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Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

-Online Resource Offers Tips for Earth Day Festivities

-America Celebrates National Parks Next Week

-Mapping Tool Provides Instant Access to Demographics

-Spring is Also Season for Cleaning Up Finances


Useful Tool Provides Variety of Local & State Data

Hoosiers by the NumbersThe Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Hoosiers by the Numbers website has a new look! Visit the website HoosierData.IN.gov for easy links to the latest news on jobs & employment, education, businesses & industry, and income in Indiana.  View data organized by Indiana region or alphabetically by topic. Additional resources include links to helpful maps, a cost of living calculator, and the ability to access publications by geographic area. Check out the new Indiana Workforce Intelligence System (IWIS), driven by a consortium of four Indiana members and supported by the Lumina Foundation and the Lilly Endowment. The IWIS serves as a data powerhouse to help analyze and understand education outcomes for Hoosier workers. Take a look also at Career Path Discovery, a service created to assist workers and job seekers in making decisions about careers and planning for a career change.

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Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth Hedges
Federal Documents Librarian
&

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Online Resources Offer Tips for Earth Day Festivities

EPA: Earth DayApril 22nd is Earth Day! Founded in 1970 in San Francisco, Earth Day is about appreciating nature and learning ways to protect our environment. The Environmental Protection Agency has many resources for celebrating. First, you can volunteer. Click on Events and Activities Around the Country to find out what’s going on in the Midwest – also known as Region 5. Here you can find activities happening this weekend in Indiana and surrounding states. Creative minds may be interested in Six Words for the Planet. This project asks participants to create six-word essays about the Earth and our environment. You can also use Flickr to join the Environment in a Day photo project - see more details here. Those with ideas on how to help the environment, or those who are looking for tips will want to join EPA Conversations, a forum for discussing environmental issues. You can also sign up to get a green tip sent to your email every day for the rest of the month of April.

The EPA isn’t the only agency celebrating Earth Day. NASA also has resources. You can check out the What on Earth blog, the Earth Observatory Image of the Day, or the NASA Climate Change site. Finally, be sure to check out the Library of Congress List of Selected Resources on Earth Day. You can find lesson plans on ecosystems, sustainability, and even read the Today in History for April 22nd.

America Celebrates National Parks Next Week  

National Parks WeekLooking for something to do next week? Why not visit a national park? April 21-29 is National Park Week, and to celebrate, the National Park Service is offering free admission all week long. As you may know, there are three national parks in Indiana: George Rogers Clark, Indiana Dunes, and Lincoln Boyhood. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to Indiana – there are 397 national parks around the country. If you plan on getting away next week, be sure to use the NPS page on trip planning – they’ll give you information about each park, what you can do there, how you can volunteer, and where to stay. You can also use the Event Planner to find out what big events are going on in parks around the country. April 21st is Volunteer Day everywhere and April 28th is National Junior Ranger Day, but there’s lots to do in the days between!

Mapping Tool Provides Instant Access to Demographics

OnTheMap: US Census BureauThe Census Bureau’s Local Employment Dynamics partnership program with the States provides an online geographic tool called OnTheMap which features free, public data on employment at the census block level. It also provides data on age, earnings, industry distributions, race, ethnicity, educational attainment, and sex. Its latest update, version 6, is faster. It includes 2010 Census information and new layers have been added. It also includes some historical data going back to 2003. It now allows users to import/export KML files (like those used by Google Earth), shape files, and GPS files. You can take a 10 minute online tour of OnTheMap here. In June 2012, be on the lookout for the release of an OnTheMap Mobile app and the new version of OnTheMap for Emergency Management.

Spring is Also Season for Cleaning Up Finances 

MyMoney.govSpring cleaning isn’t just for your house. You can also spend some time spring cleaning your finances. April is Financial Literacy Month, a great chance for you to evaluate your current financial situation and set some new financial goals.

Maybe you want to finally pay off your credit card debt, or start saving for your child’s college fund. With these tips from USA.gov, you’ll be able to take an honest look at where you stand now, determine where you want to go and develop a smart financial plan to get there.

  • MyMoney.gov is your one stop shop to find answers to your most common financial questions. You’ll find tips and financial advice centered on important life events, like the birth of a child, buying a home and retiring from your job. You can also find worksheets to help you set up a budget and calculators to determine how much you need to save for retirement and more.

  • Keeping track of all your financial accounts can be challenging. But you can streamline the process by taking advantage of tools like online banking and automatic bill paying to cut down on some of financial paperwork in your life. You can also learn how to use your bank’s mobile apps safely and effectively to manage your money while keeping your personal information safe.

  • No matter the state of the current economic climate, it’s always a good idea to try to save some money for emergencies or other unexpected expenses that might pop up. In Managing Your Money in Good Times and Bad, you’ll get tips on spending less, saving more and learn how to borrow money in a smart way so that you don’t get hit with overbearing interest rates.

Find more answers to your money questions and get tips on managing your money, avoiding debt and improving your credit in the 2012 Consumer Action Handbook. Read it online or order your free copy.

These tips are brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the USA.gov blog.

 

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