ISSUE 185 | November 30, 2022

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Universal screening for suicidality reduces risk 

According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, “Data shows that universal suicide risk screening helps health care providers better identify those at risk so they can be connected to appropriate care and services.

A 2017 study of eight emergency departments across seven states found 30% fewer suicide attempts among patients who were screened and received evidence-based care compared with patients who were not screened.”

Data through 2019 reveals increasing suicide rates in Northeastern Pennsylvania. 

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Philadelphia skills development program successes fuels major expansion

The West Philadelphia Skills Initiative serves approximately 300 people annually and has assisted over 1,800 people to date.

Last year, the professional development program connected 127 individuals to employment.

Successes and partnerships with Drexel University, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Fire Department, Penn Medicine, and others formed the impetus for an expansion grant of $3.5 million. 

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Coding and dance combined to encourage girls’ interest in STEM  


A Philadelphia program aims to encourage girls of color to pursue STEM careers.

Dancing and coding share some commonalities – both are repetitive and use combinations, so lessons go hand-in-hand.

Other programs like Black Girls Do STEM and Ujima GIRL are also working to reach elementary and middle school girls. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Workforce re-entry programs address labor shortage 

According to a study from the National Conference of State Legislatures, people with felony convictions rob the workforce of 1.7 million employees, resulting in economic loss of $78 billion.

Studies also show that people with stable jobs avoid recidivism.

In 2021, the Society for Human Resource Management reported that 53 percent of HR professionals would hire people with criminal records – up from 37 percent just three years earlier. 

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DC project provides solar to support low-income families

Solar shingles that generate electricity and make good roofing material are being installed on several businesses and residences in Washington, D.C.

“Solar for All is making a significant impact here in the District by creating opportunities for local contractors, creating jobs for District residents, and most importantly, creating lasting electricity bill savings for income-qualified DC families,” says Ted Trabue, managing director of DC Sustainable Energy Utility, which runs the Solar for All program.

The program is also providing over $11.5 million in incentives to local solar developers to install large community solar systems like this one, as well as solar systems for single-family homes of low-income families. 

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Community land trusts spur important new development

A Seattle nonprofit partnered with a quasi-public real estate development company (chartered by the City of Seattle) to buy buildings in an underdeveloped neighborhood and create a community land trust.

Community land trusts are governed by residents and public leaders with the goal of fostering future neighborhood economic development.

More specifically, this initiative aims for “affordable cultural spaces.”

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Research Spotlight: With significant labor shortages, heightened focus on workforce development is as important as ever. The Institute's Education and Workforce Development Task Force has compiled more than a decade of research on this very topic. Click below to access the full menu of studies.

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