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NIST Releases Draft Community Resilience Planning Guide for Public Review

April 27, 2015 Comments off

NIST Releases Draft Community Resilience Planning Guide for Public Review
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology

The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today issued a draft guide to help communities plan for and act to keep windstorms, floods, earthquakes, sea-level rise, industrial mishaps and other hazards from inflicting disastrous consequences.

NIST is requesting public feedback on the draft Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure, which Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting NIST Director Willie May unveiled during a workshop at Texas Southern University in Houston today.

The official first version of the guide will be released this fall and updated periodically as new building standards and research results become available and as communities gain experience using the guide and recommend improvements.

2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: First Release of Data for Transportation and Warehousing Sector

April 20, 2015 Comments off

2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: First Release of Data for Transportation and Warehousing Sector
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

This is a series of national-, state-, county-, place- and metro area-level data files providing statistics on the number of establishments, receipts or revenue, payroll, number of employees and other items by industry. The first data were released today for the transportation and warehousing sector and includes statistics for industries such as air, rail and water transportation, as well as warehousing and storage. Covers Colorado, Hawaii and geographic areas therein only. Statistics for the other states and geographic entities within them for this sector will be released on a flow basis over the coming months.

New Estimates of Value of Land of the United States

April 15, 2015 Comments off

New Estimates of Value of Land of the United States (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Land is an important and valuable natural resource, serving both as a store of wealth and as an input in production. Previous attempts to measure the value of land of the United States have focused on indirect measures, inferring values based on the difference between the market value of real property and the replacement value of structures, and have not counted the entirety of the land area of the United States. Instead, this paper takes hedonic estimates of land prices in various locations and interpolates these values to a mosaic of parcels, census tracts, and counties of various sizes in the contiguous (lower 48) United States plus the District of Columbia. Estimates suggest that this 1.89 billion acres of land are collectively worth approximately $23 trillion in 2009 (current prices), with 24% of the land area and $1.8 trillion of the value held by the federal government.

New Administration Report: Exports Helping to Support Jobs, Grow Small Businesses Across America

April 14, 2015 Comments off

New Administration Report: Exports Helping to Support Jobs, Grow Small Businesses Across America
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman today released a new report that shows that the number of jobs supported by goods exports continues to rise in states across the country. The report also includes individual success stories, in all 50 states, of small and medium sized businesses that are using exports to expand their businesses and support well-paying American jobs.

Broadband Infrastructure Case Studies Released – How Broadband Changes the Game

April 14, 2015 Comments off

Broadband Infrastructure Case Studies Released – How Broadband Changes the Game
Source: National Telecommunications & Information Administration

Over the past five years through our national broadband grant program, NTIA has seen first-hand the economic and societal impact that broadband has on communities across the country. At the Broadband Communities conference in Austin, Texas this week, NTIA’s BroadbandUSA team will share our plans to leverage that expertise by providing communities with technical assistance and field-tested ideas. I will be speaking along with my NTIA colleagues Doug Kinkoph and Anne Neville.

An important component of our on-going work with communities is to build on the lessons learned from an independent evaluation of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to make sound decisions going forward. In 2010 NTIA hired ASR Analytics, LLC to conduct a comprehensive study on the societal and economic impacts of the program. In advance of the Broadband Communities conference, NTIA is today releasing the final case studies from the evaluation. The principal author of the study, Dr. Stephen Rhody, will present and discuss the findings.

The reports released today are the final ASR case studies focusing on 12 of the 109 Comprehensive Community Infrastructure (CCI) projects NTIA funded through BTOP to build middle-mile networks in 45 states and U.S. territories. These grantees deployed more than 113,000 miles of fiber across the country. In the process, they connected or upgraded 25,300 community anchor institutions and signed more than 860 interconnection agreements with local service providers.

Earlier, NTIA released ASR’s overall impact study, which found that on average, in only two years, BTOP grant communities experienced an estimated two percent greater growth in broadband availability than non-grant communities. That growth is estimated to generate increased annual economic activity of between $5.17 billion and $21 billion. The additional broadband infrastructure could also be expected to create more than 22,000 long-term jobs and generate more than $1 billion in additional household income each year. And community anchor institutions, like schools and libraries, served by BTOP infrastructure grantees in the sample experienced significantly increased speeds and lower costs.

While these numbers are impressive, the value of the projects is yet to be fully realized. Their impact will be seen in how education, health care and economic development are changing on the ground in the communities served by the grants. Students have faster, lower cost connections to broadband for online learning. Businesses are expanding their operations and markets. Medical specialists treat more people in less time, remotely.

The case studies reflect a representative sample of CCI projects, taking into account the wide diversity of grantee types, technologies, partnerships, project sizes, geography, and target customers. Project selection also considered construction schedules, so that projects could demonstrate results within the study’s time frame. To prepare the cases, ASR conducted more than a hundred interviews with grantees, partners, and network users, logging thousands of miles to visit the connected communities.

Facts for Features — Earth Day: April 22, 2015

April 10, 2015 Comments off

Facts for Features — Earth Day: April 22, 2015
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day ― a day intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment. The day came from reaction to a massive oil spill in waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969. In honor of Earth Day ― and Earth Week (April 16-22) ― this edition of Profile America Facts for Features includes examples of Census Bureau statistics pertaining to energy and the environment.

Census Bureau Report Examines Population Changes in U.S. Island Areas Over Last Decade

April 9, 2015 Comments off

Census Bureau Report Examines Population Changes in U.S. Island Areas Over Last Decade
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Among U.S. Island Areas, only the U.S. Virgin Islands had a higher median age than the U.S. mainland at 39.2 years in 2010. A new report, Recent Population Trends for the U.S. Island Areas: 2000 to 2010, examines demographic trends, such as median age, for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

American Samoa’s median age of 22.4 years was nearly 17 years younger than the Virgin Islands and about 15 years younger than the U.S. median age of 37.2 years. Additionally, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands also had younger median ages at 29.5 and 33.4 years, respectively. This pattern of median ages among the Island Areas reflects their different migration and fertility rate histories.

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