Resource Library

COVID-19 Update: The John T. Gorman Foundation is curating a list of resources, emerging best practices, and innovative ideas from across the country to help local organizations serve vulnerable Mainers during the coronavirus outbreak. To access those resources, visit or enter Covid-19 in the keyword search. Those results can be further focused by using the “Filter by” menu above to filter by population type (Young Children, Older Youth, Families, and Seniors) or by clicking the following links: childcare, education, food security, housing, rural areas, and workforce.

The John T. Gorman Foundation strives to be data-driven and results based and seeks to promote information and ideas that advance greater understanding of issues related to our mission and priorities. In our effort to promote these values, we offer these research and best practice resources collected from reputable sources across the country. The library also includes briefs and reports the Foundation has commissioned or supported, a listing of which can be found here.


Maine Data Glimpse: Pandemic Unemployment

July 8, 2020 – Families

This report from the Carsey School of Public Policy provides updates on Maine’s unemployment situation through mid-June, drawing on new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on June 19, 2020, showing how Maine has compared to the rest of New England and the nation. #covid-19 #workforce

The Two-Generation Approach: Bridging Practice and Policy

July 2, 2020 – Families

The John T. Gorman Foundation released it latest policy brief – “The Two-Generation Approach: Recommendations for Bridging Practice and Policy in Maine” – which offers a set of recommendations and strategies to strengthen the way state policies and systems serve the needs of Maine families using a two-generation approach. Along with recommendations, the report also includes an overview of the two-generation model, summaries of the different ways it has been applied in Maine, recent policy developments, and personal testimonials from Maine parents on what two-generation programming has meant for their families. #JTGF-funded

Small business losses largest on record; African American-owned businesses especially hard hit

June 30, 2020 – Families

New research posted by the National Bureau of Economic Research documents small business losses between February and April. The paper finds that the number of small business owners dropped by 22 percent over the two-month period, far eclipsing the 5 percent drop during the Great Recession. Losses were especially high among small business owners who were African American (41 percent), Latinx (32 percent), and immigrant (36 percent). #covid-19 #racialequity

New England predicted to fare better economically than the U.S. overall in the second quarter of 2020

June 29, 2020 – Families

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released their labor market predictions for the second quarter of 2020 in New England. Their analysis uses pre-pandemic Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data to predict unemployment and layoffs. Although there is variation across New England states, the region is generally predicted to experience smaller adverse labor market effects than the U.S. overall. In a moderate-case scenario (that is, not best case but not worst case), the second quarter unemployment rate in New England is estimated at 18 percent versus the U.S. at 23 percent. In this same model, Maine is predicted to have the lowest unemployment rate among New England states at 16 percent. #covid-19 #workforce

COVID-19 cases increasing faster in rural America than the rest of the U.S.

June 26, 2020 – Families

The Daily Yonder continues tracking new COVID-19 cases across rural (nonmetropolitan) counties. In the week of June 17-24, rural counties had a record-breaking number of new cases at 23,366. The number of rural cases grew by 13 percent over the previous week, while the national growth rate for this period was just 9 percent. #covid-19 #rural

Huge increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in Latinx communities

June 26, 2020 – Families

Since the end of April, the number of new coronavirus cases in counties with high shares of Latinx residents have been increasing, with a particularly sharp spike in June. Despite proactive stay-at-home orders, in California, Latinx residents account for about 57 percent of new cases. Nationally, Latinx folks account for about 34 percent of cases, despite representing only 18 percent of the general U.S. population. #covid-19 #racialequity

To avoid a second wave of deaths, policy should focus on non-economic interventions rather than economic shutdown

June 25, 2020 – Families

Economic researchers at Brookings presented a paper that details policy recommendations for addressing a second wave of COVID-19 infections. The authors estimate the effects of economic shutdowns and non-economic interventions (e.g., limiting group gatherings, widespread mask use) on expected COVID-19 deaths. Results suggest that another full economic shutdown is not only costly for the economy in terms of rising unemployment, but also far less effective in mitigating deaths than non-economic interventions. The authors recommend “doubling down” on mitigation measures as an alternative to broad economic closures that could have long-term impacts. #covid-19 #workforce

Black essential workers need far more health and economic protections

June 24, 2020 – Families

Black workers are more likely to be frontline essential workers and more likely to be low-wage essential workers. For example, 35 percent of nursing assistants—an essential occupation with a mean hourly wage of just $14.22—are Black. Further, some of the most significant outbreaks have been in occupations with a high number of Black workers. The authors suggest that federal government has not sufficiently enforced safety standards and is not holding employers accountable. Beyond enforcing standards and ensuring adequate protective equipment, federal supports could include hazard pay for frontline workers, while large employers could extend temporary pay increases (some of which have expired already). #covid-19 #racialequity #workforce

Most stimulus payment recipients are spending their checks on household expenses

June 24, 2020 – Families

New survey research from the U.S. Census Bureau finds that 85.5 percent of adults in households that had received a federal stimulus payment reported that they had used or planned to use most of it on household expenses. Household expenses include food, rent, mortgage, utilities, household supplies, personal care products, and clothing. While 80 percent of adults reported using the stimulus payment on food, only 8.1 percent said they planned to spend it on household goods such as electronics, furniture, appliances, fitness equipment, or toys and games. The adults more likely to report that they would put their stimulus check towards paying off debt or to add to savings were those in households with incomes between $75,000 and $99,999. #covid-19

Strategies for supporting informal child care providers

June 24, 2020 – Young Children

Mathematica, in partnership with foundations in the Bay Area and in Detroit, has been shared some of their key findings from years of work on informal child care. As questions about school and child care re-openings and capacity remain, the authors expect reduced access to formal settings and increased reliance on informal caregivers. Supporting informal caregivers and enhancing the quality of this care will become increasingly important. Such supports include promoting subsidies for informal providers (available in some states), building informal caregiver networks and incorporating informal caregivers’ input into programming that is offered around child development and education. #covid-19 #education

Low-wage workers need additional protections, safety net

June 23, 2020 – Families

Brookings researchers describe how low-wage workers have already been disproportionately affected by pandemic-related job losses, largely due to their inability to telework and their concentration in industries that do not allow social distancing. As businesses reopen and enhanced unemployment safety nets expire, workers who had been laid off will have to choose between a paycheck—which might be smaller than usual, due to reduced hours and fewer tipping customers—and an ongoing risk of exposure. Authors suggest that in the absence of federal action, states will have to assume the responsibility of creating and enforcing safety standards and bolstering safety nets for high-risk workers. #covid-19 #workforce

New $40 million initiative will support diverse, rural communities

June 23, 2020 – Families

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Minority Health (OMH) has chosen Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine to lead a $40 million initiative to support places hit hard by the pandemic such as rural and diverse communities. The initiative, called the National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of COVID-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities (NIMIC), will be a three-year project. OMH and the Morehouse School of Medicine will collaborate with community-based organizations providing healthcare and social services responding to the pandemic. #covid-19 #racialequity #rural