2013 State of the People Report Receives National Award

11 Jul 2013

July 17, 2013 - The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has been selected as the recipient of the 2013 Medium Metro General Achievement Award by the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC). PVPC received the award in June at NARC’s 47th annual conference and exhibition in Philadelphia, PA. The award recognizes the ten-year update of the State of the People of the Pioneer Valley report, which provides simple and familiar images to help evaluate eight categories of health and well-being indicators for the people who live in our region: Children and Youth; the Elderly Population; Education; Health and Safety; Economic Security; Housing; Civic, Arts, and Recreation; and the Environment. Each indicator is evaluated with a letter grade, and maps are provided to examine equity by comparing communities throughout the region. A unique function of this report is that it evaluates every topic area as well as each individual indicator with a letter grade (A-F), making it easier to quickly get a sense of the trends described by the data. Grades incorporate trends for the region over time, the Pioneer Valley’s comparison to rates statewide, and two measures of equity between the communities within the region. The report is the product of a vibrant working partnership among eight of the major foundations, hospitals, and planning organizations in the Pioneer Valley, including Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc., Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, Franklin Regional Council of Governments, Partners for Healthier Community, Inc., United Way of Hampshire County, and United Way of Pioneer Valley. This expansive collaboration is the result of many regional partners coming together with the goal of having available good, accessible, and easy-to-comprehend data about the trends in our region. The hope is that this data will help drive strategic decision making for funding, planning, and service organizations, and that having a shared understanding of the state of our people will give us a shared sense of goals for our region. The National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) serves as the national voice for regionalism by advocating for regional cooperation as the most effective way to address a variety of community planning and development opportunities and issues. In service to this mission, the NARC General Achievement Awards recognize excellence in programs and services of regional councils and metropolitan planning organizations across the United States, thereby contributing to better and more efficient government. In past years, PVPC has submitted successful NARC annual award nominations for Valley Vision 2, the regional land use plan for the Pioneer Valley region (in 2008); for the Plan for Progress, the region’s economic development plan (in 2005); and on behalf of the Massachusetts Association of Regional Councils (MARPA), of which PVPC is a member (in 2004). The 2013 State of the People report is available at www.pvpc.org/stateofthepeople.