We would like to direct our followers to this publication recently released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In her Letter from the Editor that prefaces the publication, Caroline Ellis, underscores the Fed’s commitment to providing lower-income communities and those organizations that serve them with “new research and details on best practices” that will improve public understanding, inspire new outreach strategies, enhance program effectiveness, or promote responsible policy decision-making.
This renewed desire is evident in the variety of subjects explored. In reading this collection, we learned that:
- Every New England county saw an increase in its poverty rate between 2000 and 2010.
- Immigrant populations will be an important labor source in the coming years to replace an aging New England workforce.
- Gleaning surplus food could reduce food waste and provide low-cost fresh food to emergency food shelters around the region.
- The Appalachian Mountain Club is testing a new approach to land conservation combining outdoor recreation, natural resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships to address the region’s economic and ecological needs.
- Providence, Rhode Island has seen extraordinary growth in the number of Latino-owned businesses.
- Residents of three Maine towns are engaged in a collective visioning that will drive the community planning process and serve as a model for responsible town governance.
- Attention is urgently needed to ensure that the physical state of early-learning facilities does not undermine the quality of teaching or learning.
- Arts can create measurable change in communities.
- Data mining and aggregating technologies are being used to measure shifting labor market skill requirements and to adjust occupational training program curricula.
- Gap-based aid cuts could be a more equitable policy approach to budget cuts.
- More effective outreach efforts must be made to reach the unbanked among low-income consumers.