ISSUE 137| December 15, 2021
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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News
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Water utility partners with school to develop green storm water infrastructure
Philadelphia’s water department partnered with 13 city schools to develop green spaces and reduce storm water runoff.

Schools received grant money to build rain gardens and storm basins within their yards.

The projects will lower school sewer costs while reducing pollutants in the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers.

PA’s agricultural industry at risk due to aging farmers
The worker shortage across the US is also a challenge for a major industry supported by independently owned individuals – farmers.

Data from 2017 revealed that more than half the state’s farmers were 55 years and older.

Generational farming is no longer a given, so policymakers must learn more about succession planning within the industry in order to provide relevant resources and support. 

Mental health care falls short of demand among children and adolescents 
COVID-19 contributed to the reduction of stigma surrounding mental health.

At the same time, however, it highlighted the growing need for children’s mental health care.

With 1,078 students per single school psychologist in the state, the public health system is not prepared to effectively respond to the issues. 

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News
VA law allows renewable energy financing options for low-income residents
Solar panels dramatically reduce energy costs, but they also require significant upfront investment that many households cannot afford.

Legislation now allows the use of a financing tool, known as the power purchase agreement, for residential properties.

Through the agreement, a developer installs the materials and sells the energy to the customer at relatively low rates. 

Nationwide behavioral crisis service debuts soon 
By July 2022, 988 will debut as the first national number for behavioral health crises.

The service will provide immediate help from trained professionals.

Nine states have implemented responses systems so far, though Pennsylvania is not among them.

Hispanic population emerges as key driver of economic growth and employment
The Hispanic population within the U.S. comprises the 7th largest economy in the world.

The largest share of youth entering the workforce also belongs to this population.

About 75 percent of Latinos in America reside in 10 states, though Pennsylvania is not among them. 

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