Speaker Biographies

David L. Passmore
Professor of Education in Workforce Education and Development, Penn State University

Rose M. Baker
Research Associate in the Office of Associate Dean for Research, Penn State University

David L. Passmore is Professor of Education in the Workforce Education and Development academic program at Penn State. Passmore earned academic degrees from State University College of New York at Buffalo, Bowling Green State University, and University of Minnesota. He has held appointments at the Harvard School of Public Health and National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Passmore has advised a variety of corporate and government clients, including PECO Energy, CIGNA HealthCare, American Council on Education, and the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General.

Rose M. Baker is Research Associate in the Office of Associate Dean for Research, Outreach, and Technology and Assistant Professor of Education in the Workforce Education and Development program in Penn State’s College of Education. Baker is a certified Project Management Professional through the Project Management Institute. Her current research includes management techniques and statistical applications for operations improvement, economic and workforce analysis. She is currently serving as Co–Chair Elect of the Penn State Commission for Women. Baker earned her PhD degree in Instructional Systems, with an emphasis in Training, Technology, and Systems Design and Development from Penn State.

Together, Rose and David have completed approximately 125 economic impact studies that have covered every major industry and almost every county in Pennsylvania.  They both serve in the role of Associate of the Institute for Energy and the Environment at Duquesne University.

Kristofer "Bret" Bucklen, Chief of Research, Evaluation, and Projections
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections

Kristofer “Bret” Bucklen is the Chief of Research, Evaluation, and Projections for the Bureau of Planning, Research, and Statistics in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. In this position, Mr. Bucklen oversees all aspects of research, program evaluation, and related activities undertaken within the department.

Prior to his current position, he was employed in the Pennsylvania Management Associate (PMA) Program under the Governor’s Office of Administration, where he worked for the PA Board of Probation and Parole, The PA Department of Corrections, the PA State Police, The PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Justice Network (JNET) Project.

Mr. Bucklen received his M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz School of Public Policy. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Maryland.

Sue Copella, Director
Pennsylvania State Data Center

Sue Copella is the Director of the Pennsylvania State Date Center, Institute of State and Regional Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. Sue is the state liaison for the National State Data Center Program, Federal State Cooperative for Population Estimates and Federal State Cooperative for Population Projections. As such, Sue works closely with the Census Bureau in analyzing Pennsylvania data. She also provides comments on population estimates during the review periods.

Sue has extensive experience in serving as project director for various demographic studies. She manages demographic studies from conception, execution and completion. This includes coordinating a variety of activities including computer programming, data base management and collection, graphics and mapping; statistical analysis and report writing.

Prior to coming to the Pennsylvania State Data Center, Sue worked for both a regional and county planning agency and an economic development board. Sue is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Urban Studies and Geography.

Andrew W. Hait, Data Product and Data User Liaison
U.S. Census Bureau

Andrew W. Hait is a Survey Statistician/Economist in the Economic Planning and Coordination Division at the U.S. Census Bureau.  With 25 years of service at the Bureau, Andy oversees and coordinates the data products and data user training for the Economic Census and survey programs. He also is the lead geographic specialist in the Economic Programs directorate. Andy holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from Syracuse University and has a Masters Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University.

Matthew Knittel, Director

Independent Fiscal Office

Matthew Knittel serves as Director of the Independent Fiscal Office and was formerly employed as a financial economist by the U.S. Department of Treasury and Michigan Department of Treasury.  Mr. Knittel holds a doctorate Economics from Michigan State University.  He has taught graduate courses at George Washington and Johns Hopkins Universities and published several articles in the National Tax Journal and the U.S. Department of Treasury's working paper series.

John R. Maurer, State Capital Office Coordinator
Pennsylvania State Data Center

John R. Maurer joined the PaSDC’s Data Services Department in September of 2010.  As the State Capital Office Coordinator, he serves as the PaSDC’s liaison to various data users, including the Pennsylvania General Assembly, executive branch agencies, and the media.  His responsibilities include answering data requests, preparing PaSDC publications, and providing instruction on Census data products.

John received his B.A. in Sociology from Shippensburg University in 2006.  Prior to coming to PaSDC, John spent four years working for the Pennsylvania State House Speaker, where he was responsible for managing constituent casework, tracking legislation, and representing the office at community and legislative events.

Noemi Mendez, Geographer
U.S. Census Bureau

Noemi Mendez is a Geographer at the United States Bureau of the Census Philadelphia Regional Office. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Regional Office in 2005, Noemi worked at Census Headquarters in Suitland, Maryland in the Geographic Standards and Criteria Branch (GSCB).  She is a subject matter expert in areas such as tabulation and collection geographies. She has also managed and coordinated Geographic Partnership Programs such as Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP), Tribal Statistical Area Program (TSAP) and Local Updates of Census Addresses (LUCA) for the Philadelphia Regional area.

In addition to holding these positions in the federal government, Noemi has worked at the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice and as a GIS/Logistics consultant in the private sector. She has a B.A. in Geography and International Relations from Syracuse University.   Noemi is also a member of Gamma Theta Upsilon International Geographic Honor Society and the Society of Women Geographers

Mark Price, Labor Economist
Keystone Research Center

Mark Price has been a KRC labor economist since 2004. He received a PhD in economics from the University of Utah. His dissertation, State Prevailing Wage Laws and Construction Labor Markets, was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the 2006 Thomas A. Kochan and Stephen R. Sleigh Best Dissertation Awards Competition sponsored by the Labor and Employment Relations Association.  His areas of research include income inequality, trends in employment and compensation, the construction industry, and low-wage labor markets. 

Mark’s work for KRC has included reports profiling the state of women in the Pennsylvania workforce, and a nationally recognized report tracking the educational qualifications of the early childhood workforce in the United States.  He has also taught as an adjunct instructor at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA and also teaches a course in labor market analysis for the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Penn State University.

Dennis Puko, Planning Program Manager
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Denny Puko is the planning program manager for the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services, PA Department of Community and Economic Development. Since 2004 he’s been involved in planning help to local governments, planning training courses, state planning policy development, and a DCED planning funding program. He prior worked 27 years in county planning, most recently as director of the Mercer County Regional Planning Commission, a unique joint municipal-county planning commission recognized under Puko for its cooperative planning approach.

He taught a planning course at Thiel College (1999-2006) and was a 2004 recipient of a Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence. Denny has a B.S. in Urban/Regional Planning from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Ratcliffe Assistant Division Chief for Geocartographic Products
and Criteria, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Michael Ratcliffe is Assistant Division Chief for Geocartographic Products and Criteria, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau. He is responsible for programs related to the development of geographic area concepts and criteria, cartographic products, TIGER/Line shapefiles, and other geographic information products. In his tenure at the Census Bureau he has worked in both the Geography and Population Divisions, with a primary focus on geographic area concepts and criteria. Mr. Ratcliffe holds degrees in geography from the University of Maryland and the University of Oxford.

Paul Reyes, Survey Statistician
U.S. Census Bureau

Paul Reyes began his career as an elementary school teacher in Texas that led him to the U.S. Census Bureau developing education materials for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Census In Schools program that promoted the 2010 Census and Census Bureau products.   His professional journey at the U.S. Census Bureau has brought Paul in the Governments Division where works in the Outreach and Education Branch raising awareness about the statistics available about state and local governments.    

Brigitte Wehrs, Chief Outreach and Education Branch,
Governments Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Brigitte Wehrs is the Chief of the Outreach and Education Branch in the Governments Division of the U.S. Census Bureau in Washington, DC. The branch is tasked with expanding user knowledge and increasing awareness of governments’ statistics and products, such as the 2012 Census of Governments and annual and quarterly surveys on taxes, pensions, and state and local government finance. Prior to working in the Governments Division, Brigitte spent several years in the Foreign Trade Division at the Census Bureau working in various branches, including Regulations, Outreach and Education.


Dissecting Economic Impact
David L. Passmore & Rose M. Baker
Penn State

Making and buying goods and services create jobs, produces income, and generates tax revenue in an economy. In this presentation, we dissect a technique called input–output analysis that often is described as the gold standard for weighing the job/income/tax impacts of economic activity. We, first, describe input-output analysis plainly. Then, we examine the ways that this technique has been applied in several assessments of the potential benefits of Marcellus Shale development and production. Our aim is to improve critical evaluation of the use of economic impact assessments in public policy analysis, especially in evaluation of Marcellus Shale impacts. 

Justice Reinvestment: Data Driven Criminal Justice Policy
Kristofer "Bret" Bucklen, Director
Bureau of Planning, Research & Statistics, PA Department of Corrections

In early 2012, Governor Corbett commissioned the inter-agency Justice Reinvestment workgroup to explore data driven ways to increase public safety and reduce prison population in Pennsylvania. Led by the Council of State Governments (CSG), this group took an extensive look at the data across PA’s criminal justice system, and made several recommendations for improvement. As a result, these recommendations were recently passed into law in Senate Bill 100 (with some additional recommendations currently pending in House Bill 135). This presentation will provide an overview of the Justice Reinvestment work in PA, and describe how data and research are transforming the PA criminal justice system, enhancing public safety, and saving taxpayer dollars.

Census of Governments

Brigitte Wehrs, Chief, Outreach and Education Branch,
Governments Division, U.S. Census Bureau
Paul Reyes, Survey Statistician,
U.S. Census Bureau

The Census of Governments is a complete census of all state and local governments conducted in three components: Organization (characteristics and number of governments), Employment (number of employees and payroll), and Finance (revenues, expenditures, debt and assets). Users of the Census of Governments’ data include the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Federal Reserve Board as well as researchers and government agencies.

Attendees will be introduced to the organization, employment, and finance statistics of state and local governments provided by the U.S. Census Bureau’s Governments Division.   The session will provide overview on accessing the information available on the Census Bureau’s website.

Update on the American Community Survey and Geography Products
Noemi Mendez, Geographer, U.S. Census Bureau

The American Community Survey (ACS) is an ongoing survey that provides data every year -- giving communities the current information they need to plan investments and services. This session will highlight upcoming data products from the ACS and provide attendees with the latest information regarding the survey. Also, included in the session will be a discussion of the Census Bureau’s Geographic Support System Initiative (GSSS-I), an integrated program to improve address coverage, provide spatial feature and enhance quality assessment and measurement.

Census Geographic Areas Post-2010 Census
Michael Ratcliffe, Assistant Division Chief for Geocartographic
Products and Criteria, Geography Division, U.S. Census Bureau

While the bulk of census geographic area changes and updates occur prior to each decennial census, some geographic areas (urban areas, PUMAs, ZCTAs, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas) are updated based on decennial census and other data. Additional updates occur for some geographic areas through the decade to support ongoing surveys and the economic census. This session will focus on post-2010 updates to geographic areas, specific to Pennsylvania as well as for the nation as a whole, and will provide a general overview of the kinds of updates data users can anticipate over the course of the decade.

Data for Community Comprehensive Plans
Dennis Puko, Planning Program Manager
Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development

In preparing a comprehensive plan, communities need good intelligence on demographics, the economy, housing, and the quality of the environment. This session will discuss socio-economic data typically researched for comprehensive plans. It will discuss particular data that serve well as indicators of community performance and quality of life. It will also focus on how to present data so a plan is practical and leads to results. Tips will provided on addressing data needs in RFPs for planning consultants.

Using Demographic Data to Inform Long-Term Budget Projections
Matthew Knittel, Director
Independent Fiscal Office

As part of its statutory duties, the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) publishes both short and long-term projections.  Short-term projections are published each June with the IFO's Revenue Estimate.  The Revenue Estimate includes projections of tax revenues for the upcoming fiscal year.  Long-term projections are published each November with the IFO's Five-Year Outlook Report.  That report includes projections of economic, revenue and expenditure trends for the next five fiscal years.  To inform these long-term projections, the IFO makes extensive use of demographic data.  Because the report assumes that tax and budget policies remain unchanged, demographic trends become an important determinant in the projected path of the economy and the budget.  This session describes how the IFO uses demographic data to inform the long-term projection of various economic variables, as well as revenues and expenditures.

The State of Working Pennsylvania
Mark Price, Labor Economist
Keystone Research Center

The State of Working Pennsylvania is the Keystone Research Center’s annual evaluation of trends in employment and opportunity in the Pennsylvania economy.

American FactFinder Enhancements and Training
John R. Maurer, State Capital Office Coordinator
Pennsylvania State Data Center

American FactFinder, the U.S. Census Bureau's online data dissemination tool, has undergone several significant changes over the past year.  This session provides a review of some of the latest changes to FactFinder and offers some insight to functionality upgrades yet to hit the system. Also included in the session is a step-by-step walk through of various data request received recently by the Pennsylvania State Data Center.

Economic Programs Overview
Andrew Hait, Data Product and Data User Liaison
U.S. Census Bureau

This session will provide a high-level overview of the various economic programs at the U.S. Census Bureau, from the 5-year Economic Census to a variety of annual, quarterly, and monthly programs.  This overview will include information on how businesses can use these data, following a targeted scenario for Dauphin County, Pennsylvania.  The session will also include an update on the upcoming 2012 Economic Census, highlighting resources that data center and other staff  can use to learn about and help promote response to the Economic Census.

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