Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.
Worcester economy strongest since Great Recession
According to the Worcester Economic Index, a quarterly economic analysis compiled by Assumption College Professor of Economics Thomas White, Ph.D., the Worcester economy grew 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016, which combined with solid growth turned in earlier in the year made 2016 the strongest year for the local economy since before the Great Recession.
The index is estimated using Bureau of Labor Statistics data, all of which have improved over the past year. According to the bureau’s Current Population Survey of households, employment in the Worcester area has risen by about 2.3 percent since December 2015, while the payroll survey found an employment growth rate of 1.6 percent. Most dramatically, the Worcester area unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in December 2015 to 3 percent in December 2016.
“Over the course of 2016 all three of the variables used to compute the WEI moved in a positive direction,” White said. “And compared to December 2015, the WEI finished the year up 3.0 percent, which marks the highest annual growth since before the Great Recession.”While the forecast of the Worcester Economic Index is based on four national leading indicators, White said it is important to also examine data that is more locally focused. The three local leading indicators which are followed for this project are: online help-wanted advertisements for the Worcester NECTA [New England city and town area], new business incorporations also for the Worcester NECTA, and statewide initial unemployment claims.
“Currently, the three local leading indicators are offering mixed signals for the future direction of the economy,” White said. “Continuing its trend throughout 2016, online help-wanted advertisements fell substantially compared to a year ago and therefore this indicator is providing a negative signal at this time.
“Over the next six months, the WEI is expected to grow at a rate of 1.3 to 1.7 percent,” said White. “Both national and local leading indicators are providing mixed signals concerning future economic activity.”
Anna Maria to host Disaster and Counter-Terrorism Emergency Medical Service certificate program
Anna Maria College will host the Disaster Medicine Institute, and its non-credit bearing certificate program in Disaster and Counter-Terrorism Emergency Medical Service (DC-TEMS).
The program strengthens organizational, local, regional and national capacity to mitigate against, prepare for and respond to disasters and complex emergencies, as well as asymmetric, multimodality terrorist events.
Founded on over 50 years of experience in Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management by global leaders in the field, the Disaster Medicine Institute (DMI) is the turnkey solution to all emergency planning needs. Its experts help organizations prepare for the worst, with experience-based system planning and personalized education. Along with Disaster Medicine and Emergency Management, DMI also focuses on Counter-Terrorism Medicine.
“Counter-Terrorism Medicine” is a new area of study and mandated by the increasingly complex and devastating terrorist attacks seen recently around the world.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to host the certificate in disaster and counter-terrorism emergency medical service program,” said Judith Kenary, associate vice president for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Ciottone, the course director said: “In the Emergency Management field it is important to be proactive rather than reactive. With this program participants learn the necessary steps to take should a disaster or terrorist attack occur.”
The certificate program is a three-hour class which takes place 6-9 p.m. Tuesdays for eight consecutive weeks beginning on Tuesday [Feb. 7]. The program will include topics such as Prehospital Disaster Medicine: Principles, Preparedness, Field Operations and High-Threat Terrorist Event Response. Participants who fully complete the program will receive a Certificate of Completion and uniform DC-TEMS patch.
YWCA to partner with Fallon Health, Summit ElderCare on couples program
Fallon Health and Summit ElderCare, in partnership with the YWCA Central Massachusetts, is holding a Couples Team Workout.
Couples Team Workout is a program for couples in which one partner has a chronic illness, and the other is transitioning into a role of partner/caregiver. The person with the chronic illness and the caregiver participate together, using teamwork to shape a strong, well-planned, positive and meaningful future, with a focus on the needs of both.
The goal of the program is for couples faced with chronic illness to acquire tools and resources to shape a strong, well-planned, positive and meaningful future, with a focus on the needs of both partners.
The program runs seven weeks, 10 a.m.-noon Feb. 25-April 18 at Summit ElderCare, 1369 Grafton St. The fee is $25 per couple. The registration deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 8.
WPI men’s basketball team joins Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge
The WPI men’s basketball team is using the 3-pointer this month to help raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society.
The team is asking fans to donate for every 3-pointer the team makes this month.
Teams can be matched up against their rival schools to see who can raise the most funds from their 3-point shots, and fans can follow the leaderboard to see who will become the 3-Point Challenge Champion.
“The WPI Men’s Basketball Team is proud to participate in this innovative way to raise money for the American Cancer Society,” coach Chris Bartley said. “The 3-Point Challenge has taken on significant meaning for me as a coach. A young man I coached as an assistant at both Medford High School and Wentworth Institute of Technology, Kenny Bascomb, just died from a long battle with cancer last Saturday morning. He was just in his 30s with five children, which makes this loss all the more devastating.
“I applaud all of the programs across the country for committing to the 3-Point Challenge so we can take the steps needed to find a cure.”