5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - August 24

 by Tom MarinoAugust 24, 2022
Last Updated August 24, 2022 6:05 AM

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.

In today’s edition - Wednesday, August 24 - the Worcester County Jail's Organic Farm produces 500 pounds of fresh produce every day, Worcester Public Schools introduces a new student information system, Cornerstone Bank names one of the most charitable companies sin Massachusetts, a Samuel Slater Experience public art project, and a study ranks Massachusetts the ninth best state for women's equality.

Worcester County Jail's Garden Produces 500 Pounds of Fresh Produce Every Day

For over a decade, inmates have been growing fresh produce in the Organic Farm at the Worcester County Jail.

Harvests have not only benefitted dozens of Worcester County food banks, senior centers, soup kitchens, veteran’s groups, and charitable organizations, but also inmates at the jail.

The 14-plus acre operation produces roughly 500 pounds of fresh produce every day. By the end of the growing season, harvests total approximately 40,000 pounds. From zucchinis to apples, a wide array of crops are grown at the West Boylston facility.

Over 12,000 pounds of fresh produce have already been dispersed to local organizations this year.

Worcester Public Schools Announces new Student Information System

Worcester Public Schools has announced a new student information system where students and families are able to view
students’ schedule, bus information, attendance, and request to add or update emergency contacts.

Cornerstone Bank Named One of Most Charitable Companies in Mass.

Cornerstone Bank, a community bank with 10 locations throughout Central Massachusetts, has been named as an honoree in the Boston Business Journal’s 2022 Corporate Citizenship Awards, a recognition of the region's top corporate charitable contributors. The Business Journal annually publishes this list to showcase companies that promote and prioritize giving back to their communities.

This year, only 95 companies qualified for the distinction by reporting at least $100,000 in contributions to Massachusetts-based charities last year. The honorees include companies from such industry sectors as financial and professional services, health care, technology, retail and professional sports.

Slater's Sheep Appear in Webster

Life-sized painted sheep now appear outside local civic and commercial buildings as part of Slater’s Sheep, a community art project launched last year to support Samuel Slater Experience, a new interactive museum that opened to the public in March.

The museum employs state-of-the-art 4-D digital technology to tell the story of Samuel Slater, the beginnings of the American Industrial Revolution, and the founding of Webster, Massachusetts in the early 19th century.

Samuel Slater Experience, a non-profit corporation, invited local businesses and organizations to become sponsors in the mission to educate youth with a historically accurate recreation of the Webster area’s contribution to the American Industrial Revolution. Sponsors have purchased 25 of the Slater’s Sheep and each will become an original work of art, painted by a local artist.

The sponsors determine where their sheep will be displayed. In front of the Webster Town Hall is Jeffco Fibres’ painted sheep, depicting shepherds by day and by night. Nearby is Rampco Construction’s sheep, which features heavy equipment at work and leisure life at Treasure Island.

August 24, 2022
Rampco Construction’s sheep, which features heavy equipment at work and leisure life at Treasure Island/Courtesy: Samuel Slater Experience

Massachusetts the 9th Best State for Women's Equality

A new study found Massachusetts the ninth best state for women's equality.

The study compared all 50 states across 17 key metrics using data sets from the gap between female and male executives to the disparity in unemployment rates for women and men.

The key metrics that contributed to Massachusetts' rank:

  • 1st – Educational Attainment Gap (among Advanced Degree Holders)
  • 1st – Unemployment Rate Gap
  • 9th – Political Representation Gap
  • 12th – Minimum-Wage Workers Gap
  • 20th – Earnings Gap

The top 5 states in the study are:

  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • California
  • New York
  • Vermont

The worst five states are:

  • South Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Idaho
  • Georgia
  • Utah

To see the full study and its methodology, visit Wallethub.com.


Lead image: A medley of fresh organic produce grown at the Worcester County Jail, ready for distribution to those in need throughout Worcester County/Courtesy: Worcester County Sheriff's Office

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