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Community Resilience and Capacity

Helping communities improve their economic resilience, create sustainable infrastructures, and promote their local economy through value-added opportunities and new business development.

Highlighted Research Activities

  • Social, demographic, economic, and policy issues facing communities
  • Human activity intersecting with natural and agricultural systems
  • Impacts of local and regional food systems

Research Expertise

Research Videos

Introducing the UNESCO Chair
This is a brief introductory video from the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State.

Research Centers and Initiatives

Center for Economic and Community Development
Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development helps create new opportunities for people living throughout Pennsylvania.
Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD)
One of four federally-funded regional centers coordinating rural development research in the U.S., the NERCRD coordinates the initiatives of the rural development faculty from the 15 land-grant institutions in the Northeast region.
Social Science Research Institute
Addresses critical human and social problems at the local, national, and international levels by bringing together researchers from different disciplines.

News

Using social media to solve social problems
August 16, 2018
Social scientists rely on data to study social problems. However, data from traditional surveys can be difficult and time consuming to collect, as well as inaccurate, since not all factors can be measured well. A National Science Foundation-funded Penn State project will evaluate the accuracy of using Twitter data to represent populations across different demographic groups.
Poor mental health days may cost the economy billions of dollars
July 19, 2018
Poor mental health ranks as one of the costliest forms of sickness for U.S. workers and may sap billions of dollars from the country's income growth, according to a team of researchers. In an analysis of economic and demographic data from 2008 to 2014, the researchers found that a single extra poor mental health day in a month was associated with a 1.84 percent drop in the per capita real income growth rate, resulting in $53 billion less total income each year, said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics, Penn State, and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.
$500,000 grant to focus on how rural innovation happens, how to inspire more
July 11, 2018
A Penn State economist will receive $500,000 over three years to study innovation in rural communities and find ways for communities to support rural entrepreneurs. The grant from the United States Department of Agriculture is aimed at better understanding and inspiring innovation in rural areas, said Stephan Goetz, professor of agricultural and regional economics, Penn State, and director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development.
Weather patterns, farm income, other factors, may be influencing opioid crisis
February 2, 2018
The overprescribing of opioid-based painkillers may be the main driver of the increased abuse of opioids in rural America, but new research by Northeast Center Director Stephan Goetz and Meri Davlasheridze (Texas A&M) suggests that other factors, including declining farm income, extreme weather and other natural disasters, may affect a crisis that is killing thousands of citizens and costing the country billions of dollars.
United Nations organization renews UNESCO Chair program at Penn State
April 24, 2017
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has renewed for another five years its support for the UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development at Penn State. Mark Brennan, a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences, will continue in his role as chair and provide leadership to the program.