Newsletter -
January 2015
 
Happy New Year! 

2015 ushers in a mix of new and continuing projects for the Public Policy Center. We also have many "irons in the fire" and look forward to reporting on these new projects in next month's newsletter. We would like to congratulate  Master of Public Policy (MPP) students Michael McCarthy and Trevor Mattos, who will join Jason Wright on PPC's Graduate Research Assistant team. Mike and Trevor are former research assistants for the Urban Initiative and we are pleased that they will remain with us in their new positions.   

We will continue to share opportunities related to events, grants and jobs through the PPC monthly newsletters and blog posts on the PPC webpage. Thanks for reading and for your continued support of our work and our mission. 
 

Recently Completed Projects

Acushnet Avenue, A Corridor of Opportunity

PPC engaged local stakeholders to study the economic impact of the Acushnet Avenue neighborhood's businesses through a grant from the Garfield Foundation. Our study documents the roles residents, businesses, and place play in driving the economy of this neighborhood. The findings will be used by neighborhood advocates to make the case for future investment and will assist local officials to make informed policy decisions. 


SouthCoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI), Final Report

The SouthCoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI), a project of YMCA Southcoast and Voices for a Healthy SouthCoast, seeks to improve heart and lung health in Fall River, New Bedford, and Wareham by promoting smoke-free and wellness policies in public and subsidized housing, worksites, and mental health and substance use treatment facilities. The final report presents an analysis of the program's activities and outcomes over the two-year grant period. Full Report


NB Line Evaluation


The NB Line is a shuttle service that was piloted over three years by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park (NHP) and operated by Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA). This report presents an analysis of the final year of the shuttle's 3-year pilot phase and finds that while ridership more than doubled from its inaugural year, the shuttles were empty for considerable portions of time, even in the busier summer season. The study concludes that it is unlikely that significant numbers of tourists will ever use the shuttles regardless of new or enhanced marketing strategies due to the walkability of the NHP and availability of parking proximate to New Bedford's main attractions.




New Projects

Documenting the Impact of the Foreign-Born Population on Worcester

PPC is working in Worcester to develop the first systematic assessment of the size, composition, social and economic contributions, and the social and human service needs of Worcester's foreign-born population. The study seeks to bring evidence and objective information to bear on this critical conversation and is designed to provide Worcester's leaders with the information and data they require to make informed decisions about how best to seize the opportunities and address the challenges associated with immigration and increasing community diversity.

 

Continuing Projects

SHIFT 

We will continue our work to provide technical and research assistance to the Southeastern Health Initiative for Transformation (SHIFT) program as it moves from the Planning to Implementation stage. SHIFT is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health through the Prevention and Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF), a first in the nation initiative aimed to reduce health care costs across the Commonwealth by preventing chronic conditions. 

Hope VI

PPC continues to evaluate the Taunton (MA) Housing Authority's HOPE VI project. This project involves replacing distressed public housing with two new developments, while providing supportive services to the residents of the now-demolished Fairfax Gardens. The four-year project will continue until the the fall of 2016. Click here for the most recent report update.

AHA! (Arts, History, Architecture)

AHA! (Art, History & Architecture) is New Bedford's free Downtown Cultural Night and collaborative cultural organization. 

We have worked with AHA! since 1998 to conduct economic impact analyses, program evaluations, and visitor surveys of AHA! sponsored and supported activities. Please click here for the FY14 interim report. 


 
Health Data SouthCoast


 
Looking for data to make the case, design a program or policy, or just become more informed about health issues in the SouthCoast? PPC's Health Data SouthCoast website, sponsored by local healthcare organizations, provides the most recent data and resources on various health topics. The site is updated as new information becomes available.   

 

SouthCoast Urban Indicators Project (SCUIP)


Like other indicators projects from cities around the United States, SCUIP is designed to meet the information needs of citizens and leaders of Fall River and New Bedford. This project and website are ever-evolving; we will be adding to and updating content on a regular basis based on the input and suggestion from the community. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for new indicators. 


PPC in the News

  • 01/07/15: The New Bedford Standard Times reports on the results of PPC's New Bedford Line evaluation report.
  • 01/07/15: Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam discusses recent demographic trends with Professor Goodman.
  • 01/07/15: Commonwealth Magazine discusses the implications of the recent Cape Wind setback with Professor Goodman.
  • 01/03/15: Professor Goodman comments on the release of the 2014 Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy in the Boston Herald.
  • 12/30/14: The Worcester Telegram and Gazette discusses the regional economic impact of declining gas prices with Professor Goodman.
  • 12/28/14: Professor Goodman comments on the implications of the state minimum wage increase in the New Bedford Standard Times.
  • 12/28/14: Professor Goodman discusses the economic development challenges facing Governor-elect Baker with the Boston Globe.
  • 12/24/14: PPC Graduate Research Assistant Michael McCarthy discusses the challenges and opportunities facing businesses along New Bedford's Acushnet Avenue with the New Bedford Standard Times.
  • 12/23/14: Professor Goodman reflects on the impact of the "War on Poverty" in the Springfield Republican.

  • From the Blog

    Job Opportunities

    Director of Development, South Coastal Counties Legal Services

    SCCLS, a civil legal aid organization in Southeastern Massachusetts, seeks a dynamic Development Director to lead a comprehensive development and public relations campaign. S/he will create and implement plans to increase private, unrestricted funds to support the mission of providing civil legal aid to our most vulnerable low-income families and elders in a 6-county area on the South Coast, Cape and Islands. Click here for more information.

     

    Executive Director, Marion Institute

    The Executive Director is responsible for the professional leadership and management of the Marion Institute, working in concert with the founders and board, staff team and community of support to achieve its annual goals and objectives.  In particular, the Executive Director provides overall leadership for strategies related to fundraising, organizational development, financial oversight and supervision of programmatic implementation. Find the complete job description here.

    Chief Executive Officer, Cape Cod Child Development
     
    Cape Cod Child Development is seeking a CEO.  The successful candidate will continue to build upon and leverage the impactful child-focused and family-centered programs offered by CCCD today. Click here for the full job description.

    Director of Grants and Finance, City of New Bedford Police Department 

    Performs a variety of supervisory, professional, administrative and technical accounting and financial functions to maintain the fiscal records of the Police Department. Full description/application instructions available here:

     
    Hiring? Let us know and we'll spread the word.

    Community Events

    SouthCoast Jobs Fair hosted by The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce and UMass Dartmouth.  

    When:  Wednesday, April 8, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Where:  Tripp Athletic Center on the main campus of UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 
    Cost/registration:  Learn more here.  Businesses: register early to save!   Job Seekers: Admission is FREE with a resume! 
     
    Close to Home: Reflections on Poverty, Perseverance and Promise.  

    Join Crittenton Women's Union and five authors as they share their memoirs, the results of a story-telling process that has helped them transform themselves and, they hope, our society. 

    When:  Wednesday, January 28, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Where:  Nurse's Hall, Massachusetts State House, Boston, MA
    Cost/registration:  FREE: Register and find more information here!

    From Indicators to Action: Spurring Community Engagement through Data

    Interested in learning about how to use data to improve planning, engagement, and operations in your community? Register with Connection Communities for the webinar session -  From Indicators to Action: Spurring Community Engagement through Data  here.

    When
    :  Thursday, January 29, 2015 from 3 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST

    ABOUT THE PUBLIC POLICY CENTER:

    The Public Policy Center (PPC) is UMass Dartmouth's applied social science research, technical assistance, and public service unit. The PPC's primary goal is to inform public policy discussions by providing policymakers with university quality research, technical assistance, and analytical services designed to help make our state, region, and communities better places to live, work, and do business. We do this by leveraging the substantial skills of our students and faculty partners, and enhancing the connections between the University and the communities it serves.


    CONTACT US
    PUBLIC POLICY CENTER STAFF

    508-990-9660
    285 Old Westport Road
    North Dartmouth, MA 02747
    Follow us on Twitter: @PublicPolicyCtr
    Executive Director
    Michael Goodman, Ph.D.

    Director of Research & Administration
    David Borges, MPA

    Assistant to Director
    Nancy Trudel
    Graduate Research Assistants:

    Michael P. McCarthy
    Trevor Mattos
    Jason Wright