Assumption Senior Aids Research Bureau in Analyzing Worcester Demographic Trends

Assumption College student Joshua Boucher, a senior political science and Italian Studies double-major, has played a key role in compiling data for a new series of reports by the Worcester Regional Research Bureau that were requested by Worcester city officials.

The first report, “Worcester’s Demographic Trends: 2010 Census,” was released in February. It analyzes the city’s growth, diversity, population by age and education, employment trends, as well as its labor force and household characteristics. In researching the report, Boucher used the 2010 Census and other sources to locate data and compile it into tables and graphs. His work was edited by Assumption College Political Science Professor Mary Beth Burke.

“The opportunity I've had to explore the practical side of politics and government while interning with The Research Bureau has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my academic career,” said Boucher, an Oxford High School graduate who plans to pursue his Ph.D. in political science. “I’ve had the chance to be a part of a study that may influence local policy making and to witness how that can impact people’s lives.”

Worcester Chief Development Officer Timothy McGourthy requested the series of reports to provide more data-driven information on the city's website and elsewhere for people interested in Worcester for business or other ventures.

“An analysis of the 2010 Census prepared by The Research Bureau shows that Worcester continues to be a dynamic city, one that grew in size, youth, and diversity between 2000 and 2010. The report, ‘Worcester’s Demographic Trends: 2010 Census,’ provides the kind of fundamental, unvarnished and unbiased data that can help inform and shape public-policy discussions,” stated an editorial in the Feb. 21, 2013, edition of the (Worcester) Telegram & Gazette. “To our eye, the report both reaffirms the historical trends that have long characterized Worcester as a gateway city of immigrants in a nation of immigrants, while highlighting some challenges that must be met.

“By helping to clarify who constitutes Worcester and what they need,” the editorial continued, “The Research Bureau has with this report once more pointed the way to a bright future for the city.”

The Research Bureau relocated to the Assumption College campus in fall 2011. Since then, the two organizations have collaborated on projects to advance the missions of both as well as the well-being of the Greater Worcester community. Besides establishing The Research Bureau’s internship program and developing a research agenda related to Central Massachusetts public policy issues, The Research Bureau and the College have jointly sponsored lectures and forums and applied for foundation grants.

“We established our internship program last spring and welcomed Josh as our intern last fall. He has been an important member of our staff and significantly contributed to this critically important series of reports on the city of Worcester,” said Bureau President Roberta R. Schaefer, Ph.D. “Through Joshua’s internship and our collaboration with Assumption College faculty, we have been able to broaden the scope of our public policy research and enhance our expertise. And, in the meantime, Assumption students like Josh have the opportunity to learn more about public policy issues and government.”

Boucher, whose family moved to Worcester four years ago, added: “Interning for The Research Bureau has given me the necessary background to be a more experienced and effective scholar. The agreement between the Research Bureau and Assumption College has been a fortuitous one for me. I know it will be for future students as well.”

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Lorraine U. Martinelle
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