ISSUE 218 | August 10, 2023

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

No-cost childcare facility to open in Northampton County 

The healthcare and childcare sectors are both struggling with substantial worker shortages.

Officials in Northampton County are attempting to mitigate these challenges by opening a childcare facility at the Gracedale nursing home.

The center’s employees, as well as employees of the nearby emergency and forensics centers, will have access to the free service. 

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High school internship program provides experience and equity  

West Philadelphia’s Boys’ Latin Charter High School has successfully introduced an entire junior class to real-world work experience.

By extending an internship curriculum to juniors instead of limiting opportunities to seniors, school leadership allows students to learn about potential careers before applying to college.

The integrated and comprehensive nature of the program makes it a model for others.

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Local citizens collect summer weather data for heat mapping 


Citizen scientists in Northeastern Pennsylvania are assisting with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s 2023 Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign.

Their records of summer weather will inform the development of heat maps and help identify urban heat islands (where trees are scarce and heat-absorbing pavement is abundant).

This information may then be referenced when options such as build-out of shaded areas and cooling centers are under consideration. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Mobile app emerges as promising tool for closing the digital divide   


Internet connectivity data has traditionally been sourced from service providers, generating concerns of inflation and inaccuracy.

The National Association of Counties instead supports a crowdsourced and real-time approach to data collection.

A mobile app called TestIT helps counties measure their connectivity speeds in comparison to the minimum federal broadband standards. 

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Small Texas town builds on rural healthcare   

As pandemic aid efforts come to an end, many organizations must regain footing in a world different from the one in which they used to operate.

Doing so is particularly challenging for organizations in rural areas. One hospital – which has already faced multiple closures – in a small north central Texas town may have found some success in a partnership with a larger healthcare system.

The facility will shed inpatient treatment options in favor of 24-hour emergency care.


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Companies minimize pollution while elevating the deconstruction industry


Demolition and construction activities generate approximately 600 million tons of waste in the U.S. every year.

Roughly 145 million tons of this debris are recyclable, however.

Two Minneapolis nonprofits, The Birch Group and Scrapbox Salvage, work together to deconstruct and sell reusable material instead of sending them to landfills.


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