ISSUE 245 | February 22, 2024

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

Budget Proposal Could Uplift Rural Communities

The Shapiro Administration has released a spending plan of $48.3 billion to revitalize rural areas across the state.

The funding is set to target the medical, housing, and nature sectors of rural communities to boost local revenues and attract more activity.

Another key portion of funding, which will be finalized in June, will focus on mental health, K-12 resources, and other community-building programs. 

Click here to read the full article

Bill to Legalize Clean Syringe Programs Advances in PA House


The Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee has advanced a bill that will legalize statewide clean syringe programs.

Research has linked similar programs to reduced transmission of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, as well as increased enrollment in recovery programs.

City-funded clean needle pilot programs are currently underway in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. 

Click here to read the full article

Students Research Cultural Education in Medicine


A Temple University radiology student is leading an exploration of cultural education in medical examinations.

Angela Udongwo, under the guidance of Dr. Hillel Maresky, noticed that hairstyles found in Black communities were showing on imaging scans, in some cases causing radiologists to misinterpret them as disease.

Udongwo is now working on research to identify common cultural hairstyles and bridge the gap in education for medical staff. 

Click here to read the full article

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Getting a Good Job Depends More on Race and Gender than Education

New research from the Urban Institute has found that although higher-paying jobs result from higher education, most employment disparities can be linked to race and gender.

The study includes analysis of occupational bias and occupational crowding (the over and underrepresentation of gender and ethnic groups in occupations) regardless of education level.

Occupational crowding is analyzed using a three-tiered index and data visualization tools.


Click here to read the full article

Urban Food Forests Serve Multiple Purposes


The U.S. Forest Service has launched a project to increase forest density in urban areas across the nation.

Supported by approximately $1 billion in funding, this project is intended to cool the temperatures of cities while offering public food sources.

Showing signs of success in areas such as Philadelphia, Boston, and Atlanta, this project has seen volunteers and farmers planting community gardens, fruit and nut trees, and berry bushes, to provide not only shade and food, but also a means of community building. 

Click here to read the full article

Experts Discuss the Expansion of Pell Grants for Incarcerated Individuals

New research suggests that the expansion of Pell Grants to incarcerated individuals will reduce recidivism.

For nearly three decades, incarcerated individuals have had limited access to higher education resources, which has presented barriers for reintegration after release from prison.

Studies show that taking even one college course while incarcerated reduces the chances of reentry by almost 50 percent.

Click here to read the full article

Research Institutions
Relaying Relevant News & Research to Local Stakeholders