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2023 Conference Recap

Worcester, MA | July 23-26

The GRA visits the "Heart of the Commonwealth'"

Our host, Worcester Regional Research Bureau, showed us why their city truly is the “Heart of the Commonwealth” in this year’s conference. 

This event offered a one-of-a-kind opportunity for researchers to learn from and share ideas about  the policy challenges facing our governments and the cultural forces shaping our debates.

GRA Ed Panel

Couldn't make it to Worcester?

Don’t worry — full recordings of the conference are available on Vimeo. 

National association of researchers study the most pressing public problems facing our communities

At the end of July, the Worcester Regional Research Bureau (WRRB) hosted the nation’s top governmental researchers at the annual conference for the Governmental Research Association (GRA).

Since 1914, the GRA has been connecting researchers from across the country working to improve their communities.

Just what did we talk about at the 2023 conference? See below for some examples.

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Paul Matthews/Worcester Regional Research Bureau

Panels & Workshops

Let's Keep It Moving: A Transportation Conversation

This discussion explored innovative initiatives for providing public transit amid the challenges that transit agencies are facing nationally, including ridership shortfalls and looming financial cliffs.


Hosted by Annie McGowan, Deputy Director of Research,
The Civic Federation

Raising the (Amount of) Roofs: Housing Policy Solutions

Experts discussed ways to encourage housing development of all types and the policy solutions that may instigate these investments.

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Hosted by Leah Bradley, Executive Director, Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance

Food Security Micro-session

Food insecurity affected 33.8 million people in the U.S. in 2021. Experts discussed the value of data and analysis for policymakers, advocates, or any organization working on food insecurity, for its non-partisan insights.

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Moderated by Casey Burns, Director, Coalition for a Healthy Greater Worcester

Tracking ARPA

This panel of experts discussed American Rescue Plan transparency and effectiveness measures. 

Moderated by Justine Oliva, Ph.D., Manager of Research, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council

Public Workforce Shortage

This panel discussed the public workforce shortage and possible policy solutions to allow the public sector to compete with these market realities.


Moderated by Janice Weekes, Executive Director, MassHire Central Workforce Development Board

Reinventing Worcester

A chronological look at Worcester’s development from manufacturing to knowledge economy, examining specific development projects as proxy variables for the overall progress of Worcester.

Moderated by Paul Matthews, Executive Director, Worcester Regional Research Bureau

Efficacy of Racial Equity Sessions

This session will engage all team members in the multi-layered approach to DEI programs.

Moderated by Robert T. Jones, Chief Empowerment Officer, T. Lee Associates

Education’s Fiscal Cliff Following ESSER

Our panel discussed ways to minimize the impact of ESSER funds running out and position school districts for success.

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Moderated by Mebane Rash, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, EducationNC

Skillshare: Podcasting​

Find out how your organization can create its own podcast and engage with your community.

Moderated by Joshua Croke, Public Hearing Podcast

Skillshare: ArcGIS

Learn how WRRB uses this powerful software to bring policy briefs and reports to life with customizable maps, interactive interfaces and eye-catching graphics.

Moderated by David Cruz Mejía, Research Associate, Worcester Regional Research Bureau

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