Current Reports

These are the most recent reports published by the Public Policy Center. Click on each dropdown box in order to view more detail about the report. If you cannot find what you are looking for, then please try using the search function or browsing the report archives. Thank you for your interest in our work!

2017 Reports

Navigating the Global Economy: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Massachusetts Maritime Economy

Report title: Navigating the Global Economy: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Massachusetts Maritime Economy

Authors: David R. Borges, Michael Goodman, Elise Korejwa,  Kasey Lima-Pires, Michael P. McCarthy,  Holly Stickles, Joy Smith

Report date: April 2017

Sponsor: The Massachusetts Seaport Economic Council

Issue areas: marine economy, economic impact, economic development, fisheries, maritime trade, tourism and recreation, offshore wind

Summary & key findings: This comprehensive analysis finds that in 2015, the Massachusetts Maritime Economy supported $17.3 billion in economic output, 135,924 jobs, and $6.8 billion in wages. The Maritime Economy’s six sectors (Living Resources, Marine Construction, Offshore Minerals, Ship & Boat Building & Repair, Coastal Tourism & Recreation, and Marine Transportation & Technology) directly employed 90,482 people in the Commonwealth, which compares favorably with other major sectors in the state, such as Information (93,961 employees) and Computer & Electronics Manufacturing (56,088 employees).

The size and diversity of the Massachusetts Maritime Economy contribute to its resiliency. From 2005 to 2015, economic growth in Massachusetts’ Maritime Economy was significantly more robust than the state as a whole—37 percent as compared to 11 percent. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Maritime Economy exhibited consistent employment and sales growth, even as the broader economy was in decline during the Great Recession.

Even though the analysis documents significant growth in the Maritime Economy, maritime businesses in Massachusetts are not without their concerns. A survey of 735 of these businesses reveals a number of concerns related to business costs, regulations, and the availability of skilled workers. Business leaders also identified policies that preserve and protect ocean resources as being very critical to their business prospects.

The reports finds that marine renewable energy in the form of offshore wind (OSW), tidal, and wave energy hold great promise as a growth driver for the Maritime Economy since Massachusetts is poised to take the lead in these nascent industries. Massachusetts has the largest OSW potential of any state in the contiguous U.S, which if harnessed could supply Massachusetts’ current energy needs many times over.

The results make it clear that the Massachusetts Maritime Economy is strong and resilient and is positioned to remain an economic force for decades to come.

Report link:  Report & Technical Appendices

Who Will Care? The Workforce Crisis in Human Services

Report title: Who Will Care? The Workforce Crisis in Human Services

Author(s): Christina Citino, Michael Goodman

Report date: February 2017

Sponsor: The Massachusetts Human Service Providers’ Council

Issue areas: labor markets, workforce development, human services, healthcare

Summary & key findings: Produced in partnership with the UMass Donahue Institute, the purpose of this report is to highlight the challenges providers face as they strive to meet growing service needs and the impact of the workforce shortage on the sustainability of the human services industry. The major findings of the report include:

  • Pressures to fill open human services positions in Massachusetts will increase as the Massachusetts workforce shortage worsens.
  • Human services employers detailed the threefold impact of chronic understaffing: (1) providers are unable to shift or expand services as client/consumer needs change and grow, (2) clients/consumers are more likely to be placed on waiting lists or experience longer delays in receiving critically important services and (3) clients’/consumers’ treatment is disrupted by turnover and/or vacancies.
  • Human services employers are struggling with an applicant pool that does not meet their needs. For example, the majority of employers surveyed report that applicants lack required skills, education, or credentials. After lack of skills, the second most critical issue that employers identify is that too few people are applying for open positions. Additionally, many employers view state government as their major workforce competitor, noting that younger workers start in community-based organizations before transitioning into state government positions, which require more experience but offer better pay and benefits.

In order to sustain the industry and meet its growing workforce needs, human services employers clearly reported that Massachusetts policy makers must work in partnership with them to develop comprehensive and coordinated solutions to this growing problem. Specifically, they recommended that the Commonwealth needs to:

  • Serve as a champion for the community-based human services industry;
  • Attract and develop a clear career path for millennials into community-based human services;
  • Provide sufficient funding so that employers can offer salaries commensurate with those offered to state employees performing similar jobs;
  • Fund government mandates, such as fingerprint screenings;
  • Support loan forgiveness and tuition remission programs for human services workers; and
  • Establish appropriate guidelines to make it easier for organizations to hire and retain foreign-born workers through a work or training visa.

Above all else, providers recognize that the industry and policy makers must engage in a concerted effort to address the issue of wage parity now.

Report link:  Access the report here.

2016 Reports

Southcoast Health 2016 Community Needs Assessment

Report title: Southcoast Health 2016 Community Needs Assessment

Author(s): Anna M. Marini, David R. Borges, Michael P. McCarthy

Report date: December 2016

Sponsor: Southcoast Health System

Issue areas: healthcare, health disparities

Summary & key findings: An update of  our 2013 report, this needs assessment identifies the priority health needs of the region by examining the demographic and socioeconomic profile of the population and by analyzing a number of health indicators and outcomes.

Overall, Fall River and New Bedford continue to lag the region in most socioeconomic metrics, including lower levels of educational attainment, higher poverty levels, and higher unemployment, although many of the region’s towns also struggle with these issues, particularly in comparison to state averages. Residents also trail their counterparts statewide on many health metrics, particularly in terms of health outcomes.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Towards an Evidence-Based Housing Policy in Fall River, Massachusetts

Report title: Towards an Evidence-Based Housing Policy in Fall River, Massachusetts

Author(s): Michael P. McCarthy, Jason D. Wright, Dr. Michael D. Goodman, David R. Borges

Report date: November 2016

Issue areas: housing development, subsidized housing, homelessness, economic development

Summary & key findings: This research seeks to inform an ongoing public discussion that is taking place in Fall River about current housing conditions and relevant policies spearheaded by Representative Carole Fiola, who convened a Housing Policy Working Group in the winter of 2015 as a direct result of housing-related concerns voiced by residents. The study brings evidence and objective information to bear on this critical conversation and provides community leaders with the information and data they require to inform the development of a new housing policy for the City of Fall River.

Key findings include:

  • The majority of Fall River’s housing stock is rental housing constructed before 1940, and as such, is more prone to structural issues related to this type of housing such as blight and substandard living conditions, which are exacerbated by staffing limitations in the Inspectional Services department.
  • Owner-occupancy decreased in multifamily housing by 16.6% from 2009 to 2014, which demonstrates the increase in absentee landlords noted by stakeholders during key informant interviews.
  • Fall River’s housing market has not recovered from the recession, as evidenced by in overall declines in permitting for new construction, volume of sales, and sale prices from 2005 to 2015.
  • Approximately two in five Fall River households (43.0%) are housing burdened, meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs.
  • Subsidized housing units account for 18.2 percent of all units in Fall River, and 28.3 percent of all rental units, with the majority (61.1%) managed by the Fall River Housing Authority in form of vouchers or public housing units.
  • Like other cities throughout the Commonwealth Fall River receives disproportionate share of families participating in state housing stabilization programs and homeless shelter placements, but Fall River is home to more HomeBASE recipients than other cities in its service region (Brockton, New Bedford, and Taunton).
  • The City of Fall River lacks the technology required for interdepartmental data sharing, creating an environment in which local officials have a reactive response when problem properties reach crisis levels, rather than collaborating on preventative approaches.
  • Low rents and property values have contributed to an environment in which market rate development is financially infeasible without a developer or tenant subsidy.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Research Brief: Estimating the Size of the Maya Population in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Report title: Estimating the Size of the Maya Population in New Bedford, Massachusetts

Author(s): Trevor Mattos, Michael McCarthy, and David Borges

Report date: July 2016

Issue areas: immigration, population estimates, undocumented immigrants, New Bedford

Summary & key findings: The Maya community in New Bedford, Massachusetts has grown substantially in recent decades, following a period of instability in Central America. The relative prevalence of undocumented Maya , their presence in high-risk, low-wage occupations, and their low levels of engagement with formal institutions make it increasingly important that local policy makers, civic leaders, and advocates know the relative size of the growing Maya community in New Bedford.

In an effort to inform the discussion, the PPC has produced this research brief in which we explore methods for estimating the Maya and undocumented populations in New Bedford, and present three possible scenarios to produce a range of population estimates. Improving the safety, well-being, and economic opportunities for this population can be better accomplished with a more accurate sense of its size, and we are hopeful that methods used here provide the most reliable estimation of the Maya in New Bedford to date.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Opening the Pipeline: Increasing Student Diversity in the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing

Report title: Opening the Pipeline: Increasing Student Diversity in the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing

Author(s): Elise Korejwa, David Borges, Jason Wright

Report date: March 2016

Sponsor: UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing/National Institutes Health

Issue areas: diversity, higher education, educational attainment, healthcare

Summary & key findings: In an effort to increase the diversity of the local nursing workforce, the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing applied for and received funding under the Diversity Nursing Scholars Program. The Public Policy Center conducted a community needs assessment to identify opportunities and challenges among local middle and high school students who are hoping to pursue a career in nursing.

The report focuses on the barriers identified by the needs assessment and subsequent key informant interviews. An overarching conclusion of the report is that minority students do not get accepted to the College of Nursing at the same rate as their peers. The report also discusses the informational, social, financial, and institutional barriers to minority enrollment, and opportunities to address these challenges.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Cancer Disparities Capacity Building Pilot Project: Phase II

Report title: Cancer Disparities Capacity Building Pilot Project: Phase II Final Progress Report

Author(s): David Borges

Report date: June 2016

Sponsor: Massachusetts Department of Health

Issue areas: Health equity, cancer, healthcare, prevention

Summary & key findings: The Public Policy Center worked as a grant consultant for the Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness’s Cancer Disparities project. The project’s goal was to increase understanding of the risks for colorectal cancer and the use of screen kits in communities with traditionally low levels of of health literacy through community health work engagement and education. The Phase II progress report outlines the goals achieved in 2015 and 2016. These include:

  • Conducting a health literacy needs assessment
  • Providing colon cancer education to community health workers
  • Linking health workers with clinical providers to identify barriers to training and education
  • Conducting colorectal cancer screenings in the community
  • Developing a system of referrals for patients with positive screening results
  • Modifying health literacy materials to best serve the needs of populations with language and educational barriers
  • Engaging with community, clinical, and faith-base partners to distribute testing toolkits

Report link:  Access the report here.

The Costs and Hidden Benefits of New Housing Development in Massachusetts

Report title: The Costs and Hidden Benefits of New Housing Development in Massachusetts

Authors: Michael Goodman, Elise Korejwa, Jason Wright

Report date: March 2016

Sponsor: Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Issue areas: Housing policy; economic impact analysis; education finance;

Summary & key findings: Frequently, local opposition to new housing development is based on fiscal concerns. Previous research (Nakosteen et al., 2003; Nakajima et al., 2007; Burnet et al., 2012) has found that these concerns are frequently misplaced since they assume that the additional expenses will be equal to per capita local cost associated with new residents, particularly the costs associated with K-12 education, rather than the marginal cost. This working paper builds upon this work by revisiting six of the eight communities examined by Nakajima et al. (2007) and examining whether the state fiscal impacts of new housing development are large enough to offset negative local fiscal impacts when they do occur.

Our analysis of these six cases finds that, in the aggregate, the six new developments generated considerably more state tax revenue than any actual local revenue shortfalls. Overall, we find that only 31 percent of the net new state tax revenue generated by the developments would be needed to completely offset the negative fiscal impacts experienced by three of the six communities. This suggests that the positive state fiscal benefits of new housing development are more than sufficient to support a state fund to guarantee that communities will be made financially whole in the event they allow the development of housing that meets regional and statewide needs, but find themselves fiscally disadvantaged as a result. These findings also imply that more thoughtful and evidence-based local and regional planning could minimize the chance of negative local fiscal outcomes associated with new housing development.

Report link:  Access the report here.

2015 Reports

Illinois Human Service Economic Impact Project

Report title: Illinois Human Service Economic Impact Project

Author(s): Michael Goodman, David Borges

Report date: December 2015

Sponsor: Illinois Partners for Human Service

Issue areas: Workforce development, economic impact analysis, economic development

Summary & key findings: The PPC provided an economic impact analysis for a study of the Illinois human services sector conducted by the Illinois Partners for Human Service. Our analysis estimated the direct, indirect and induced employment and sales impacts generated by the state’s human services sector. These estimates were based on the economic contributions of wages paid to human services workers in Illinois. Data was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns Survey data, an annual release providing the number of establishments, and expenditures were specified using IMPLAN (IMpact Analysis for PLANning).

A final version of this report is forthcoming, but the analysis conducted by the PPC closely mirrors the work done in Beyond Social Value: The Economic Impact of the Human Services Sector.

Instructional Technology in the New Bedford Public Schools: SY 2014-2015 CEI Impact Report

Report title: Instructional Technology in the New Bedford Public Schools: SY 2014-2015 CEI Impact Report

Author(s): David R. Borges, Trevor Mattos, Michael P. McCarthy

Report date: October 2015

Sponsor: Center for Education Innovation (CEI) at Friends Academy 

Issue areas: Education, Technology, Program Evaluation

Summary & key findings: This report is an update of the 2014 pilot study on the impact of CEI programming on teachers and their students in participating New Bedford elementary schools. The PPC was asked to revisit the pilot study in the fall of 2015 to measure change at the Campbell and Lincoln schools and to evaluate CEI-related activities at the Hathaway and Pacheco elementary schools, which CEI partnered with in the 2014-15 school year.

In the 2014-15 academic year, CEI engaged a total of 98 teachers in Campbell, Lincoln, Hathaway, and Pacheco elementary schools. Collectively, CEI initiatives indirectly reached 1,742 students with instructional technology and technologically-integrated teaching and learning practices. Post-participation surveys indicate that the CEI intervention increased daily use of computers and technology in completing schoolwork. Also, survey results show teachers in CEI schools have a higher level of collaboration after intervention.

In terms of student outcomes, the findings indicate some improvements in test scores and academic skills. Although not all of these can be directly linked to CEI. Use of Lexia Core5, a program designed for assessing and improving students’ language skills, revealed that there was a significant increase in the percentage of students who were meeting their learning goals, and a reduction of those who were considered at-risk. Additionally, students in CEI-supported classrooms improved test scores across-the-board. Although it is not currently possible to attribute this change to CEI directly, it is clear that participating teachers’ students have made meaningful literacy gains during the period of CEI’s involvement.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Lowering The Marginal Corporate Tax Rate: Why The Debate?

Report title: Lowering The Marginal Corporate Tax Rate: Why The Debate?

Author(s): Nikolay Anguelov, Ph.D

Report date: December 2015

Sponsor: Public Policy Center

Issue areas: Economic Development, Corporate Tax, Gross Domestic Product, Foreign Direct Investment, Multinational Corporation

Summary & key findings: This working paper challenges the assumption that lower corporate tax rates lead to an increase in foreign direct investment, and result in capital formation and GDP growth. Through the use of multiple regression analyses, this study demonstrates that multinational corporations avoid taxes through an incentive system of write-offs and loopholes. Findings from the analyses indicate that reduced corporate tax rates influence more foreign investment, but decrease annual gross domestic product. This implies that while tax competition may attract investment, it does not benefit the economy overall.

Prof. Anguelov was awarded the 2015 Amartya Sen Prize for his work on this paper.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Evaluating UMass Dartmouth’s America Reads*Counts Program

Report title: Evaluating UMass Dartmouth’s America Reads*Counts Program

Authors: David R. Borges, Michael P McCarthy, Jawanza Foster

Report date: November 9, 2015

Sponsor: Leduc Center at UMass Dartmouth

Issue areas: education, evaluation

Summary: In partnership with UMass Dartmouth’s Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, this program evaluation measures the level to which serving as an America Reads*Counts tutor influences the behaviors and perceptions of UMass Dartmouth students. The research also explores how partnering with America Reads*Counts impacts the experiences of participating teachers and sites and the degree to which the program affects the perceptions and academic achievement of school-age children

Report link:  Access the report here.

The Foreign-Born Population of Worcester, Massachusetts

Report title: The Foreign-Born Population of Worcester, Massachusetts: Assessing the Challenges and Contributions of a Diverse Community

Authors: Michael Goodman, David R. Borges, Trevor Mattos, Michael P McCarthy, Christina Cinito, Molly Fenton, Jason Wright, Jawanza Foster

Report date: September 28, 2015

Sponsor: Seven Hills Foundation

Issue areas: immigration, economic impact

Summary & key findings: The report profiles the foreign-born population in Worcester and highlights their unique challenges and contributions. The analysis also focuses on the impact the children of the foreign-born have on the public education system, and provides a detailed description of Worcester’s largest foreign-born subpopulations. Qualitative interviews with immigration service providers detail the challenges of supporting communities of refugees and other immigrants endeavoring to make a life for themselves and their families in Worcester.

Findings indicate that Worcester’s foreign born contribute to the economy in various ways, with significant impacts resulting from their role as producers (i.e. workers and business owners) and as consumers of local goods and services. Foreign-born business owners and consumers make disproportionately large contributions to the local economy. Naturalized immigrants as a group fare better than both natives and noncitizens, while noncitizens are more likely to be economically disadvantaged than natives or naturalized immigrants.

Demographically, the continual flow of immigrants into Worcester from different parts of the world lends a level of diversity in the foreign-born population that makes Worcester unique when compared with the state or other Gateway Cities. This continual flow helps maintain a working age population. Many of the foreign born, especially noncitizens, are of prime working age (25-44 years old) and actively participate in the workforce.

Worcester Public Schools offers a variety of English Language Learner (ELL) programs in order to address the unique challenges of the foreign-born population. This student population has increased dramatically in recent years. The vast majority ELL students in Worcester were born in the US and have varying levels of English proficiency.

Qualitative interviews and economic data revealed that many new immigrants face similar challenges, such as securing access to healthcare, finding affordable housing, and entering the workforce or education systems. However, a comparative analysis of Worcester’s major foreign-born subpopulations revealed that regional groups differ significantly with respect to various social and economic indicators.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Cancer Disparities Capacity Building Project: Phase I Needs Assessment

Report title: Cancer Disparities Capacity Building Project: Phase I Needs Assessment

Author(s): David R. Borges, MPA; Jason Wright, Graduate Research Assistant; Jawanza Foster, Research Assistant

Report date: June 2015

Sponsor: Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness

Issue areas: healthcare, preventive care, health literacy, healthcare barriers, cancer, needs assessment

Summary & key findings:Greater New Bedford Allies for Health and Wellness, Inc. (GNB Allies) is a partnership of over 100 organizations and services that have joined together to promote healthy living and serve the needs of vulnerable children and adults in the Greater New Bedford area. GNB Allies was awarded a grant in the spring of 2015 from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Network to conduct a Needs Assessment that identifies barriers faced by the region’s vulnerable residents who have difficulty accessing both preventive and comprehensive cancer care. The results of the Needs Assessment presented in this report will inform Phase II of the project, which includes generating strategies and taking action based off this work.

The overarching conclusion of the Needs Assessment is that most individuals report similar barriers and challenges in terms of maintaining overall health and accessing both preventive and comprehensive cancer care. This result is primarily a factor of shared social determinants of health in which health and wellness fit within a larger framework of day to day needs and crises; from issues of housing, childcare, finances, and transportation, to employment, immigration, and safety. The report also includes a discussion of findings from key informant interviews with community leaders and members.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Subsidizing Risk: The Regressive and Counterproductive Nature of National Flood Insurance Rate Setting in Massachusetts

Report title: Subsidizing Risk: The Regressive and Counterproductive Nature of National Flood Insurance Rate Setting in Massachusetts

Author(s): Chad McGuire; Michael Goodman; Jason Wright

Report date: June 2015

Sponsor: Public Policy Center

Issue areas: Environmental policy, flood insurance, public policy, regressive policies, sea level rise

Summary & key findings: In order to evaluate the progressivity of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums in a coastal US state that is directly exposed to the impact of climate changeinduced sea level rise, this study examines the relationship between the average NFIP premium and the average property values of NFIP insured properties in 331 Massachusetts municipalities. We utilize community level average premium to property value ratio as a measure for comparison. Findings reveal an inverse relationship between insurance premiums paid (as a percentage of property value) and total property value. The greater the average property value, the lower the average premium paid. Conversely, the lower the average property value, the greater the average premium paid. In addition, the study analyzes subsets of municipalities that had certain thresholds of total property in flood prone areas. The strength of the inverse relationship between insurance premiums paid and total property value increases when subsets of municipalities with greater total property value at-risk are analyzed independently. Results suggest current policies in setting flood insurance rates in Massachusetts result in regressive premiums and, as a result, can increase incentives for risk taking.

Report link:  Access the report here.

Beyond Social Value: The Economic Impact of the Human Services Sector, Providers’ Council

Report title: Beyond Social Value: The Economic Impact of the Human Services Sector

Author(s): Christina Citino and Michael Goodman

Report date: March, 2015

Sponsor: Providers’ Council

Issue areas: Workforce development, economic impact analysis, economic development

Summary: An assessment of the economic contributions and workforce development challenges facing Human Services Providers and Human Services workers in Massachusetts.

Link: Beyond Social Value – Full report (pdf)

2014 Reports

HOPE VI 2014 Annual Report

Report title: Taunton HOPE VI Evaluation – Second Annual Report
Author(s): Colleen Dawicki, Jason Wright
Report date: December 2014
Sponsor: Taunton Housing Authority
Issue areas: housing, community development, economic development, Gateway Cities
Summary: The Urban Initiative is the evaluator for 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. This evaluation report compares current conditions to those at baseline, integrating an analysis of secondary data related to the neighborhood’s population, housing, and economic conditions with data collected through interviews of and focus groups with HOPE VI residents.
Link: HOPE VI 2014 Annual Report

Acushnet Avenue Economic Impact Study

Report title: Corridor of Opportunity: Acushnet Avenue Economic Impact Study
Author(s): Colleen Dawicki, Michael P. McCarthy, Trevor Mattos, and Jason Wright
Report date: December 2014
Sponsor: Garfield Foundation
Issue areas: economic development, community development, Gateway Cities
Summary: New Bedford’s Acushnet Avenue commercial corridor is poised to enter a renaissance. The nonprofit sector and local and state government have invested in revitalizing the corridor through public infrastructure improvements, branding efforts, and capacity building in the community. There is a strong foundation upon which sustained, measurable neighborhood change can occur. However, long-term stagnation fueled a negative perception of the area and neighborhood stakeholders lack objective data to make the case otherwise.

Recognizing this need, the Public Policy Center at UMass Dartmouth engaged with local stakeholders to study the economic impact of the 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. We base our findings on a series of informant interviews with business owners, a review of relevant literature on the issues they identified, and an analysis of previous studies conducted on the neighborhood by the city of New Bedford. We hope that the findings presented here can be used by advocates for the neighborhood to make the case for future investment and assist local officials in data based decision-making.
Link: Corridor of Opportunity: Acushnet Avenue Economic Impact Study

AHA! FY14 Interim Report

Report title: AHA! Economic Impact Analysis & Visitor Survey, FY14 Interim Report
Author(s): David Borges
Report date: October, 2014
Sponsor: Downtown New Bedford Inc., John and Abigail Adams Creative Economy Program of the Massachusetts Cultural Council
Issue areas: economic development, community development, Gateway Cities
Summary: The PPC analyzed the economic and community impacts of AHA! Thursday Nights (Arts, History, and Architecture), a free, monthly cultural event held downtown New Bedford since 1999.
Link:AHA 2014 Final

Southcoast Healthy Housing & Workplace Initiative

Report title: Southcoast Healthy Housing & Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI) Final Report
Author(s): David Borges
Report date: December 2014
Sponsor: Voices for a Healthy Southcoast, YMCA Southcoast, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
Issue areas: public health, community development, housing, Gateway Cities
Summary: The SouthCoast Healthy Housing and Workplace Initiative (SCHHWI) 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 primary focus is to reduce regional health disparities by targeting health problems that disproportionately affect low-income residents and by creating a pipeline of community resources to focus on populations with the greatest disease burden. This final report presents an analysis of the program’s activities and outcomes over the two-year grant period.
Link: SCHHWI Final Report

NB Line Shuttle Evaluation

Report title: NB Line Shuttle Evaluation: Year 3 (2014)
Author(s): David Borges
Report date: December 2014
Sponsor: New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA)
Issue areas: transportation, economic development, Gateway Cities
Summary: During the summer of 2012, the PPC conducted a baseline evaluation of the NB Line, a shuttle service being piloted over three years by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park and operated by Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA). This report presents an analysis of Year 3 of the shuttle’s three-year pilot phase and employs a similar methodology to the 2012 and 2013 reports, including key informant interviews, passenger surveys, observations conducted while riding the NB Line, and a random sample telephone survey of greater New Bedford residents. Additional data was provided by the National Park Service and SRTA.
Link: NB Line Shuttle Evaluation: Year 3 (2014)

Impact of the Center for Educational Innovation on Teaching & Learning in the New Bedford Public Schools

Report title: Pilot evaluation: Impact of the Center for Educational Innovation on Teaching & Learning in the New Bedford Public Schools
Author(s): Colleen Dawicki
Report date: October 2014
Sponsor: Center for Education Innovation (CEI) at Friends Academy
Issue areas: education
Summary: CEI works to increase the effectiveness of New Bedford Public Schools
teachers by providing them with high-caliber training, technology, and coaching. In the
short-term, this intervention is aimed at improving teaching quality and collaboration at
select schools. CEI engaged the Urban Initiative in order to determine the degree to which those goals are being achieved. This project involved implementing a pilot evaluation that integrated teacher surveys and data analysis and was used to inform the design of a long-term evaluation plan.
Link: CEI Pilot Evaluation – Final report

Uniting in Pursuit of Growth and Opportunity

Report title: Uniting in Pursuit of Growth and Opportunity
Author(s): Colleen Dawicki & Benjamin Forman (MassINC)
Report date: September 2014
Sponsor: City of New Bedford/New Bedford Economic Development Council
Issue areas: community development, economic development, Gateway Cities
Summary: The Urban Initiative worked with MassINC to support the work of the Regeneration Committee by identifying issue area experts to serve as speakers, facilitating conversations among committee members, documenting the committee’s proceedings, and reporting on its findings.
Link: New_Bedford_Regeneration_Committee_Final_Report

Bristol County Veterans Needs Assessment

Report title: Bristol County Veterans Needs Assessment
Author(s): Michael P. McCarthy
Report date: March 2014
Sponsor: Veteran’s Transition House, New Bedford, MA
Issue areas: housing, economic development, public health
Summary: The Urban Initiative analyzed secondary and survey data related to the economic, educational, health, and supportive service needs of Veterans in Bristol County. According to this analysis, while the county’s Veteran population is slated to decline, it is also more susceptible to economic turmoil. Survey results pointed to unmet needs for those at a high risk of homelessness.
Link: Bristol County Veterans Needs Assessment

Innovating for Growth: a Gateway Cities Symposium

Report title: Innovating for Growth: a Gateway Cities Symposium
Author(s): Colleen Dawicki, Michael P. McCarthy, & Katya Starostina
Report date: March 2014
Sponsor: Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) and The Innovation Institute at the MassTech Collaborative
Issue areas: Gateway Cities, economic development
Summary: The Urban Initiative documented the proceedings of an October 2013 event aimed at fostering a conversation on how Massachusetts Gateway Cities can grow their innovation economies. The event showcased four Massachusetts Gateway Cities—Holyoke, Lowell, New Bedford, and Worcester—that have begun to transform into centers for innovation and entrepreneurship in part through effective collaborations between state and local governments, the private sector, and non-profit organizations in their communities. Joining EOHED Secretary Bialecki and representatives from those cities were Governor Deval Patrick and Dr. Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande, the technology entrepreneur and venture capitalist who co-founded the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, which fosters collaboration between entrepreneurs and innovators in order to grow the economies and improve the quality of life in Lowell and Lawrence.
Link: Innovating_for_Growth

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