projects.

Working under the supervision of the Center for Community Studies research staff, statistics students at the College completed 442 telephone interviews on both the landline and cellular phones of St. Lawrence County adult residents on the evenings of June 29-30, 2015, resulting with an approximate margin of error of ±3.7%.

Highlights of the 2015 St. Lawrence County survey include:

  • St. Lawrence County residents are very positive in their assessment of the “Overall Quality of Life” in the county, with 61% rating this as “Excellent or Good”, and only 9% rating as “Poor”.
  • Residents are most concerned with the “Availability of Good Jobs” locally, with 56% rating this community indicator as “Poor”.  Similarly, when asked the largest issue at this time facing the nation the most common response is “Economy/Jobs”.
  • However, when asked to “consider you or your family’s personal financial situation in the past twelve months” participants are more likely to indicate that this situation has “Gotten Better” (25%) as to indicate that it has “Gotten Worse” (18%).
  • St. Lawrence County residents are more satisfied than not with healthcare quality and access in the county with 58% rating “Healthcare Quality” as “Excellent or Good”, and 53% rating “Healthcare Access” as “Excellent or Good”.
  • The K-12 education system in St. Lawrence County is very positively perceived by residents with 65% rating this as “Excellent or Good” and only 5% rating it as Poor”.  Further, when asked whether “St. Lawrence County schools are adequately preparing the youth for the technology and economy of the future”, 51% agree while only 29% disagree with this statement.
  • The higher education institutions in St. Lawrence County are perceived as having a tremendously positive impact on the county residents.  The most positively assessed community indicator among the 21 studied indicators is “Access to Higher Education”, with 78% rating this as “Excellent or Good”.  Further, 94% of participants agree that the presence of the five colleges “improves the overall quality of life of residents”, and 62% report that the colleges’ presence has a positive effect on their “family’s employment or financial situation”.  
  • St. Lawrence County residents appear to appreciate and embrace the rural nature of life in the county with “Quality of the Environment” and “Public Outdoor Recreational Opportunities” being the second and third most positively rated community indicators (73% and 67%, respectively, rated as “Excellent or Good”).
  • “Shopping Opportunities” in St. Lawrence County are not at all viewed positively by residents, with 49% rating these as “Poor” (the second most negatively perceived community indicator) and only 21% rating as “Excellent or Good”.

The entire survey, including a summary of the results and the complete survey instrument, is available online.

For more information, please contact Joel LaLone, Research Director at the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College, 315-786-2264.