Course Summaries

 
Below are summaries of just a few of the training courses offered by South by North Strategies, Ltd. Click here to view a schedule of upcoming courses and to register online.

Courses also can be developed on a customized basis. To discuss options, send an e-mail to courses@sbnstrategies.com.


Making Sense of the Census: Using Census Data to Guide Local Change (October 26, 2017)
The richest sources of community-level demographic, economic, and housing data are those prepared by the US Census Bureau. Despite their richness, census products are complex and full of concepts that differ markedly from popular understandings. Fortunately, these concepts are accessible to any curious person–even someone with little prior exposure to statistics or quantitative methods!

In this course, individuals working in nonprofit, philanthropic, media, and public organizations learn how to use census data to understand local conditions. The course offers a general overview of essential census products, concepts, and sources, along with hands-on opportunities to practice local applications. Special attention will be given to the American Community Survey. Participants will gain exposure to topics like the following:

  • The history and structure of the Decennial Census and American Community Survey
  • The basic geographies used in census products (e.g., metropolitan areas)
  • The core demographic variables used in census data (e.g., households, race/ethnicity)
  • The key economic variables tracked by the Census Bureau (e.g., income, poverty)
  • Tips for the effective communication of census data

Working for a Living: Understanding Local Labor Markets
The overwhelming majority of American households derive almost all of their financial resources through paid work. When a regional labor market is healthy, an area’s economy booms and its households thrive, but when conditions lag, the local economy sputters while households struggle to make ends meet. Given the fundamental importance of the labor market, the federal government has developed a comprehensive system of labor market information (LMI)—a system that is both extremely powerful and extremely complex.

In this course, individuals working in nonprofit, philanthropic, media and public organizations learn how to use LMI data to analyze local conditions. The course offers a general overview of essential LMI products, concepts, and sources and provides hands-on opportunities to practice local applications. Participants will gain exposure to the following topics:

  • History and structure of the LMI system
  • Fundamental LMI concepts (e.g., labor force components; occupations, industries)
  • Essential LMI data sources (e.g., LAUS, CES, QCEW)
  • Measures of labor utilization (e.g., employment, unemployment, underemployment)
  • Occupational information and data sources (e.g., OES, O*NET, and projections)
  • Ways of accessing LMI data through free online sources
  • Wage and hour data

Running the Numbers: Poverty and Economic Hardships in Local Communities
“Poverty,” “working poverty,” “inequality,” and “deprivation”—these are just some of the many concepts encountered by individuals working in nonprofit, philanthropic, media, and public organizations. Yet more often than not, the technical definitions of such concepts differ markedly from popular conceptions. It therefore is essential for local leaders to possess a basic familiarity with key statistical measures of economic deprivation and hardship, many of which originate in data collected by the US Census Bureau.

In this course, individuals working in organizations with social missions learn how to use public data to analyze local conditions related to poverty, deprivation, and economic hardship. The course offers a general overview of essential concepts and data, along with hands-on opportunities to practice local applications. Participants will gain exposure to topics like the following:

  • Common definitions of deprivation, poverty, and economic hardship
  • The federal poverty level, its strengths, its weaknesses, and its variations
  • Essential sources of poverty and hardship data (e.g., American Community Survey)
  • Alternate statistical measures of deprivation, poverty, and hardship
  • Ways of accessing data through free online sources

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