ISSUE 221 | September 1, 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

Men’s shelter now has its own permanent home 


A homeless shelter operated by Catholic Social Services has rotated among various locations for decades.

With zoning approval from Wilkes-Barre City, the men’s shelter now has a permanent home above the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen.

The new, accessible space will offer a transition from cots to bunk beds, along with showers and some meals. 

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Historic coal mining community welcomes interdisciplinary scholarship  

For the first time in half a century, Eckley Miners’ Village in Weatherly will undergo restoration and upgrades.

A national grant totaling $48,400 will aid the development of a research and learning center at the former home of Eckley’s co-founder (built in the 1860s).

The Foster House will contain classroom, conference, office, and laboratory space for interdisciplinary education and research.

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Philly museum exhibits art incorporating artificial intelligence 


A new exhibit at Philadelphia’s National Liberty Museum explores the concept of digital citizenship amid the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

It is intended to foster constructive conversation about the impact of rapid technological advancement on liberty.

The experience includes an “Echo Chamber” as well as an interactive option to learn how data can stifle or stimulate identity. 

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Initiative convenes grassroots groups and generates national movement


Frontline 360° is a community-based initiative that helps small nonprofits collaborate to secure funding and maximize the impact of that funding.

More specifically, its wraparound services empower climate and environmental justice groups to expand capacity.

These services include networking support, technical assistance, and fundraising.

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Orange County rezones commercial space for housing  


The rise of ecommerce has reduced once-vibrant shopping malls to desolation.

One California county aims to transform empty mall space into housing units and hotel rooms.

These plans, which also allow room for a 17-acre park, will help mitigate the housing crisis.


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Higher education connects esports engagement with career opportunities 

Competitive video gaming is projected to become a $5 billion industry by 2030.

New Jersey colleges Stockton University and Camden County College are riding this momentum by offering dedicated gaming spaces where students can have fun while building transferrable skills.

These skills are valuable in an array of disciplines, including content creation, video production, cybersecurity, and even human services.


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Research Spotlight: A broadband study is currently underway in Pennsylvania. Findings will inform the 5-Year Action Plan and Digital Equity Plans, being prepared by the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority.

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