C2ER 59th Annual Conference

St. Louis, MO
Annual Conference

Event presentations are available to Members.





The C2ER Annual Conference is held in conjunction with the LMI Annual Forum, creating the premier national event for economic development researchers and labor market information analysts.

Our theme this year is how we can help our communities “Meeting in the Middle”. The conference sessions will explore how and where economic and workforce development research intersect. Conference themes include:

  • Old Economy Meets the New Economy
    Many communities, especially in the Midwest and in rural areas, have slower economic growth grounded in traditional industries. By contrast, many high-tech, fast-growing metros are no longer affordable places to live and work. It takes a balancing act! How are cities reinventing themselves or working to sustain growth? What rural development strategies show promise? How does smart infrastructure fit into this?
  • Talent Supply Meets Employer Demand
    Companies face a shortage of workers, especially those with middle-to-higher skills. What does the supply/demand analysis show? Can talent attraction/retention strategies pay off? How can education, workforce, and economic planners better align supply efforts that include adults currently on the labor market sidelines?
  • Storytelling Meets Data
    With big data, changing data sources, and data visualization evolving at a rapid pace, it is hard to keep up. Data tools help but rarely tell the compelling story by themselves. The middle ground is needed: excellent data and tools combined with storytelling skills. What are some best practices for turning numbers into knowledge?
  • Research Partnerships, a Beautiful Friendship
    Partnerships between organizations can lead to great things – LMI and Chambers, Education and Workforce, Businesses and Government. What are successful partnerships accomplishing and how are they structured so everyone wins? How are you sharing data and analysis?

Conference highlights include industry-leading keynotes, training classes and breakout sessions, the annual State Economic Researchers’ Roundtable, presentation of the annual Community & Economic Research Awards and Charles Benefield Award, and opportunities to build important networks within the research community.  Sponsors and exhibitors will showcase their latest products and services in the exhibit hall.

The C2ER and LMI networks consist of research professionals in the U.S. and Canada representing all aspects of community and economic development along with labor market data. They include research professionals from:

  • Chambers of commerce
  • Economic development organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Community colleges
  • Universities
  • Utility companies
  • Workforce development boards
  • Community development organizations
  • Consultants and data providers
  • Labor market information agencies