Asset Diversification and Low Debt Are the Keys to Building and Maintaining Wealth
Greatly expanded access to home mortgages during the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s appeared to make the American dream a reality for millions of families. Homeownership was attainable by many who, for the first time, were able to take out a mortgage with an extremely low or no down payment ? even if they had a blemished credit history or none at all. For those with access to their accumulated home equity through mortgage refinancing or other home-secured borrowing, as well as to other sources of credit, lack of available cash no longer meant that they had to delay making routine purchases, buying a ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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.
Nonprofit Focuses on Employment Training and Business and Community Development
Impact Services Corporation, located in Philadelphia?s Kensington neighborhood, is one of the largest nonprofit providers of employment and training services in Pennsylvania. However, Impact is unusual among nonprofits in this field because it works closely with area businesses and creates jobs through community development projects and Impact-owned businesses
Spotlight on Research: The Distributional Impact of Negative Equity
The fallout from the recent meltdown in the housing market continues to afflict many homeowners today. A great deal of attention has been focused on the debilitating effects of a rise in foreclosures and falling house prices that accompanied the market downturn. The depressing effect of foreclosures on house prices has presented several challenges to homeowners. Declining home values have resulted in a number of homeowners owing more on their mortgage than their home is worth. Thus, the homeowners are saddled with negative equity, which is commonly referred to as ?being under water.? ...
The Creative Economy Spurs Economic Development
The past decade has seen an increased interest in employing the arts as a community and economic development strategy. But this is not a new idea, Mark Stern, a social policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania, reminded participants at a Reinventing conference session on the arts and culture. This strategy dates back to the days of urban renewal in the 1960s when older industrial buildings and housing were replaced with symphony halls and cultural spaces. Today, however, there is interest in ?moving beyond larger, more mainstream investment in the arts to focus on more immediate, ...
Urban Education: Models That Work
A good education is a prerequisite for many employment opportunities today. In a weak economy when relatively few new jobs become available, the need for educational preparation becomes even more paramount. In low-income communities where the quality of many schools is dubious, the employment prospects of the attendees are grim. There is an ongoing debate about how to improve schools in these communities in order to enhance education levels and improve job readiness. While the merits of charter schools and the role of vocational-technical schools are being debated, there are some school ...
Anchors Aweigh: Why Do Anchor Institutions Matter?
In many cities, the expectation of civic leadership from a few large corporations headquartered downtown has ebbed. Instead, cities are looking to nonprofit anchor institutions, such as universities, hospitals, and museums, to support economic development and other goals. As Eugenie Birch, co-director of the Penn Institute for Urban Research and one of the panelists at a Reinventing Older Communities session on anchor institutions, put it, ?Universities are the factories of the 21st century.?