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Family Stability & Independence : Research & Reports

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Families at Risk, Report II


Unemployment Insurance (UI) is the major public insurance program in the United States that protects families against the dangers of involuntary job loss. This report examines the impact of changes made to Michigan’s UI program in 2011 on program access for Michigan’s unemployed workers. Based on analyses conducted on state-level administrative data, study findings are consistent with the conclusion that the 2011 changes to Michigan’s UI program have reduced the number of short-term unemployed workers who access state program benefits. The changes are associated with between a 19.2% and 34.8% reduction in the UI recipiency rate for Michigan’s short-term unemployed. This report further documents that the reduction in state benefit weeks from 26 to 20 caused workers to lose additional weeks from related federal UI programs, which were prorated based on the number of benefit weeks offered by states. 

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Bright Ideas


Can systemic racism impact infant mortality?

Even when controlling for poverty, education level, and tobacco use of a mother, maternal and infant health outcomes are far worse for minority populations than European-American women. What's causing the continued disparities? And what can West Michigan do to ensure all babies born here have the best chance of reaching their potential? Zinta Aistars reports on Strong Beginnings, one local program working to give all families a fair start.

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Company Supports 4th Grade Field Trips to Lake Michigan

Parents working more than one job or odd hours, a lack of funds, and no transportation often prevent kids from experiencing one of Michigan’s incredible natural resources. For the majority of west side Grand Rapids elementary school kids, Lake Michigan is sadly out of reach. OST has teamed up with Grand Rapids Public Schools to give fourth-graders at west side schools the opportunity to experience the big lake firsthand.


Youth Decide Where Grant Dollars are Spent

For Grand Rapids students who serve as trustees-in-training on the GRCF Youth Grant Committee, giving back to the community goes hand in hand with empowering students to succeed. 
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