ISSUE 208 | May 26, 2023

The Institute is an economic research and applied research and consulting group that provides customized client solutions and strategies to facilitate decision making and planning that enhances growth, impact, and sustainability for organizations.
From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Businesses look to immigrant workers amid labor shortage  

Labor market conditions are expected to remain tight for several years.

Circumstances are especially dire in areas such as Cambria and Somerset Counties, where populations have been declining while retirements rise.

International migration through federal programs and various visa categories presents an opportunity to satisfy some workforce needs, though some barriers and challenges persist.

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Local coffee shop prioritizes inclusivity 

Nonprofit NEPA Inclusive has launched Coffee Inclusive, a coffee shop run by employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities and trained baristas to support them.

The opportunity allows workers to acquire knowledge and skills need to work in other, similar businesses across the region.

The establishment operates on Kennedy Boulevard in Pittston.

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New facility underway for nonprofit medical clinic  


At The Clinic for Special Children in Lancaster County, people with rare genetic disorders receive essential care.

With the help of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the nonprofit medical practice will soon enjoy a new three-floor facility spanning more than 28,000 square feet.

A dozen exam rooms, meeting and event spaces, and an accessible playground will be available to people from Amish and Mennonite communities as well as thousands of patients from 44 states and 17 countries.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Research identifies alternate strategies for litter reduction   

Abatement of litter costs state and local governments $1.3 billion per year – in addition to environmental and public health costs.

Research by Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KFB) and the Indianapolis Office of Sustainability indicates that signage and the possibility of fines are insufficient to deter people from littering.

Community cleanups, strategic look and placement of waste receptacles, and waste prevention efforts such as imposing fees for plastic bags may be more effective.

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Solar-powered signs provide real-time schedules for transit riders 

Although smartphones are convenient for planning trips, not everyone has access to them.

That’s why cities such as Boston are investing in new e-paper technology.

These signs are solar-powered and relatively inexpensive, and their high-contrast nature minimizes glare. They cycle through transit schedules and maps of different routes every 30 seconds.


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Bicycles emerge as the newest additions to public libraries 


People for Bikes released a 2021 identified various barriers to biking and its benefits, highlighting the importance of the increase in bicycle libraries across the country.

Many public libraries have even begun offering bicycle services.

In Madison, Wisconsin, for example, a partnership with Madison BCycle enables people with library cards can check out electric bikes at no cost.


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