Recent Webinars

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See all of our recorded events on our YouTube channel.

Employment Support and Information Ecosystem for Individuals with Disabilities

A wide range of professionals and services are involved in caring for, advising, and training individuals with disabilities and preparing them for employment. This includes vocational rehabilitation (VR) services, job coaches, benefits counselors, and direct support professionals (DSPs), among others. Across these areas, professionals interacting with individuals with disabilities have different expertise and varying levels of access to information. This can often lead to confusion regarding benefits and the realities of employment for individuals with disabilities. It can also place strain on individuals providing these services, as they are often asked to provide information or services outside their stated area of expertise. This discussion will focus on the professionals involved in caring for, advising, and training individuals with disabilities, the information and training available to individuals involved in this process, and possibilities for improvement.

Between Stewardship and Laissez Faire: The Future of Immigrant Entrepreneurship

Immigrants are twice as likely as their native counterparts to become entrepreneurs, according to the Kauffman Foundation. Research on immigrant entrepreneurship reveals that foreign-born residents may have higher motivation for creating business ventures than their native-born counterparts. This may result from hindered access to salaried jobs in the mainstream economy. Still, it can also be a deliberate choice that capitalizes on the promise of higher potential earnings, time flexibility, and economic opportunity. Immigrant entrepreneurs face a multitude of barriers in their quest to create successful businesses because of poor access to local financial resources, knowledge of the labor market, laws, regulations, and institutions. Lack of English language skills and lack of access to social capital can also serve as a barrier to building effective ventures.

Learn more about the Institute on Immigrant Integration Research and Policy.

The Cost of Paperwork

The rules and eligibility requirements of benefits programs utilized by individuals with disabilities often impose a significant administrative burden on both individuals with disabilities and their employers. Applying for benefits can often require extensive documentation and communication with the agency administering the benefit. In the case of SSI or SSDI, an attorney may need to be involved to successfully gain access to benefits. To remain eligible, individuals with disabilities must ensure their income and resources stay below the limits for the programs in which they are enrolled. Additionally, in cases where individuals decide to work, they often must report their income on a regular basis. This also imposes burdens on employers, who must manage their employees with disabilities’ hours and compensation to ensure they do not lose their benefits.

Register for other forums within the series.

Navigating Benefits and Employment

The discussion will cover the federal programs specifically for individuals with disabilities, like SSI and SSDI, as well as other benefits that impact many individuals with disabilities, like SNAP, HEAP, or Section 8 housing. It will also define the rules and restrictions surrounding these programs and eligibility requirements. In addition to benefits, the forum will examine the need for financial planning and literacy for individuals with disabilities.

Register for other forums within the series.

2023 Policy Priorities for Gun Violence

Gun violence continues to rise across the US. To better understand what state-level policy options are available to meet this crisis, the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium (RGVRC) at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center (GVRC) at Rutgers University, and the University of Connecticut’s Center for Advancing Research, Methods, and Scholarship (ARMS) for Gun Injury Prevention co-hosted a webinar bringing together a panel of legislative leaders from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Panelists discussed current challenges of addressing firearm-involved violence and effective policy tools for meeting those challenges, and offer insights on issues such as compliance and enforcement efforts, community engagement initiatives, and potential legislative reforms.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Keeping Schools Safe from Firearm Violence

On Friday, September 16, members of the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium highlighted research from the “Keeping Schools Safe from Firearm Violence” series. The discussion presented school community stakeholders with important data, strategies, and policy recommendations for keeping students safe from firearm-involved violence.

Read the compendium that brings this research together.

Deploying Community Gun Violence Interventions

On July 20, 2022, the Rockefeller Institute of Government’s Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium convened a panel to discuss what we know about community gun violence, the steps communities across New York and the nation are taking to address it, and how policy can further disrupt the cycle of violence. The webinar was moderated by RGVRC Interim Executive Director Jaclyn Schildkraut.

Read the blog post that set the stage for this conversation.

Highways & Health: Reimagining Our Roadways

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, four panelists from across academia, policy, and practice came together to discuss the impacts of highways and highway construction projects on community health. The discussion placed a special focus on the process to reimagine a section of I-81 in Syracuse, New York. The conversation covered how highways have historically impacted the health of local residents and their environments, and how we can pave a new way forward.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Behind the Fiscal Curtain: Budget Making in the Great Recession

Following the resignation of then-Governor Eliot Spitzer, David Paterson stepped into the role of governor in March 2008 in the middle of New York State’s budget season and the emergence of the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. In this March 2nd installment of the Rockefeller Institute’s Behind the Fiscal Curtain series, President Bob Megna speaks with Governor Paterson to explore how he navigated the gubernatorial transition, what information influenced his approach to budget making in that turbulent year, and what policymakers can learn from that crisis as the state continues its ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Developing Evidence-Based Drug Policy Conference

On October 14, 2021, the Rockefeller Institute brought together researchers, practitioners, and policymakers for the “Developing Evidence-Based Drug Policy Conference” to discuss the changing drug policy landscape, share research findings, and facilitate long-term connections between the research and policy communities.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this conference.

Behind the Fiscal Curtain: Forgotten Lessons From 1970s NYC Fiscal Crisis

In the first panel in the Rockefeller Institute’s Behind the Fiscal Curtain series, panelists Dall Forsythe, Peter Goldmark, Carol Kellerman, Richard Ravitch, and Marc Shaw discuss how the 1970s fiscal crisis arose, how the state adapted fiscal policy to address the challenges, and the legacy of the policy decisions made during the crisis.

Over the past several decades, New York State leaders have confronted numerous fiscal crises, including the 1970s fiscal crisis in New York City, the 1989 recession, fallout from September 11th, the 2008 Great Recession, and Superstorm Sandy. Each of these events challenged State leaders as they developed policies to support New Yorkers in need and ensure the long-term fiscal health of the state. In its Behind the Fiscal Curtain series, the Rockefeller Institute will present a series of conversations with the leaders who were part of New York’s response to these significant fiscal challenges in New York’s modern history. The goal of these panels is to explore the past, present, and future of fiscal policy in New York. Panelists will examine the immediate response to the crisis, the longer-term impacts of the decisions made at the time, and the characteristics effective leaders demonstrate when managing a crisis. Finally, they will be asked, given their experience, what advice they may have for the state’s new governor in managing the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and associated economic fallout.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

New York’s FY 2022 Budget: A Blueprint for Rebuilding

New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica, Secretary to the State Senate Finance Committee David Friedfel, and Secretary to the State Assembly Ways and Means Committee Blake Washington join Rockefeller Institute President Robert Megna for a discussion of the New York State FY 2022 Budget and what it says about New York State’s policy priorities moving forward.

After a year of great uncertainty, New York State leaders came together to develop a 2021-2022 budget that would serve as a blueprint for the state’s COVID-19 recovery. The budget included initiatives to assist those disproportionately impacted by the economic fallout of COVID-19, increased state support to school districts, and provided supplemental funding for tuition assistance, mental hygiene, and public safety. These plans were offset with reductions in other spending, federal aid, and targeted tax increases. “New York’s FY 2022 Budget: A Blueprint for Rebuilding” features a discussion with the individuals who shaped this unique budget.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Environmental Justice: New Policy Directions

Environmental Justice was first enshrined in federal policy through President Clinton’s Executive Order 12898 in 1994, directing federal agencies to develop a strategy related to environmental justice and ensure agency actions didn’t have disproportionate adverse impacts on low-income communities and communities of color. Since then a number of new federal and state level policies and practices related to environmental justice have been put into place. However, there have been disparate outcomes for poor communities and communities of color with respect to the intersection of environmental and public heath burdens, particularly as they relate to climate change and COVID-19.

Given these contexts, this webinar explores more recent and emerging areas of focus for environmental justice policy and practice in New York State and at the federal level, including recently enacted legislation and current policy proposals.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

The Future of State Employee Health Insurance Programs

Through their state employee insurance programs—which cover millions of state employees and their families, retirees, and, in many cases, local jurisdictions—states represent significant purchasers of healthcare. States also purchase health insurance through Medicaid programs and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance marketplace. A recent report by the Rockefeller Institute found limited coordination between employee health programs and other large state purchasing programs. Such coordination, were it pursued, might help alleviate rising healthcare costs through economies of scale.

In this webinar, experts discuss the recent Rockefeller Institute report and current thinking on state employee health insurance programs.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Epidemic in a Pandemic: The Opioid Crisis During COVID-19

After more than a decade of increases, overdose deaths finally saw a decline in 2018 (the most recent year for which there is official data). Yet, this positive trend may have come to an abrupt end in early 2020 as the United States faced COVID-19. Anecdotal evidence from the frontlines of the pandemic suggest communities across the US may be experiencing a spike in overdose deaths as economic uncertainty continues and social distancing affects patients’ access to treatment and support services.

In this webinar, experts on substance-use disorder services provide insight on what is happening during the pandemic, the challenges people with substance-use disorders face, and what we can do to improve results.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Preparing the Workforce Development Infrastructure for Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the workforce nationwide. Hundreds of thousands of workers were suddenly unemployed or working remotely. Trends affecting the nature of work previously forecast to come to fruition years into the future—such as widespread remote work—have come to the forefront of policy discussions within a few months. The traditional pipeline from school and training into the workforce has also been disrupted. As educators, businesses, and policymakers begin planning for the recovery they must consider how work and employment in the state will change and how those workers displaced by the pandemic can be best prepared to take advantage of the recovery.

This webinar features public sector professionals from New York discussing their response to the emergency to better understand the management challenges and opportunities as the state and localities continue to recover from this unprecedented crisis and prepare for the future.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Public Sector Management Following the COVID-19 Pandemic

Since the COVID-19 public health emergency began five months ago, state and local governments across the United States have rapidly adopted new policies and adapted their operations to support a state and local workforce that is able to work remotely and deliver essential services to constituents virtually. This ongoing virtualization of both work and services has changed the landscape of the public sector. At a time when the demand for effective government has never been more apparent, it is critical for public sector managers to understand this dynamic landscape in order to reimagine it, ensuring stability and productivity within the workforce, as well as attracting and retaining the people who make government work. In New York, state and local agencies and authorities have developed new management approaches, leveraged telecommuting options, deployed public health and safety precautions for in-person work, and identified key opportunities to improve resiliency and ensure continuity of their operations during the “new normal.”

This webinar features public sector professionals from New York discussing their response to the emergency to better understand the management challenges and opportunities as the state and localities continue to recover from this unprecedented crisis and prepare for the future.

Read our blog post offering takeaways from this webinar.

Reimagining Healthcare Systems after COVID-19

Read our blog post summarizing this webinar which examines the healthcare system’s response to COVID-19 and how we might reimagine healthcare moving forward. Topics covered include:

  • 21st Century Trends in Healthcare: Pre-COVID-19. How have market forces and state and federal healthcare policy over the 21st century reshaped the healthcare system to its current form?
  • Assessing the Healthcare System’s Response to COVID-19. How have these changes impacted the ability of the healthcare system to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis?
  • Reimagining the Healthcare System Post-COVID-19. What will the healthcare system look like post-COVID-19? What are the policy priorities moving forward?