ISSUE 209 | June 2, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

New program trains community health workers regardless of medical background


There is currently a shortage of Community Health Workers, and demand for these occupations is expected to grow by 12 percent in the coming years.

These professionals serve as links between the medical field and community members in need of care.

In Northeastern Pennsylvania, people may earn certification by attending two three-hour classes per week for three months, through the Area Health Education Center’s National Health Worker (NHC) Community Health Fellowship program.

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Institute for artificial intelligence receives funding   


Over a span of five years, Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University will obtain federal funding of $20 million to operate an artificial intelligence institute.

The institute will consist of approximately 30 researchers and educators who will explore the use of AI to address public health, manage disasters, and execute climate change initiatives.

Using computerized technology, the group at the institute will collect societal insight from a variety of organizations such as Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital. 

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Outdoor recreation workforce is positioned for strategic advancement


Pennsylvania’s outdoor recreation sector is the sixth largest in the country, and it is positioned for significant development.

Furthermore, there are more than 150,000 jobs in this industry, and the Commonwealth ranks seventh in terms of compensation for these jobs.

Various stakeholders are meeting regularly to foster partnerships, launch initiatives, and guide policies to further strengthen the industry.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

NSF program to support participation in the STEM workforce   


Experimental Learning for Emerging and Novel Technologies (ExLENT) is a new initiative of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Its objective is to break down barriers to the STEM workforce – particularly those barriers faced by diverse populations.

A total of $30 million is being distributed through 25 to 35 awards, for use in durations of three years.

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Algorithms contribute to rental rate inflation    


Yieldstar is a software program many landlords use to determine open rental rates for their units.

An investigation by ProPublica found that the software’s algorithms contributed to above-average rent increases, however.

One potential solution is may be the implementation of rent controls on properties with federally-backed mortgages – which constitute nearly 44 million units. 


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Research and development spending is on the rise

According to recent Business Enterprise Research and Development (BERD) survey data, spending on research and development (R&D) has increased.

It grew 11.8 percent between 2018 and 2019, and then 9.1 percent between 2019 and 2020 – reaching $538 billion.

The aerospace products and parts sector experienced the most growth, though industries related to electrical equipment and motor vehicles experienced decreased spending.


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