ISSUE 127 | October 14, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
New report highlights Pennsylvania’s innovation economy
The Milken State Technology & Science Index ranked Pennsylvania 13th in the nation as an innovative state for 2020.

A report from the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development elaborates on the state’s entrepreneurial potential, though it is not granular enough to explore innovation in sub-regions.

Nonetheless, the initial data shows that much of this activity is occurring in both the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas with little benefit elsewhere. 

Childcare recognized as a stumbling block to full economic recovery
According to a new study, Pennsylvania employers recognize that lack of childcare is a barrier for employees.

They are unable to navigate the problem within their own organizations, however.

They are also unfamiliar with resources available to help them. 

Pennsylvania allocating federal aid to support nurses 
Not only is Pennsylvania facing a shortage of health care workers, burnout resulting from pandemic response is taking its toll on professionals currently filling these roles.

To mitigate the negative impact on patient care, $370 million has been budgeted for student loan relief, and funding of apprenticeships and partnership programs, as well as residency and mentorship programs.

These efforts are anticipated to reinvigorate the field of nursing.

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
California county prosecutors aim to eliminate bias from decision making
The Stanford Computational Policy Lab is assisting with the removal names, addresses, and other information from police reports (in most types of cases).

Eliminating these details may minimize racial bias from a district attorney evaluating charges against a suspect.

This strategy can work coast-to-coast and potentially eliminate some bias from the criminal justice system. 

Internet cost and quality continue to fuel the digital divide
A Pew Research survey revealed that internet affordability and speed continue to be problematic across the country.

At the height of the pandemic, for instance, quality of connection affected students’ ability to participate in class and submit homework.

A widening homework gap is further evidence of the digital divide – where even middle-income families worry about rising costs of internet amid other necessities. 

Kansas City public-private partnership expands access to opportunities   
RideKC is using its transit center to connect riders with resources ranging from education and job training to library services.

It even offers free Wi-Fi, water, and charging outlets.

RideKC is actively recruiting other partners, including players within the health care system, to join and improve community accessibility. 

Research Spotlight: The Institute's Planning, Land Use, Transportation, and Infrastructure Task Force has examined possibilities of public-private partnerships - particularly as they relate to transportation and employment. Click below, and then on the red box labeled 'Planning, Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Research.' Scroll to find The Institute's exploration of the region's infrastructure.

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