Inbox [Nov. 6]: Continued growth expected for Worcester economy, Out to Lunch concert series up for $25K grant, Anna Maria receives $25K for fire extinguisher study, Ascentria to screen refugee movie

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Continued growth expected for Worcester economy

According to the Worcester Economic Index, a quarterly economic analysis compiled by Assumption College Professor of Economics Thomas White, Ph.D., the Worcester economy continued its recent solid performance as WEI grew at a 3.5 percent annualized rate during the third quarter of 2016, up slightly from the 3.1 percent pace reported during the second quarter.

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The WEI is estimated using federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data on employment and unemployment for the Worcester metropolitan area, all of which have improved over the past year. According to the BLS Current Population Survey, employment in the Worcester area has risen by about 1.9 percent over the 12-month period ending in September, while the BLS payroll survey provides a similar estimate of 2.1 percent employment growth during the same period. In addition, the Worcester unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent in September, which is down from the 4.8 percent estimate in September 2015.

“Over the coming six months, the WEI is expected to continue to grow, but at a more modest pace than the past two quarters,” White said. “According to the forecast model which utilizes recent movements in the WEI, as well as four leading indicators of the national economy, the WEI is projected to grow at a little more than 2 percent over the next two quarters.”

Read the entire story on the Assumption College website


Worcester’s Out to Lunch concert series in running for a $25K grant

The Worcester Cultural Coalition, in partnership with the City of Worcester, is in the running to bring a free 10- to 12-week live music series to the City of Worcester during the Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series.

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Sponsored by the Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation, a national foundation dedicated to strengthening the social fabric of America through free live music, the Worcester Cultural Coalition hopes to qualify as one of 15 winning organizations competing in the Levitt AMP Grant Awards.

The grant is an exciting matching-grant opportunity created by the Levitt Foundation to serve small to mid-sized towns and cities with populations up to 400,000. Up to 15 nonprofits will receive $25,000 each in matching funds to produce their own Levitt AMP Music Series — an outdoor, free concert series featuring a diverse lineup of professional musicians.

The Worcester Cultural Coalition submitted the proposal for Worcester’s Out to Lunch Summer Concert Series to take place at the Worcester Common Oval. Worcester’s proposal is now posted on the Levitt AMP website for public voting.

A successful campaign for Worcester’s Out To Lunch Summer Concert Series depends on community participation to get as many online votes as possible to make 2017 bigger and better. Community support, as measured by the number of online votes received, will be one of the key factors when the Levitt Foundation selects up to 15 winners.

Online public voting ends at 8 p.m. Nov. 21. The top 25 finalists will be selected through online public voting. The Levitt Foundation will then review the proposals of these 25 finalists and will select up to 15 Levitt AMP winners, which will be announced on Jan. 5.

Visit the Levitt Foundation website for more information and to vote


Anna Maria receives donation for fire extinguisher study

Anna Maria College has received a $25,500 donation from FireIce Solutions LLC, an innovative fire protection product manufacturer, to support the college’s Fire Science program’s conducting of a fire extinguisher study.

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Students in Anna Maria College’s Fire Science program will be testing the effectiveness of various fire extinguisher products currently on the market. These evaluations require secure, live fire testing that imitate various fire scenarios such as combustible-metal, cooking oil and car tire fires. The donation from GelTech solutions will go directly toward the construction of an outdoor concrete burn structure to conduct controlled and functional live fire tests.

“We are extremely grateful to FireIce Solutions LLC for their generous donation to support our Fire Science program,” said Dr. Judith Kenary, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. “This burn structure will provide our students with an outdoor classroom in a safe designated area to conduct burns and will enable them to partake in various research and testing opportunities to further enhance their Fire Science education.”

The grant proposal was written by Kolin Matthews, a senior undergraduate in Anna Maria’s Fire Science program, along with faculty mentor Mike Matros, a firefighter/paramedic with the Sudbury Fire Department and Fire Science instructor at the college. FireIce Solutions also provides several ongoing internship opportunities for Anna Maria students.

Read the entire story on the Anna Maria College website


Ascentria to host movie screening Nov. 16

Ascentria Care Alliance’s Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program will present a free screening of “Refugee: The Eritrean Exodus” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16, at West Boylston Cinema, 101 West Boylston St., West Boylston.

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The film follows American traveler Chris Cotter as he searches for answers about the country’s seldom-reported refugee crisis. In his search, Cotter explores a common migration path through Ethiopia into Israel, tracking the plight of Eritrean Refugees. Cotter and his crew visit several refugee camps, including the never-before-documented Afar region. The film brings the viewer on a common migration path that many Eritreans desperately undertake with the slim hope of freedom and security.

More information about the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program is available on the Ascentria website

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