ISSUE 190 | January 18, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Local program addresses social isolation among older adults

United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties recently launched the Older Adult Isolation Project, a pilot program designed to detect older adults’ needs and support individuals facing loneliness due to isolation.


Program participants may be referred by The Wright Center and the Lackawanna County Agency on Aging, and volunteer navigators connect them with appropriate supports.


The project is funded with support from the Moses Taylor Foundation.


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Expansive policies will improve school life for LGBTQ students  

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Some Pennsylvania school districts follow the Gender-Expansive and Transgender Student guidelines, but many do not.


Existing policies focus on mental health – 56 percent of transgender youth in unsupportive environments attempt suicide.


There is great need for more comprehensive guidance, however, such as recommendations for preferred pronoun and bathroom usage. 


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Unbanked households have declined in number since pandemic onset

Families in nearly six million U.S. households do not have bank accounts.


There are more than 90,500 unbanked and underbanked households in Northeastern Pennsylvania alone.


The 2021 National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households indicated that the pandemic prompted 34.9 percent of this population to open accounts for receipt of benefits such as stimulus payments. 


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Research Spotlight: The Institute's Jobs, Economy, and Economic Development (JEED) Task Force has explored circumstances surrounding unbanked and underbanked households in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Use the link below to access study findings and recommendations.


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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Nation’s longest running UBI program presents latest findings

Magnolia Mother’s Trust offers guaranteed incomes of $1,000 per month to single, working Black mothers in Jackson, Mississippi.


Results of each 12-month cycle have shown improved outcomes for their children.


A recent study in Finland found that universal basic incomes yield reports of improved well-being, with no evidence of disincentive to work.


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Data centers recycle energy to heat communities

Data centers generate well-paying jobs and lots of energy.


Options to the heat they produce as fuel for homes and businesses are being tested in Europe and on the west coast.


These centers comprise up to two percent of global energy demand, so recycling their energy can help reduce their carbon footprints. 


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Dirt bikes make STEM learning more interesting 

B360, a dirt bike STEM education program in Baltimore, teaches at-risk youth about mechanics and physics while dissuading illegal riding in the city.


In the program’s first-year, arrests involving dirt bike declined 81 percent and the city saved $1.2 million in incarceration fees.


More than 8,000 participants have completed the program so far. 


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