Inbox [Aug. 3]: Worcester economy holds steady, Leadership Worcester announces class, Worcester Common Ground’s potential $1M idea, WPI taps dean of engineering

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Aug 3-WEI Q2 graph

Worcester economy holds steady in second quarter

According to the Worcester Economic Index (WEI), a quarterly economic analysis compiled by Assumption College Professor Thomas White, Ph.D., the Worcester-area economy continued its steady growth: the index posted a 2.9 percent increase in the second quarter of 2016. The index is estimated using Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on employment and unemployment for the Worcester metropolitan area, each of which moved in a positive manner in the second quarter of the year.

According to labor statistics, both payroll employment and household employment have increased while the local unemployment rate has fallen. After adjusting for seasonal variation, payroll employment which is estimated by the bureau using a survey of employers, rose by more than 1,400 employees since March 2016. While household employment, derived from a bureau survey of households, increased by about 800 workers. In addition, the unemployment rate (also derived from the household survey) fell to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.5 percent in June, down from 4.8 percent in March.

Read the entire story on the Assumption College website

Leadership Worcester class of 2017 named

The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, and the Leadership Worcester Advisory Committee announce the selection of 27 talented professionals who will make up the class of 2017.

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Sun contributor Giselle Rivera-Flores, director/owner of a startup education nonprofit, is among the 2017 Leadership Worcester class. Other members are: Che Anderson, Sandra Brock, Liz Sheehan Castro, Peter Caruso Jr., Alex Cruz, Micki Davis, Jared Fiore, Kwesi Foster, Laura Glaser, Andrea Gossage, Patrick Hare, Sam Kenary, Emily Kent, Jamie Leehy, Jessica Morris, David Murphy, Lauren Petit, Jake Poplaski, Jason Port, Sarah Potrikus, Stacey Price, Peter Rawinski, Benjamin Rivest, Jeannette Roach, Cornelius Rogers and Elizabeth Wambui.

The class will get underway Sept. 9 with an overnight retreat at the Beechwood Hotel, offering participants an opportunity to get to know one another, determine individual leadership strengths, learn more about participants’ experiences, and to understand more about the Worcester community and the diversity of our emerging leadership.

Monthly sessions will explore topics that are critical to Central Mass. The first session, Community and Economic Development, will begin Oct. 13, and will familiarize participants with Worcester’s efforts to develop its downtown and neighborhoods.

Read the entire story on the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce website

Worcester Common Ground finalist in KaBOOM! $1M Play Everywhere Challenge

This week, Worcester Common Ground (WCG) was selected as a finalist in the Play Everywhere Challenge, a $1 million national competition that will award outside-the-box ideas to make play easy, available, and fun for kids and families in cities across the United States. The challenge is hosted by KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all children, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.

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WCG created an innovative placemaking initiative called Piedmont Plays: A Campaign to Love Your Neighborhood. The project was selected as a finalist out of a pool of more than 1,000 applications nationwide. Winners will be announced in early fall.

Read the entire story on the Worcester Common Ground website

WPI names renowned materials scientist Winston Oluwole Soboyejo the Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering

WPI announced that Winston Oluwole Soboyejo, a renowned materials scientist and engineer who is currently professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, will join the university on Sept. 1 as the Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering.


Courtesy WPI


“Dr. Soboyejo’s outstanding record of achievement in engineering research and academic leadership make him well suited to lead WPI’s engineering enterprise,” said Bruce Bursten, WPI’s provost and senior vice president. “In addition, he brings to WPI impressive accomplishments in international development and a noteworthy track record in building global research and educational partnerships, achievements that resonate well with WPI’s focus on preparing graduates who can use their engineering skills to solve important societal programs and our well-recognized leadership in global technological education.”

Read the entire story on the WPI website

— Cindy Henderson

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