Impact Report: Biofuels

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Biofuels 2016 By The Numbers

• 21 Field Tours at 4 “Poplar for Biofuels” Demonstration Sites • 479 attendees • 20 Webinars • 450 attendees • 26 Classroom Visits • 700 3rd-8th grade students • 15 Videos • 9325 views • 6 Energy Literacy Workshops • 8 Latino Energy Ambassadors • 8 Energy Stewards • 4 Biodiesel Workshops • 140 teens and 10 adults • 4 Stakeholder Surveys • 429 total responses • 3 National Conferences • 210 total attendees • 3 Poplar Workshops • 120 attendees • 2 Websites • 18,000 unique visitors

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Impact Report: Wahkiakum County Marine Resources Committee

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Wahkiakum County Marine Resources Committee By The Numbers

• 2.2 miles of new Skamokawa Creek habitat for chum, coho, and chinook salmon; blocked since the 1940s

• $300,000 for improved marketing and processing opportunities for Lower Columbia River fishing communities

• $535,000 for habitat restoration on the Elochoman and Grays River basins

• 750 pounds of salmon canned with seniors and low-income audiences

2016 Issue

Washington’s coastline provides abundant marine resources to the state. However, its small communities lack the power of their urban neighbors to garner funding and policy support. Resource policies … » More …

Impact Report: Pathways to Literacy

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Pathways to Literacy

Youth, Family, and Community Engagement

By The Numbers

2014 Pathways to Literacy students received:

  • 3,065 hours focusing on literacy development and student support programming.
  • 465 hours of English as a Second Language (ESL) and technology training.
  • 4,113 hours of combined literacy development, student support programming, ESL, and technology training.
  • 245.85 hours of voluntary community tutoring and program support in 2014, a 339% increase over the previous year.

2015

Issue

Literacy opens the door to social conventions that, for many, are the norm. The ability to read to your own children and grandchildren, assist with homework, get a library card, study and pass the written driver’s license exam, apply for employment, seek advancement in employment, leave a note for a family member, understand communication from childrens’ teachers and schools, keep track of spending, or simply sign your name, are everyday activities that are difficult and stressful for individuals who lack proficiency in their literacy skills.

In 2006, 5% of Washington’s total population, or approximately 268,853 people, were English language learners (http://wsipp.wa.gov). In Franklin County, 34% of the population was considered deficient in basic prose literacy skills, which includes proficiencies in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This group also includes those not tested due to language barriers. In comparison, 9% of Benton County and 24% of Yakima County were deficient in these skills (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2003).

Response

Pathways to Literacy (PTL) students are provided one-on-one instruction to begin primary level association with letters and numbers. Students progress through several levels of reading, language, and grammar development with testing after each subject to measure progress. Once students meet proficiency goals at the primary (primaria) level, they progress to the secondary (secundaria) level with writing and advanced mathematics through Algebra II. Students are provided voluntary community tutors to support their learning. The tutors provide one-on-one help in areas that have become a challenge for our PTL students. This allows students to keep up with the class and to meet their personal progress goals. Once students complete the secondary level and are proficient in reading, writing, and math skills, they are encouraged to take the GED at their local community college.

PTL is an approved and certified Plaza Comunitaria program through a partnership with the Mexican Consulate. It provides literacy and educational advancement in Spanish for Spanish-speaking adult learners and their family members. It is through the Consulate’s MEVyT educational model for life and work (Modelo Educacion para la Vida y el Trabajor) that students can obtain educational certification through a Plaza Comunitaria such as Pathways to Literacy.

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Impact Report: Public Safety

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Public Safety

By The Numbers

  • DGSS is the administrative sponsor for the Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School (LEMOS), which has provided training for more than 11 years, conducting more than 30 intensive training sessions.
  • LEMOS has trained more than 600 first responders in mountain operations, winter survival and tactical application in austere, rural environments.
  • LEMOS trains responders from federal, state, tribal, and Canadian law enforecement agencies and has a cadre of instructors spanning more than a dozen agencies.
  • DGSS participates in planning and conducting 3-day CERT courses quarterly for public employees.
  • The CERT state agency trainings educate more than 100 state employees in community emergency response annually.

2016

Issue

Practitioners in public safety agencies and fire, law, and emergency management fields need access to competent, responsive, and neutral resources to provide data, analysis, technical assistance, and training to support effective management practices, the implementation of sound public policy, and the delivery of high-quality services. WSU is seen as a natural source for such services, but there has not always been a convenient entry into the university to access the many capacities represented at WSU. After the closure of the Western Regional Institute for Community Oriented Public Safety and the Washington State Institute for Community Oriented Policing, the Division of Governmental Studies & Services (DGSS) was seen as a natural fit to take on expanded roles in meeting these needs. In support of this demand DGSS operates the Washington State Institute for Criminal Justice in cooperation with the department of Criminal Justice and Criminology.

Response

The DGSS Public Safety Program provides services for local, county, state, tribal, and federal government agencies, non-profits, and communities. This program addresses needs that impact public safety agency efficiency and effectiveness, the quality of administration, training and policy, and the relationships between government and citizens/residents through three primary service areas: research, technical assistance, and training. The training component of this program provides the opportunity for public safety agency employees and community representatives to acquire knowledge that will help them address the effective delivery of services, enhance trust, collaboration, and citizen engagement, improve relationships, and enhance public safety in the region. The technical assistance component of the program provides consultation services such as data analysis, planning support, organizational change intervention, facilitation, and program support. The research component provides qualitative, quantitative, multi-modal, and program evaluation services to bring validated data to bear on issues of performance, training, program delivery, and public policy decision making.

  • Through DGSS, WSU has supported the Law Enforcement Mountain Operations School since 2004. As a co-sponsor since 2011, and primary sponsor beginning in 2016, DGSS assists in conducting one-week and single-day training sessions on essential skills for law enforcement operations in wilderness environments.
  • DGSS assists in the development and implementation of quarterly State Agency Community Emergency Response Team trainings, serving on the state planning committee, and providing training and exercise evaluation for state employees in the Olympia area.

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Impact Report: Emergency Management

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Emergency Management

By The Numbers

  • Provided EM services as part of the unified command post for 6 WSU home football games in 2015.
  • Conducted regular EM-related trainings and exercises, including a 3-day, multi-jurisdictional FEMA-sponsored Integrated Emergency Management course.
  • Provided training/workshops for hundreds of first responders, emergency managers, university personnel, volunteers, and other community members.
  • Contacted more than 21,000 opt-in individuals per semester with notifications and tests.
  • Provided EM notification services via Everbridge for faculty/staff and students in multiple WSU locations statewide and expanded coverage to partner institutions in Spokane and Vancouver.
  • Provide alert notifications for more than 34,000 WSU emails in the Pullman region on an ongoing basis.

2016

Issue

When WSU’s Emergency Management Coordinator retired in 2011, the administration called upon the Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) to assist in managing the full spectrum of emergency planning, preparedness, response, mitigation, recovery, and management functions for the university. DGSS now operates on an “Internal Service Agreement” under the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration to provide emergency management and public safety services for WSU.

Response

The Emergency Management program provides a full range of emergency management services for the Pullman campus, Research & Extension Centers, and Extension, as well as other WSU offices and locations statewide, and coordinates with campus safety programs at the Vancouver, Spokane, and Tri-Cities campuses. The Office of Emergency Management operated by DGSS provides training, planning, administrative support, response, mitigation, and related services to establish a robust “all hazards” capacity for WSU. This includes direct management of WSU Emergency Response and Emergency Management planning, management of the WSUAlert emergency notification systems, management of emergency support team staffing, training, exercises and activation, and interaction with all levels of the university to support emergency management and public safety.

  • The WSU Emergency Support Structure has been restructured and updated so that emergency support team membership and functions now more closely reflect WSU’s institutional structure and are in line with the National incident Management System.
  • The EM program has developed a strong working partnership with Pullman and Whitman County emergency management, memorialized in 2013 through an MOU for joint activities. Included in these activities are: Development of a coordinated “Consolidated Emergency Management Plan” (C-CEMP) covering WSU, the City of Pullman, and Whitman County; providing coverage for Pullman and Whitman County under the WSU contract for emergency notification capacity (WSUAlert); and the pursuit of other joint planning and joint training and exercise activities.

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Impact Report: Revitalizing the Forest Products Manufacturing Industry

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Revitalizing the Forest Products Manufacturing Industry

By The Numbers

  • More than 200 clients served in the forest products industry.
  • More than $10 million in industrial service center contracts.
  • More than $40 million in sponsored research products related to wood and wood plastic composites.
  • 49 International Wood Composite Symposiums targeting industrial research and development in forest products hosted by WSU.
  • More than 15% of the wood-plastic composites industry in North America uses formulations developed by WSU.
  • More than $3 million in direct expenditures for biofuel and bioenergy research and outreach.

2015

Issue

The need for employment and economic development in rural communities is a constant battle for many regions throughout Washington and the United States. This is especially true in timber-based regions where many communities have suffered from sawmill and other forest product mill closures due to a lagging economy and an increase in cheaper imported wood and wood composites. These economic influences deteriorate the entire forest industry supply chain, where logging, trucking, and mill jobs are significantly reduced or eliminated. The overall result is a dramatic deterioration of timber-based rural economies and forest health, where unmanaged forests can result in more damaging fires. To improve the economy of timber-based communities, new products and the revitalization of existing forest product markets need to be addressed.

Response

To assist the growth of a forest-based economy, the outreach and research efforts of WSU’s Composite Materials and Engineering Center (CMEC) have focused on the wide variety of products that can be derived from wood and other natural fibers. CMEC works directly with the entire forest products supply chain to improve and assess the performance of many of their products through client-driven research, sponsored research projects, and outreach events such as workshops and symposiums that are related to the development of many forest-based products such as composites, fuel and energy, and timber structures. Some highlights of our recent efforts in various forest product industries are shown below:

  • Wood plastic composites (WPCs)
    • Demonstration WPCs installed in a variety of test plots that include:
      • Decking, fendering systems, and wave screens for U.S. Naval bases in Rhode Island and California, and the Naval Academy in Maryland;
    • Bridge decking for a rails-to-trails project in Idaho and the U.S. Forest Service in Montana;
    • WPC Info Portal that provides relevant information for the WPC supply chain; and
    • Development of American Society for Testing and Materials standards and International Code Council Acceptance Criterion related to WPCs.

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Impact Report: SR 530 Landslide Commission

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SR 530 Landslide Commission Download as PDF By The Numbers 12 members appointed to the commission. 11 meetings held. 17 recommendations developed by commission. Legislation (SB 5088) passed and signed by Governor Inslee provides $4.6 million to the Department of Natural Resources to develop a database of lidar maps of landslide-prone areas. Legislation (HB 1389) passed and signed, clarifies the state’s fire service mobilization law. 2016 Issue

In July 2014 Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick appointed a joint commission to assess the response to the March 2014 SR 530 Landslide that took the lives of 43 people in the … » More …

Impact Report: Economic Analysis of Extension Programming in Island County, Washington

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Economic Analysis of Extension Programming in Island County, Washington

By The Numbers

  • 293 of 503 households that previously had volunteered or participated in Extension programs responded to the survey.
  • The average willingness to pay for Extension among this affiliated subsample was $15.50 annually.
  • 198 of 478 households with an improvement value of $10,000 or more responded to the survey.
  • The average willingness to pay for Extension among this general subsample was $12.43 annually.
  • Both subsamples had the highest willingness to pay for 4-H youth development at about $9.40 annually.
  • 3 focus group interviews were conducted in October 2014 in North Whidbey, South Whidbey, and on Camano Island.

2016

Issue

Benefit-cost analysis, return-on-investment analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis commonly are used to evaluate efficacy of specific Extension programs or services. However, few county Extension programs work within a vacuum, and county Extension staff often are dependent on each other to meet both logistical and programming needs. Thus, materials, infrastructure, and even personnel time may be shared across programs. Similarly, benefits might be accrued in a manner not documented previously. The objective of this project is to calculate how residents of a small community value Extension as a whole, as well as how they value specific Extension programs separately. Island County provides an excellent opportunity to look at a diverse set of Extension programs, yet it is small enough to develop the basis of a model.

Response

Work began in earnest in January 2013 upon receipt of an internal grant, which allowed the principle investigator to interview Island County Extension staff, funded a School of Economic Sciences graduate student, supported mail surveys, and financed interviews with Extension volunteers, local leaders, business owners, and members of the general public. There were approximately 31,796 tax-paying households in 2012 in Island County, and a tax of approximately $10.80 would fund the 2012 Island County Extension budget of $343,222. Using interval regression models, we estimated the hypothetical willingness to pay for a WSU Extension office in Island County. We found that, on average, survey participants from the general population were willing to pay about $12 annually to have an Extension office in Island County. WSU volunteers and alumni or, simply, the affiliated population, were willing to pay about $15. Additionally, the affiliated population subsample has a greater willingness to pay for each program compared to the general population subsample, in terms of both inclination to pay and the average amount they were willing to pay. Both groups had the highest willingness to pay for 4-H youth development, at around $9 annually. This, perhaps, indicates the community’s recognition of the substantial external societal benefits of youth development programs.

Why might the affiliated population subsample have a higher willingness to pay than the general population subsample? We found that there were two underlying reasons for the difference in willingness to pay between the two subsamples – inclination to volunteer and knowledge. The willingness to pay among those who volunteer, either in WSU Extension programs or non-WSU community organizations, is higher than those who do not usually volunteer in community activities.

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Impact Report: Ready, Set, Grow Your Business

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Ready, Set, Grow Your Business Download as PDF By The Numbers 217 stakeholders completed surveys, providing input for program design. 140 participants in training sessions, representing 89 businesses across 4 regions. 74.5% of participants are current small-business owners. Many participants are newer business owners, with 47.2% in business less than five years. 33% pursued networking opportunities with other small-business owners. 2015 Issue

Small business ownership represents a significant component of the Northwest’s economy, yet there are identified gaps in available training and access to resources. The vast majority of existing entrepreneurship and small business start-up … » More …

Impact Report: Broadband Deployment in the Columbia Gorge

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Broadband Deployment in the Columbia Gorge

By The Numbers

  • Received a $3.7 million in ARRA infrastructure funds, $1.2 million from the state of Oregon, and $154,600 in grants.
  • More than 100 miles of fiber-optic cable deployed through the Columbia River Gorge.
  • 140 local, regional, state, and federal KSLTPT stakeholders.
  • 426 community and 80 business broadband survey responses.
  • 16 community broadband forums with 208 attendees.
  • 13 community digital skills training sessions with 60 attendees.
  • 9 business broadband-related workshops with 55 attendees.
  • More than 80 publicly available WiFi hotspots.
  • 1 mobile training lab with 6 laptop computers.
  • 5 “Webworks: Anywhere!” forums held throughout the region with more than 60 attendees.

2016

Issue

Poverty levels in Skamania and Klickitat Counties remain relatively high, at 12.6% in Skamania County and 14.6% in Klickitat County. Additionally, in Skamania County 26.3% of residents make less than $25,000 per year and in Klickitat the percentage is 23%. Both counties have seen a significant trend away from resource extraction industries to service economies. This incorporates significant lower-wage job growth as well as some supplemented higher-income technology-sector jobs. The potential for growth in the high-tech industry that is heavily reliant on strong broadband connections, and the need for additional workforce training and educational access to support moving lower-wage workers to higher paying jobs, both indicate that investment in a robust broadband network is essential to meet key community needs.

While participating in a 2007 survey,  Klickitat and Skamania County residents identified increased broadband telecommunication (Internet) availability, affordability, and use as critical to address employment and education needs in the region. Local leaders and residents learned that bringing broadband and high-speed Internet to rural communities in the Columbia Gorge region of Washington and Oregon would cost millions. Private telecommunications providers said that there wasn’t a business case for bringing broadband to most of the smaller communities in the area.

Response

Glenwood (pop: 500), located in a scenic but remote area of Klickitat County, understood the challenge of securing high-speed Internet, but decided it was necessary. In November 2007, a telecommunications committee spearheaded by WSU Extension formed to assist Glenwood. Over the next few years, the committee expanded partnerships throughout Klickitat and Skamania Counties.

In 2010, SawNet, a local Internet Service Provider received $3.7 million in federal funds to construct a fiber-optic “middle-mile” network in the region, meaning essential infrastructure would be built. To capitalize on this and other telecommunications investments in the region, the committee expanded its efforts, forming the Kickitat-Skamania Local Technology Planning Team (KSLTPT). Led by the Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, WSU Extension, and Community Enrichment for Klickitat County, the KSLTPT secured approximately $170,000.

Between September 2012 and June 2014, KSLTPT led planning team and stakeholder meetings, completed surveys, mapped telecommunications services, developed a framework for addressing broadband gaps, established a mobile training lab, held workshops, created a WiFi hotspot inventory, and published news releases, reports, and a broadband resource website. » More …