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Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates;
At Great Lakes we focus on helping students of color, students from low-income families and those who are the first in theirfamilies to attend college. These underserved students have the most to gain from earning a degree or credential, but face the steepest challenges in getting there. One of the first barriers they need to overcome is "summer melt." The purpose of this report is to share lessons learned by three high school districts during the development and launch of a summer melt texting program.
Carsey School of Public Policy at The University of New Hampshire;
In this brief, we present a demographic and economic profile of Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI, with a specific focus on families with children. The cities, situated at the western point of Lake Superior, share a rich economic history as major ports for coal, iron ore, and grain. Each city is also home to numerous colleges and universities, including the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (an affiliate of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates);
At Great Lakes we work to make postsecondary degrees, credentials and certificates accessible to as many students as possible. Specifically, we focus our philanthropy on helping those who traditionally have the most to gain from college, but who often have the least support in getting there: students from low-income homes, students of color and first-generation students.
This Report highlights our belief that overcoming barriers to graduation requires engaging both students and colleges—with success being their shared goal. In it you'll find details on many of the 50 grants we launched in 2016, several key findings and our goals for the coming year.
Center On Wisconsin Strategy (COWS);
The long shadow of the Great Recession is finally lifting in Wisconsin. The state has more jobs than ever before,unemployment rates have fallen to pre-recession levels, and workers that want full-time work are having an easier time finding it. To be sure, recovery here is incomplete and comparatively unimpressive. Many populations and places remain isolated from opportunity, and Wisconsin's growth is slow relative to the national pace. Still, labor market opportunities are more clear and consistent than they have been in nearly a decade. Given the brutality of the Great Recession and the slow recovery from it, this is welcome news for working Wisconsin.
The longer-term challenges that Wisconsin faces, and that COWS has long documented, remain daunting. Wages have been stagnant over the last three and a half decades and workers have very little to show for increasing productivity. Women earn less than men and the gap is slow to close. African Americans have suffered declining wages and growing disparity. The wage reward for higher education is evident, as is the difficulty of making ends meet without completing some post-secondary education. One-in-four workers toils in a poverty-wage job and low-wage sectors are growing faster than better-paying ones. Racial disparities, while hardly unique to Wisconsin, are particularly extreme here. A variety of economic and social indicators of racial inequality consistently identify us as among the most racially unequal states in the nation.
Health Care Cost Institute;
Children's Health Spending: 2010-2014 examines spending on health care for children covered by employer-sponsored insurance from 2010 to 2014. For the first time, HCCI analyzed children's health care spending trends at the state level, reporting on Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as the District of Columbia.
Per capita spending on health care for children grew an annual average of 5.1% per year between 2010 and 2014, reaching $2,660 in 2014.
Rising prices were the chief driver of growth in spending for children's health care in 2014.
At the same time, there was a general decline in the use of health care services between 2012 and 2014.
Among the states studied, Arizona had the lowest per capita spending ($2,151 per child in 2014), while Wisconsin had higher per capita and out-of-pocket spending than the national average in every year studied – reaching $3,017 per capita in 2014.
Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates;
With over half of jobs now requiring a postsecondary credential, college completion has never been more important. Yet it remains elusive for too many students -- especially students from low-income backgrounds, students of color and first-generation students. For 50 years, Great Lakes has focused on helping traditionally underserved students who have the most to gain from a college education -- yet often have the least support in getting there -- make their way to and through college. Our 2015 report highlights the three distinct and purposeful funding approaches we use in pursuit of this goal and details several grants we made over the past year.
University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute;
The Wisconsin State Health Plan for 2020 established a goal for all state residents to live longer and better. Progress toward this goal can be measured by monitoring health outcomes -- and the factors that contribute to those outcomes -- for the state's overall population, as well as by considering the health status of specific populations within the state. This fourth annual report assesses progress for 19 indicators of health outcomes and factors in Wisconsin by examining trends over the past 10 years and determining whether current rates are better or worse than expected. Approach Ten-year baseline trends for 19 leading health indicators were measured and compared to an improvement of one percent per year, the standard developed for the federal Healthy People 2020. To assess recent progress, the most current rate for each indicator was compared to the expected rate had the baseline trend continued. In addition, where data are available, we have analyzed 10 year trends on these leading health indicators broken out by gender, race and ethnicity, geography, and socioeconomic status. These detailed analyses are available online. Results When considering the overall population of the state, the 2015 report shows that the baseline mortality trends for all age groups in Wisconsin continue to improve, with the exception of the group of 25-64 year olds, for whom the mortality rate has remained stable. The greatest improvement in mortality is among children and young adults (ages 1-24). One health outcome, self-reported health, remains a cause for concern with an increasing percentage of adults reporting their health as fair or poor. Within health behaviors, the rates of smoking, teen births, and excessive drinking continue to show improvement with decreasing trends while obesity rates continue to rise. Although the most recent values for all socioeconomic factors were better than expected, the overall trends continue to worsen for all of these factors, including high school drop-outs, unemployment, children in poverty, and violent crime rate. However, these patterns of improving health do not hold true for all of the subgroups that make up the state's population, e.g.: The percentage of children in poverty is much higher for those living in urban counties compared with those living in rural, non-urban, and suburban counties.African American infants are almost twice as likely to be born at a low birthweight compared with infants of other racial/ethnic subgroups.Smoking rates are more than four times higher for those without a high school degree compared with those with a college degree.Male death rates are higher than female death rates across all age groups.
Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED);
The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans' financial security today and their opportunities to create a more prosperous future. It assesses the 50 states and the District of Columbia on 130 outcome and policy measures, which describe how well residents are faring and what states are doing to help them build and protect assets. The Scorecard enables states to benchmark their outcomes and policies against other states in five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.
The Joyce Foundation's Shifting Gears initiative was launched in 2007 as a state policy change effort in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The goal was to strengthen adult basic education, workforce, and community and technical college systems so that more low-skilled workers gain the education, skills and credentials needed to advance and succeed in our changing economy. The Joyce Foundation extended Shifting Gears funding from 2012 -- 2014 (referred to as SG 3.0) in Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. This report reached five primary findings:
Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin doubled the total number of their bridge programs from 79 to 196 between SG 2.0 to SG 3.0.
Each state effectively institutionalized its adult education bridge program as an ongoing option to address the educational and skill needs of low-skilled adult learners.
In two of the three states (Minnesota and Wisconsin), important policy changes expanded financial resources available for adult education bridges, and created the foundation for further advancing adult education bridges.
Scale was not achieved during this period in terms of serving many or most of the low-skilled adults who might benefit from bridge programs.
The work of Shifting Gears positively influenced the national discourse on workforce development.
National Fund for Workforce Solutions;
This case study focuses on promising findings from automotive and manufacturing programs supported the Milwaukee Area Workforce Funding Alliance, The Dan River Region Collaborative, and workforce Central. Drawing from these programs, this report considers which program characteristics fostered success and how other cities can design similar programs.
Foundation Review, The;
With long-term commitments to concentrated geographic regions, community foundations are in a unique position to highlight problems and stimulate other nonprofit organizations and funders to develop local solutions. Seizing an opportunity to address a growing community concern over cutbacks in youth arts education, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region undertook an initiative that utilized several innovation strategies in a way that would impact the community and its own work. This article describes how the foundation combined catalytic funding, partnership with grantees, creative use of evaluation, and design of advocacy tools to promote and strengthen youth arts programming. The partnership approach gave rise to very different working relationships with grantees, moving the foundation away from its traditional role to one that led to shared ownership among all the collaborative partners. The initiative included significant use of a variety of evaluation approaches, including needs assessment, evaluation capacity-building, and developmental evaluation. The experience with this innovative project positioned the foundation to pursue future community-impact initiatives even more effectively, and this article concludes with eight insights for others interested in using innovative methods to lead large initiatives designed for broad community impact.
Center for Effective Government;
Now more than two years after the West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion, this report asks the question that haunted the community in the aftermath of the tragedy: why didn't the people who arrived to help fight the fire know that extremely flammable and explosive materials were inside?
Ten volunteer firefighters who rushed toward the fire were among the 15 killed in the explosion that followed. In addition to the deaths, the explosion destroyed three schools, a nursing home, and 37 city blocks, and over 200 people were injured. But it seems that neither the firefighters nor the town officials who approved the school sitings fully understood the risks the fertilizer storage facility presented.
Congress passed a law almost three decades ago that was designed to ensure that local communities are fully aware of hazardous substances near them and that emergency personnel know what to do in the event of a disaster like West, Texas. A few years later, an additional law required more reporting and planning. But local communities in many areas of the country still seem unaware and unprepared to deal with emergencies. As the number of chemical facilities increases and population centers expand, as plants age and inspection funds decline, the number of individual Americans at risk from toxic emissions, leaks, and explosions will grow.
This report examines the chemical reporting to states that occurs under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act of 1986 (EPCRA), using a sample of six states, and the reporting to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that was established under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and the federal Risk Management Program.