For years the story has remained pretty much the same. Imperial County is the poorest county in the state — at least according to 1998 data, the most current statistical information available. We have the highest percentage of people in the state below the poverty level and the state's lowest median income.
We've heard similar numbers many times and just as many times we have heard the reasons behind the poor state of our county: a lack of education among the workforce; seasonal jobs related to agriculture; low-paying jobs in general.
Those are some of the reasons cited when officials are questioned about why the story doesn't change.
The real question — the one to which there may not be a good answer — is what can be done to change the conditions that plague the county?
There should be answers. We have abundant water, low-cost energy, a ready and willing workforce and available land.