Newsletter -
February 2015
 

Greetings from The Public Policy Center

The frigid temperatures and piles of snow have PPC staff hunkered down and working diligently on a variety of new and continuing projects. 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

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

The SouthCoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI) promotes smoke-free and wellness policies in public and subsidized housing, worksites, and mental health and substance use treatment facilities. The final report, which presents an analysis of the program's activities and outcomes over the two-year grant period, was approved for release by the CDC earlier this month.

 



New Projects

Exploring Benefits and Costs of Housing Production in the Commonwealth

The current rate of housing production is inadequate to meet the needs of the Commonwealth, and the consequences of inaction include higher real estate prices and slower labor force growth. Unfortunately, the costs associated with increasing the housing stock are primarily borne locally, while most of the benefits accrue to the state. 

To address this issue, PPC is working with the  Massachusetts Housing Partnership to determine the conditions under which the benefits of housing production might exceed its costs. The research will also establish principles for designing a policy to reimburse communities that allow development, but experience related negative fiscal impacts. 

Supporting Pay Equity for Women in the SouthCoast

PPC is working with the Women's Fund of Southeastern Massachusetts Taskforce to evaluate pay equity and pathways to a living wage for women in the SouthCoast. Our analysis includes income differentials for women across various demographics, including race, educational attainment, and family structures. 



Continuing 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.

Providing Technical Assistance to the Southeastern Health Initiative For Transformation (SHIFT) 

We continue our work providing 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. 

Evaluating UMass Dartmouth's AmericaReads Program

In partnership with UMass Dartmouth's Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, this program evaluation is designed to measure the level to which serving as an AmericaReads tutor influences the behaviors and perceptions of UMass Dartmouth students. The research also explores how partnering with AmericaReads impacts the experiences of participating teachers and sites and the degree to which the program affects the behavior, perceptions, and academic achievement of school-age children.

Evaluating Taunton's Hope VI Project

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.

Evaluating the Impacts of AHA! (Arts, History, Architecture) New Bedford

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. Click here for the FY14 interim report. 


 Expanding the H
ealth Data SouthCoast Website


 
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. We anticipate a major data update in the coming month.

 

Adding New Content to 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 suggestions for new indicators. 


PPC in the News

  • 02/22/15: The Boston Sunday Globe publishes Professor Goodman's column on the need for more revenue to support the Commonwealth's transportation infrastructure.
  • 02/18/15: Professor Goodman shares his thoughts on the economic consequences of February's historic snowstorms with the State House News Service.
  • 02/09/15: Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine discusses obstacles to regional growth with Professor Goodman.
  • 02/08/15: Professor Goodman profiled in a New Bedford Standard Times "Policymaker Q+A".
  • 01/30/15: The Statehouse News Service discusses the strong performance of the state economy in 2014 and the economic impact of the Blizzard of 2015 with Professor Goodman.
  • 01/30/15: The Attleboro Sun Chronicle discusses the reasons behind persistent sluggish wage growth with Professor Goodman.
  • 01/23/15: The Springfield Republican discusses the limitations of the unemployment rate and trends in the performance of the Springfield economy with Professor Goodman.
  • 01/22/15: Professor Goodman comments on the latest state jobs report in the Boston Herald.
  • 01/22/15: Professor Goodman's testimony at the Massachusetts State House before a joint session of the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees is covered by the State House News Service.
     

  • From the Blog
    • Trevor Mattos blogs about ACS Microdata Samples and how this dataset is being used to support PPC research. 

    Job Opportunities

    Council on Aging Director, Westport, MA

    The Town of Westport is seeking applications for the position of Director for the Council on Aging. This position provides leadership, staff supervision and responsibility for daily operations to a busy Council on Aging including a Social Day Program. Click here for more information. 

     

    Executive Director, Southcoast Hospitals Group

    Southcoast Hospitals Group is seeking an Executive Director in Corporate Compliance & Audit. Five (5) years experience in a health care organization, including internal auditing and demonstrated leadership experience is required.  Find the complete job description here.

    Executive Director, Homeless Prevention Council, Orleans, MA
     
    The Homeless Prevention Council, in Orleans, seeks a new part-time Executive Director.  Bachelor's Degree and strong oral and communications skills desired. Managerial and supervisory experience is required, as is fundraising experience. Background in homeless and housing issues preferred. Grant-writing in the field is helpful. Please email cover letter and resume to President Herb Montgomery, at:herb@tmfgi.com or mail to: Herb Montgomery The Montgomery Financial Group, 195 Route 6A, Suite 8 Orleans, MA 02653.  For more information, call 508-240-1151.

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



    Grant Opportunities

    The Vela Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to promoting improved nutrition and wellness in eastern Massachusetts, with an emphasis on underserved communities. Spring 2015 deadline: 3/2/15; Fall 2015 Deadline: 9/15/15.  
    Find the proposal requirements here.

    Amelia Peabody Foundation grants are available to Massachusetts organizations serving disadvantaged, inner-city youth.
    Deadlines: 4/14/15; 7/21/15; 10/6/15. More details here.
     

    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! 
     
    Ninth Annual Authors' Brunch - Featured authors include Carlos Eire, Janet Freedman, Jennifer Haigh, Gregory Maguire and Victoria Wilson. The brunch will precede the talk followed by a Q&A and book signings. Proceeds from the Claire T. Carney Library Associates brunch will assist in the establishment of the Veterans' Reading Room at the Claire T. Carney Library. 

    When:  Sunday, March 29, 2015 from 12:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
    Where:  Woodland Commons, UMass Dartmouth, 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 
    Cost/registration:  $35.00; Students with an I.D. may attend the lecture only, free of charge.


    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

    Undergraduate Research Assistants:
    Andrew Eatman
    Jawanza Foster 
    Kelsey Silva