ISSUE 241 | January 25, 2024

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

Broadband Authority Reverses Position on Key State Law


Pennsylvania is one of at least 16 states that restricts when and how government entities can provide broadband service.

As the Commonwealth prepares to receive substantial federal funding for broadband investments, the Broadband Development Authority must ensure that the law will not interfere with grant eligibility.

Carefully navigating the state-federal balance of funding and power will help guide a vital shift in the ways that rural communities access the internet. 

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Philly Nonprofit Continues to Model Successful Income Tax Support Services

At the dawn of tax season, numerous nonprofit organizations are preparing to assist low-income filers.

The Philadelphia-based nonprofit Campaign for Working Families is among them, offering residents free tax preparation services.

The Campaign for Working Families operates 26 different brick and mortar offices, mobile sites, a call center and even virtual tax prep appointments, giving residents a variety of options to receive assistance. 

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Delaware County Receives Support for Parks and Trail Projects

Pennsylvania is awarding $400,000 to three Delaware County parks and trail projects.

Some of the projects include design of the new Darby Creek Trail, installation of new lighting systems, and construction of an inclusive playground.

The Institute’s Health and Health Care Task Force will soon be releasing a study on physical activity and lifestyle medicine in NEPA, highlighting the region's own parks and trail systems.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

The Racial Wealth Gap Is Increasing Along with Black Wealth


According to a recent Federal Reserve study, the racial wealth gap has widened during the pandemic, with the difference in median wealth between White and Black households exceeding $240,000.

However, findings also suggest that both housing equity and median wealth have increased for Black households.

Other wealth-building concepts such as business equity, finance practices, and asset accumulation remain stagnant as a result of decades-long discrimination, and remain high-priority areas for improvement. 


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Woman and Minorities Bear the Brunt of Medical Misdiagnosis

A recent study has found that approximately 12 million adults are medically misdiagnosed in the U.S. every year.

Statistics show that women and minorities are 20 to 30 percent more likely to be misdiagnosed than their white male counterparts, with errors pertaining to heart attacks and cancer among the most common.

Some researchers urge a reexamination of racial- and gender- based biases in medical training and practices. 

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Community Theater Generates Support for Equitable Housing

An experimental show by Touchstone Theater is calling attention to the national housing crisis.

“The Most Beautiful Home…Maybe” is an interactive community event that explores how performing arts and community-building can offer solutions for unhoused individuals.

So far, the show has been uniquely performed in five cities - its message molded to apply to each area and inspire audience members to participate in change-making efforts. 

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