ISSUE 223 | September 15, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Small businesses receive greater access to government contracts

Governor Josh Shapiro has signed an executive order to grant small, minority-owned, and women-owned businesses greater access to state contracts.

The order details four strategies, which relate to prioritization of prime contracts, progress monitoring via digital dashboard, greater efforts to source goods and services from such businesses, and increased revenue cap for small business qualification.

A new business advisory board is expected to share additional policy proposals as well.

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Philly organization fosters a healthcare-to-housing pipeline 

A new Philadelphia nonprofit has partnered with three hospital systems to improve access of opioid-addicted patients to supportive housing.

Project HOME is operated by certified recovery specialists who have also battled addiction.

Over the next five years, the team intends to expand program capacity to house 150 people.

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Newly released data highlights inequities and inflation impacts

Median household income in Philadelphia has risen, and the poverty rate is at its lowest point in nearly two decades.

Due to inflation, however, the big city remains the poorest in the nation.

Newly released data from the U.S. Census bureau indicates that one-third of the city’s Hispanic population lives in poverty, along with one-quarter of the city’s Black population – which is almost twice the rate for White residents.

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Research Spotlight: The annual Indicators report now contains social equity data. Take a look to learn how social and economic issues vary across characteristics such as race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability status, and more.

See the indicators here

From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Delaware explores emergency evacuation using AI

Heavy traffic congestion is a regular occurrence in the area’s surrounding Delaware beaches, and emergency response is often essential due to low elevation and vulnerability to flooding.

Officials plan to use federal infrastructure funding to support emergency evacuation via artificial intelligence.

Monitoring a growing influx of data to identify actionable information requires hours from humans but just minutes for advanced technology.

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Advocate for refuse reduction aims to limit street waste 

A resident of Manhattan has gained hundreds of thousands of online supporters by documenting her journeys sifting through city trash and salvaging usable items.

Although city officials are considering container requirements, doing so would impede parking and make little or no impact on issues of overproduction and overconsumption.

Among other environmental impacts, the overabundance of trash bags along the city’s sidewalks facilitates rat infestation, hinders pedestrian traffic, and tarnishes the streetscape.


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Policy report addresses special considerations for student parents 


Parents are not always parents of students – sometimes they are students themselves.

As such, they must navigate challenges unique to the overall population of higher education enrollees.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research recently published a report containing state-level policy recommendations for improving student parent success and highlighting potential economic benefits of doing so.


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