ISSUE 203 | April 19, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Community challenge leads to innovative solutions 

The Well City Challenge is a competition designed to elicit innovative solutions to health and wellness issues in Philadelphia.

Get Fresh Daily, a mission-driven organization providing culturally-relevant programming to improve health and wellness in the Black community, was among the winners of last year’s competition.

The award of $10,000, along with a People’s Choice award of $7,500, enabled the organization to distribute more than 3,500 boxes of fresh produce to families in the area.

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Redevelopment grants allow for project diversity in Pittsburgh  


Grants exceeding $43.2 million, awarded via the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, will assist Pittsburgh with 31 projects.

These projects involve historical improvements and economic development, along with civic, cultural, and recreational advancements.

Examples include:

  • restoration efforts at Allegheny Riverfront Park,
  • accessibility enhancements at the Community Empowerment Association, and
  • construction of a high-rise apartment building in the Central Business District.

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Commonwealth launches employment website  

People searching for employment based on their abilities and skills can find around 550 available jobs on a recently launched website.

The website became active after an executive order eliminated many four-year higher education degree requirements.

Governor Shapiro indicated that approximately 92 percent of positions in the Commonwealth will be accessible regardless of college degree status. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Program reduces barriers for women in male-dominated occupations     


ValleyBuild NOW is a two-month pre-apprenticeship training program available to women residing in 14 California counties.

It prepares them for job opportunities in construction and other trades, with supports such as stipends for housing expenses, transportation assistance, and childcare subsidies.

The program is supported by $3 million in funding via the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, and another $15 million has been allocated to the Women in Construction Priority Program at the Department of Industrial Relations. 

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Customized meal deliveries help manage medical issues and reduce costs


A partnership between the popular delivery program Meals on Wheels and a Portland hospital produced patient-related data indicating that medically tailored meals helped people stay at home.

Many other states have adopted such dietary programs, which are covered by Medicaid and other public and private insurance plans. 

The Food is Medicine Coalition found that just six months of individualized meals reduced costs by 16 percent (or $220 per month for each patient) – or:

  • 58 percent fewer emergency department visits,
  • 49 percent fewer hospital stays, and
  • 72 percent fewer nursing home visits. 


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Remote cybersecurity programs battle shortages in North Dakota   


With staff shortages looming in the state’s cybersecurity fields, officials in North Dakota have launched initiatives to engage and retain employees.

Efforts include options that are entirely remote, as well as internships and loosened degree requirements.

Furthermore, individuals in apprenticeship roles will receive financial aid for their education in exchange for three-year work commitments.


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