Workforce Development Partnership Serves Both Employers and Employees
The health-care industry is the largest employer in Pennsylvania, and as a result, this industry has a huge impact on the state?s economy. As baby boomers age and their health-care needs increase, however, the state is facing a health-care workforce shortage that is magnified by high turnover rates, an inadequate pool of qualified employees, and a lack of qualified instructors.
AUTHORS: Feldman, Cheryl
BankWork$ Gives Underemployed Residents Access to Entry-Level Banking Positions
Low-income residents facing employment barriers are obtaining entry-level job opportunities in the banking industry through a program launched 10 years ago in Los Angeles. The program, BankWork$, is undergoing a planned national replication.
AUTHORS: Rolland, Keith
Capital for Communities: CDFIs Innovate on Small Consumer Loans
Nearly two out of three Americans do not have sufficient savings to cover an unexpected expense of $500.1 Further, income uncertainty and volatility cause many families to experience spikes and dips in their monthly budgets, often leaving insufficient capital to cover expenses. With limited access to traditional lines of credit, many consumers turn to small loan products to weather a financial shock or to smooth their income fluctuations. While predatory, expensive products can lead consumers into a cycle of repeated usage and mounting debt, consumer-friendly products can provide the opportunity to build credit and improve financial capability.
AUTHORS: Baldini, Noelle
Economic Implications of Natural Gas Drilling in the Marcellus Shale Region
The recent onset of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale region is having a major impact on businesses, residents, and communities in Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania?s Department of Environmental Protection, since 2007 approximately 2,400 wells have been drilled in Pennsylvania to extract natural gas from the Marcellus shale formation, with the number expanding exponentially every year. More than 100 energy companies and related subcontracting firms have moved to Pennsylvania and are now active within the Marcellus shale region, bringing significant employment and business opportunities for the foreseeable future. However, along with these opportunities, development of Marcellus shale is also bringing some significant challenges, including environmental and social impacts. Most of the development is occurring in relatively small communities that lack the infrastructure and support necessary to accommodate rapid, intense population growth and economic and workforce expansion
AUTHORS: Murphy, Thomas; Kelsey, Timothy
Spotlight on Research: Youth Debt and College Graduation
The rise in debt among youth to finance their higher education has engendered a great deal of discussion. Much of the attention has been focused on the angst that arises when the debt has to be repaid. This has been especially burdensome on students from lower-income households. While this is worthy of concern, another aspect of the educational-related debt that is being examined is whether the debt was worth it. More specifically, what is the association of the debt with the borrower?s graduation from college? Some investigations not only consider the relationship between educational loans and college graduation but also include the influence of the student?s family?s income. A recent study by Min Zhan has augmented the latter inquiry by expanding the amount of debt to include credit card debt related to educational expenses (in addition to educational loans), as well as taking into account the influence of parental financial assets (net worth) on a student?s completion of a college degree.1 What follows is a summary of her study.
AUTHORS: Smith, Marvin M.
Pay for Success: Financing Research-Informed Practice
Undercapitalization of nonprofit organizations and years of seemingly stagnant results in addressing certain social problems have led many to hope that ?pay for success (PFS) financing? will bring solutions in the form of new capital to support program delivery, improved accountability, and increased rigor in performance measurement. PFS financing, sometimes termed ?social impact bonds (SIBs),? shifts the risk of a preventive social service?s success from taxpayers to investors who finance programs and receive government repayments if, and only if, an agreed-upon performance metric is achieved. Through the use of a third-party evaluator tasked with measuring a program?s success, this new financing strategy encourages research-informed practice that can deliver measurable results. This article explores the structure and potential benefits of PFS financing, as well as assesses challenges and opportunities.
AUTHORS: Baldini, Noelle
Financial Reform Brings New Consumer Protections
On July 21, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Dodd?Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The full title of this sweeping legislation suggests its breadth: ?An act to promote the financial stability of the United States by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system, to end ?too big to fail,? to protect the American taxpayer by ending bailouts, to protect consumers from abusive financial services, and for other purposes.? The act, which contains 16 sections or ?titles,? touches almost every aspect of the financial services industry and is ?arguably the most substantial financial regulatory reform legislation since the 1930s.?
AUTHORS: Lempert, Amy
Apprenticeships and Their Potential in the U.S.
Government, foundation, and workforce leaders are displaying keen interest in apprenticeships as a way to give job seekers skills, credentials, and access to careers. This increased interest is also part of the greater attention to workforce development strategies that engage employers. Apprenticeships have a long history with roots in ancient times. The Code of Hammurabi of Babylon, which dates back to the 18th century bce, required artisans to teach their crafts to the next generation. By the 13th century, a type of apprenticeship emerged in Western Europe in the form of craft guilds.1 In the colonial U.S., now-famous apprentices included George Washington (surveyor), Benjamin Franklin (printer), and Paul Revere (silversmith).
AUTHORS: Rolland, Keith
CDFIs: Intermediaries for Financing to Low-Income Communities
In communities across America, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) successfully connect the ?last mile? of the financial credit chain. Just as local cell phone towers across the country connect cellular networks to local users, CDFIs connect larger and remote sources of capital to local communities. CDFIs act as intermediaries of capital to advance their missions, proving that responsible investing can build incomes, assets, and wealth in low-income communities. Increasingly, CDFIs also intermediate market data and other information necessary for successful investments in the unique places they are founded to serve.
AUTHORS: Donald, Hinkle-Brown
The Burden of High Housing Costs
Five years after the official end of the recession, households are still reeling financially. Indeed, while September marked a milestone for the unemployment rate, which dropped below 6 percent for the first time in six years, the median household income at last measure was still languishing at its lowest level in nearly 20 years, after adjusting for inflation. At the same time, rents are rising. Fallout from the housing crisis has slowed the movement into homeownership and driven up the demand for rentals more quickly and sharply than the supply is growing, resulting in tight markets, higher rents, and millions of low-income renters squeezed by housing costs that take up large portions of their monthly incomes.
AUTHORS: McCue, Daniel