Homeownership and Civic Engagement

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There is a section in Bowling Alone on how homeowners are more involved civicly than renters. Barry Bluestone, Dean of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, at Northeastern University, was speaking to the Harvard Kennedy School Inequality Program today on “Is Homeownership Now Just a Dream?” Among discussions of who benefits from homeownership, he discussed whether we should support it and raised the issue of whether homeowners are better citizens, and if so, is it just due to their longer tenure in neighborhoods.

Aging workers are embracing ‘encore careers’

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Where will seniors be working in the future? In a word, everywhere.

From fitness instruction to healthcare coaching, labour relations to social media management, analysts predict a groundswell of opportunity for those who find themselves working past 65. And if current trends persist, that will eventually include most of us.

“Improved health and longevity are making it possible for the older workforce to do things our grandparents couldn’t have done,” says economist Barry Bluestone, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston. “We’re going to see a whole lot of new types of jobs developed, especially for people who are delaying retirement or going into encore careers.”

Manufacturers seek skilled workers

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Earlier this year, Berkshire Manufactured Products won a lucrative aerospace contract that requires the Newburyport company to invest between $200,000 and $500,000 in equipment and hire two machinists.

Three months later, the equipment has been ordered but Berkshire is still seeking the two skilled workers to operate it – despite enlisting 11 employment agencies to find them. Berkshire has been through this before; last year it took eight employment agencies and three months to hire two machinists.

MBTA calculator asks riders how to fix $161M budget gap

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Should Massachusetts General Hospital and the Museum of Fine Arts pay a fee to the MBTA for the “naming rights” of T stations bearing their landmark names? Should the debt-riddled agency freeze its employees’ salaries for a year? Should Bay State drivers cough up an extra 2-cents-per gallon to help bail out the T?

These are just a few of the smorgasbord of questions posed by the “MBTA Budget Calculator: How Would You Fix the T’s Budget?” — a website designed to take the pulse of T riders and the public on how to close the T’s $161 million budget gap.

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