Catawba County commissioners face a big challenge. Demographic surveys predict the county will lose school-aged residents and prime-aged workers over the next 20 years.
For a county with a population of about 156,000 in July 2015, that attrition will be significant, says Garrett Hinshaw, president of Hickory-based Catawba Valley Community College.
Commissioners asked him and other school and business leaders to develop a plan to keep those worrisome projections from becoming reality. Their response was K-64.