Newsletter -
September
 2015
 
Projects   |   News   |   Blog   |   Jobs   |   Grants

Greetings from The Public Policy Center

The Pubic Policy Center was busy throughout the summer working on a variety of projects with direct relevance to the local community (see below). As fall arrives, we are  pleased to welcome Elise Korejwa to the PPC team, who joins us in the role of Senior Research Associate. A brief bio is available on our  blog

In the coming months we will continue to share information about grants and job opportunities through our monthly newsletter and PPC blog, which can be accessed via our website. Also, don't forget to follow us on Twitter @PublicPolicyCtr where regular updates are posted. Thank you for your interest and continued support for our work in the Southcoast community and beyond.


ProjectsRecently Completed Projects

The Foreign Born Population of Worcester, Massachusetts: Assessing the Challenges and Contributions of a Diverse Community

PPC partnered with the UMass Donahue Institute and Seven Hills Foundation to undertake the first systematic assessment of the size, composition, social and economic contributions, and the social and human service needs of Worcester's foreign-born population. The final publication will be officially released in the the coming weeks.

Cancer Disparities Capacity Building Project, Phase I: Needs Assessment

PPC worked with Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, Inc. on a Needs Assessment that identifies barriers faced by residents who have difficulty accessing both preventive and comprehensive cancer care. Under the leadership of PPC, community health workers and community leaders facilitated 8 focus groups and conducted interviews with 51 community members and 16 community leaders with diverse demographic and cultural backgrounds. 

Subsidizing Risk: The Regressive and Counterproductive Nature of National Flood Insurance Rate Setting in Massachusetts

PPC and the UMass Dartmouth Department of Public Policy teamed up to study the relationship between the average National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums and the average property values of NFIP insured properties in 331 Massachusetts municipalities. Results of the study suggest current policies in setting flood insurance rates in Massachusetts result in regressive premiums and, as a result, can increase incentives for risk taking.



New and Potential Projects

Identifying Opportunities and Challenges Facing Prospective Nursing Students

PPC is collaborating with the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing on a Diversity Nursing Scholars Program that will identify strategies to increase the pipeline of nursing students from the New Bedford area. PPC will design  and complete a community needs assessment that identifies opportunities and challenges among middle and high school students who are interested in a nursing career, particularly as they relate to obstacles that prevent students from being college ready, applying for college, and enrolling in college. 

Exploring Health Literacy 

PPC is applying for an NIH grant In partnership with faculty from UMass Dartmouth's Psychology and Sociology departments to study health literacy in New Bedford. We are interested in studying how certain factors, such as cultural background and informational preferences affect health literacy. 


Continuing Projects

Exploring Benefits and Costs of Housing Production in the Commonwealth

PPC is collaborating with the Massachusetts Housing Partnership to determine the conditions under which the benefits of housing production might exceed its costs.  The research will also establish principles for designing a policy to reimburse communities that allow development, but experience related negative fiscal impacts.

Supporting Pay Equity for Women in the SouthCoast

PPC is working with the  Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts Taskforce to evaluate pay equity and pathways to a living wage for women in the SouthCoast. Our analysis includes income differentials for women across various demographics, including race, educational attainment, and family structures. 

Providing Technical Assistance to the Southeastern Health Initiative For Transformation (SHIFT) 

We continue our work providing technical and research assistance to the Southeastern Health Initiative for Transformation (SHIFT) program as it moves from the Planning to Implementation stage. SHIFT is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through the  Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF), a first in the nation initiative aimed to reduce health care costs across the Commonwealth by preventing chronic conditions. 

Evaluating UMass Dartmouth's America Reads*Counts Program

In partnership with UMass Dartmouth's Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, this program evaluation measures the level to which serving as an America Reads*Counts tutor influences the behaviors and perceptions of UMass Dartmouth students, while also exploring how tutors impact the experiences of participating teachers and students.  

Evaluating Taunton's Hope VI Project

PPC continues to evaluate the Taunton (MA) Housing Authority's HOPE VI project. This project involves replacing distressed public housing with two new developments, while providing supportive services to the residents of the now-demolished Fairfax Gardens.  Click here for the most recent report update.

Evaluating the Impacts of AHA! (Arts, History, Architecture) New Bedford

AHA! (Art, History & Architecture) is New Bedford's free Downtown Cultural Night and collaborative cultural organization. PPC has worked with AHA! since 1998 to conduct economic impact analyses, program evaluations, and visitor surveys of AHA! sponsored and supported activities. Click here for the FY14 interim report.

  Expanding the Health Data SouthCoast Website

Looking for data to make the case, design a program or policy, or just become more informed about health issues in the SouthCoast? PPC's Health Data SouthCoast website , sponsored by local healthcare organizations, provides the most recent data and resources on various health topics. 
 
Adding New Content to SouthCoast Urban Indicators Project (SCUIP)

SCUIP is designed to meet the information needs of citizens and leaders of Fall River and New Bedford. This project and website are ever-evolving; we will be adding to and updating content on a regular basis based on the input and suggestion from the community. Please let us know if you have suggestions for new indicators.

NewsPPC in the News
  • 09/10/15:  The Patriot Ledger reports on Professor Goodman's keynote address before the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.
  • 09/06/15:  The "gig economy" is the subject of Professor Goodman's latest column in the Boston Sunday Globe.
  • 08/30/15:  The Sunday Lowell Sun discusses the role that business tax incentives play in local economic development with Professor Goodman.
  • 08/26/15:  Professor Goodman discusses the implications of rising credit card debts with Gatehouse Media New England
  • 08/16/15: The Sunday Cape Cod Times discusses regional opportunities associated with an aging population with Professor Goodman.
  • 08/14/15:  Professor Goodman comments on consumer confidence in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette.
  • 08/09/15: The Sunday Worcester Telegram and Gazette discusses the challenges facing regional tourism efforts with Professor Goodman.
  • 08/03/15:  Professor Goodman comments on the importance of education and public safety to New Bedford's future in the  Boston Globe.
Blog From the Blog
  • Our new hire and Senior Research Associate Elise Korejwa introduces herself on our  blog.
  • Check out the introductions from our talented high school interns who just wrapped up a project studying the concentrations of Housing Choice Voucher uptake in Gateway cities. Their analysis will be added to the SouthCoast Urban Indicators website.

JobsJob Opportunities
 
Grant Manager/Writer, New Bedford Harbor Development Administration

Responsible for researching grant opportunities, writing grants, and overseeing grant activity. Link to full job description available here. 

Director of Personnel, City of New Bedford

Responsible for all matters related to personnel functions including recruitment, employment, regulatory compliance and reporting, policy development and documentation, record-keeping, classification, compensation, benefits administration, training and performance management, in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws, City Code and policies. Link to full job description available here.

Manager of Management Information Systems, City of Fall River

Coordinates the work of municipal employees and contract service employees engaged in the development, operation, and maintenance of all data/word processing/management information systems and other communications systems. Link to full job description available here.

Hiring? Let us know and we'll spread the word.


Grant Opportunities Grants

New Bedford Cultural Council and Fall River Cultural Council:  grants are open to individual artists, arts organizations, community organizations, and municipal agencies. All projects must be based in Fall River or New Bedford and must benefit the citizens of these cities through exhibits, performances, readings, demonstrations, or by other means. Deadline for FY 2016 is 10/15/15. Find the proposal requirements here .

Amelia Peabody Foundation:  grants are a vailable to Massachusetts organizations serving disadvantaged, inner-city youth. Fall 2015 Deadline: 10/6/15. More details are available  here .

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation's Catalyst Fund:  provides one-time non-renewable grants up to $5,000 for a twelve-month period to help community-based health care organizations strengthen their capacity to expand access to health care in Massachusetts. Rolling deadline. More details available here.

Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development grants are listed here.

Grants for Massachusetts Businesses are listed here .

Grants for Nonprofit and Education Organizations are listed here.
 
ABOUT THE PUBLIC POLICY CENTER:

The Public Policy Center (PPC) is UMass Dartmouth's applied social science research, technical assistance, and public service unit. The PPC's primary goal is to inform public policy discussions by providing policymakers with university quality research, technical assistance, and analytical services designed to help make our state, region, and communities better places to live, work, and do business. We do this by leveraging the substantial skills of our students and faculty partners, and enhancing the connections between the University and the communities it serves.


CONTACT US
PUBLIC POLICY CENTER STAFF

508-990-9660
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747


Follow us on Twitter: 
 @PublicPolicyCtr
Executive Director
Michael Goodman, Ph.D.

Director of Research & Administration
David Borges, MPA

Senior Research Associate
Elise Korejwa, MS, MPP
 
Assistant to Director
Nancy Trudel
Graduate Research Assistants:
Michael P. McCarthy
Trevor Mattos
Jason Wright

Undergraduate Research Assistants:
Jawanza Foster 
Kelsey Silva