United Way Partners with Organizations to Create Community Dashboard
The Capital Region Community Dashboard, a web-based resource providing information on health and human service issues in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, is now live for public use. The site, which is the only one of its kind in the region, includes the most up-to-date data on nearly 100 key indicators in the areas of health, education, income, basic needs and demographics.
The Capital Region Community Dashboard was created to help local residents, health and human service organizations, education institutions, places of worship and the business community better understand the issues impacting the region as well as track trends and progress. The project is a partnership between Dauphin County, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities, Harrisburg Housing Authority, Harrisburg Regional Chamber & CREDC, Partnership for Better Health, Penn State Harrisburg, Penn State Health, PinnacleHealth System and United Way of the Capital Region.
The creation of the dashboard began more than a year ago after a partnership of local organizations released “Life in the Capital Region: 2014 Assessment of Our Community.” The assessment examined many of the indicators represented in the dashboard as well as community perceptions about concerns facing the Capital Region. While the assessment was available in print and electronic format, it was not in a platform to provide real-time data. The dashboard meets this need to keep the community informed about local issues.
Examples of statistics tracked through the dashboard includes data on demographics which indicate the Capital Region continues to be an area of growth with a projected increase of residents by 11.5 percent, bringing the population in Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties to 627,469 by 2040. In the area of income, the information shows the median income of local households has increased since 2012, bringing incomes back to prerecession numbers.
Other indicators examine health issues including rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes; housing; employment; educational attainment; transportation; need for medical assistance; and use of free or reduced lunch programs in the Capital Region.