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The Council for Community and Economic Research

C2ER Projects

UPDATING THE POPULATION PROJECTIONS METHOD FOR ARIZONA
Arizona Department of Commerce
2010-2012
C2ER/CREC, working in collaboration with Jeff Tayman, at the University of California, San Diego, will update the population projections methodology for the Arizona Department of Commerce. Based on the population projection model created in the previous project, the consulting team will incorporate new data and upgrades to the research methodology in this project. Specifically, the consulting team will assist DOC staff producing population projections for state and county based on 2010 Census data.

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ARIZONA LABOR MARKET INFORMATION IMPROVEMENT—GREEN JOBS
Arizona Department of Commerce
2010-11
CREC/C2ER, working in collaboration with a team of subcontractors and consultants, is coordinating a series of research studies, data collection efforts, and data dissemination initiatives designed to improve the state's understanding of its "green economy." This 18-month project through will provide the state's policy makers with a more thorough understanding of the industries and occupations that likely serve as the foundation for emerging green jobs. The consulting team recently accomplished a survey of Arizona's green-related industries, a major sub task of the project. The consulting team surveyed 10,000 companies and achieved a response rate of more than 50%.

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STATE ENERGY SECTOR PARTNERSHIP & TRAINING GRANT (SESP)
Arizona Department of Labor
CREC/C2ER will assist Arizona's State Energy Sector Partnership (SESP) Business Committee, Departments of Economic Security and Commerce in working with the business community to help define the business needs in the two targeted industry sectors (energy efficiency and renewable energy generation). C2ER will gather key data used in recruiting companies to participate in the SESP grant as well as provide support in engaging key private and public partners needed to respond to company needs.

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PROJECTIONS MANAGEMENT PARTNERSHIP LMI IMPROVEMENT GRANT
Projections Management Partnership
2010-11
CREC/LMI is assisting in a project designed to re-tool the Projection Management Partnership's (PMP) capacity to provide state and local employment projections. CREC is assisting the project by providing external content review of new projection's software help manual and reviewing the preparation of a handbook that provides analysts with guidance to use the software. Additionally, CREC is assisting in redesigning analyst training for the PMP by managing the effort to provide e-learning tools in support of the PMP's projections activities. This 18-month project is providing the PMP with a foundation to ensure the redesign of the employment projections process is done in a way that ensures it's accessible and used by participating states and territories.

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NORTH CAROLINA STATE WORKFORCE REPORT
North Carolina's Commission on Workforce Development
2011
CREC, partnered with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, is conducting a workforce study for North Carolina's Commission on Workforce Development to assess the effects of recent economic impacts on the state's workforce. This study will examine the impact of the economic downturn on the key occupations and identify the industries and occupations that are likely to rebound most quickly as the recession's grip loses its hold. In addition, the study will assess the education/training needs to aid workers to prepare for changing jobs. CREC is currently preparing for conducting focus groups of key stakeholders to validate the quantitative analysis conducted in the earlier stage of the project.

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DESIGNING AND IMPLEMENTING A WORKFORCE STRATEGY
Future Forward Workforce Alliance of western North Carolina
2010
CREC is assisting the Future Forward Workforce Alliance utilize available US DOL's Regional Innovation Grant program funding to conduct strategic and implementation planning activities in support of a regional workforce strategy for the foothills and high country region of western North Carolina. The goal of this workforce plan is to transform the way the region's economic and workforce development systems interact and help these organizations become more proactive in helping companies transition to new economic opportunities and the region's workforce partners become more focused in helping individuals identify alternative career opportunities. CREC is currently identifying occupational trends and education/training requirements for region's growing occupations.

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SUPPORTING GEORGIA'S WORK READY REGIONS
Georgia Governor's Office of Workforce Development
Since 2008, CREC has been working with the Georgia Governor's Office of Workforce Development (GOWD) to support its Georgia Work Ready Initiative. As a result, CREC has provided labor force data and strategic planning for each of the Work Ready region. CREC compiles and analyzes data related to a specific region's workforce, target industries, and key occupations. From this analysis, they then assist the region to develop a strategic plan for how to pursue their workforce goals. The purpose of the project is to help each of the regions make strategic workforce development and education investments that align with the economic needs of their target industries.

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LABOR MARKET SUPPLY AND DEMAND ANALYSIS FOR THREE STATES
Workforce Strategy Center, Inc.
2010
CREC is helping Workforce Strategy Center (WSC) analyzing secondary labor market information as a foundation for an issues and opportunities memo for three states — Michigan, Mississippi, and New Mexico. This analysis will examine the overall supply and demand for qualified workers in each state. Based on the supply and demand analysis, CREC consultants will examine an initial gap analysis of the supply and demand to help inform policy discussions. Furthermore, the consulting team will begin identifying growth industries and occupations that might be targeted for economic and workforce development efforts in those three states.

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THE NASHVILLE AREA LABOR MARKET OPPORTUNITIES STUDY
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
2010
In September, CREC delivered the 2010 Nashville area workforce study report, "Leveraging the Labor Force for Economic Growth", to the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. Building on the 2007 report, this study provided area leaders with the future outlook for those industries and occupations that have been mostly greatly affected by the recession. Furthermore, this updated study provided insights into growth areas identified in emerging academic disciplines and occupational opportunities. Additionally, with recent declines in immigration nationally and in-migration regionally, the analysis also provided insights as to how changing workforce supply will affect worker availability for mission critical occupations.

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ARLINGTON VA C2ER TRAINING
Council for Community and Economic Research(C2ER)
C2ER/CREC provided a customized training session for economic development researchers on data analysis tools and techniques. The one-week training, "Data-Driven Economic Development Techniques Training", was delivered at C2ER office in Arlington, Virginia.

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OREGON LMI TRAINING
LMI Training Institute
CREC/LMI Training Institute provided a customized training session for LMI staff on workforce analysis tools in October. The three day training, "Applied Labor Market Information Analyst Training" was delivered to LMI staff from 10 states in Portland, Oregon.

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IOWA GREEN JOB TRAINING
Iowa Workforce Development
In collaboration with Iowa Workforce Development, CREC/LMI Training Institute provided a customized training session for LMI staff on issues related to green jobs. The two day training, "Getting a Grip on Green" was delivered to Iowa staff in August, and then subsequently made available to other state agencies.

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Identifying Workforce and Economic Development Opportunities in the Upper Rio Grande Region
Upper Rio Grande Workforce Development Board, El Paso, TX
2008-09
C2ER/CREC, in collaboration with Workforce Strategy Center, is conducting a workforce needs assessment as the foundation for a regional workforce strategy for the Upper Rio Grande Region. The assessment is focusing on the workforce needs for key industries growing in the region, including the significant opportunities being created as a result of the planned expansion at Fort Bliss, the development of a new medical school, the transformation of international trucking and related distribution activities at the border crossing, the growth of homeland security along the US-Mexico border, as well as a variety of entrepreneurial opportunities in the surrounding rural region.

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Assessing Economic and Workforce Trends in the Fort Bragg Brac Region
Fort Bragg Regional Task Force, Spring Lake, NC
2008-09
C2ER/CREC, working in collaboration with Trade Development Associates, conducted a industry targeting analysis that involve mapping value chains in the defense and homeland security-related industries. Using definitions provided in previous studies, the team organized the industries into groupings that represented all of the opportunities and then identified targets of particular interest to the Fort Bragg RTF. The project also involved identifying the occupational clusters of greatest interest in those value chains to be targeted for workforce development.

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Siouxland Tri-State Regional Innovation Project
Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City, Iowa
2009
CREC, in collaboration with the Institute for Decision Making, Iowa Workforce Development and Network Weavers, is working to develop a strategic regional workforce plan for an 11 county, tri-state region around Sioux City, Iowa. This work is being funded by a Regional Innovation Grant from the US Department of Labor. The project seeks to craft a unique and inclusive strategy that will allow the region to enhance its competitive position by preparing a highly skilled and educated local workforce. In order to do this, the strategy will include a number of initiatives with broad-based community support that align workforce development, economic development and P-20 education

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Detroit Life Sciences Strategy
New Economy Initiative of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit, MI
2009
In partnership with Business Development Advisors, CREC is assessing the need and feasibility of a life sciences development strategy for Southeastern Michigan. This work is being conducted for Detroit Renaissance and the Detroit Regional Chamber, and funded by the New Economy Initiative. The project will establish a framework for a potential life sciences initiative by identifying the leading research and healthcare institutions and economic development organizations individual and common goals. It will also provide basic data on the region's life sciences assets.

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Conducting an Assessment of Statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Evaluation
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Augusta, Maine
2008-09
Working in partnership with EntreWorks, the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and PolicyOne Research, C2ER/CREC is providing analytic support for the state's on-going comprehensive economic development evaluation. The research project will focus on examining a wide array of Maine's policies and programs in economic development, entrepreneurship, and business and tax incentives. C2ER/CREC is leading efforts to benchmark Maine with several states and Canadian provinces as well as analyzing the results of a survey of business assistance recipients.

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Identifying BRAC Case Studies to Inform Planning for Troops Being Move to Guam
Pacific Basin Development Council, Honolulu, Hawaii
2008-09
Guam is scheduled to receive a huge influx of military personnel and families in 2011. C2ER/CREC is preparing a briefing paper with case studies of other base communities that have accommodated large influxes of people to provide ideas about strategies that Guam leaders might use in their planning process.

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Developing A Workforce Strategy for the Cedar Valley Region
Cedar Valley Regional Partnership (Regional Innovation Grant), Cedar Falls, IA
2008-09
In partnership with the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, C2ER/CREC is helping to facilitate a workforce strategy designed to bring together partners from the economic development, workforce development, higher education, and K-12 systems. Key partners involved in the process include the Cedar Valley Regional (Economic Development) Alliance, the Iowa at Works Workforce Investment Board, Black Hawk Community College, and the regional office of Iowa Workforce Development.

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Georgia Workready Regions
Georgia Governor's Office of Workforce Development, Atlanta, GA
2008
C2ER conducted an in-depth economic and workforce analysis for seven regions of Georgia designed to help local leaders better understand their workforce demand and supply. The goal of the analysis was to identify the characteristics of those currently working in the targeted industry as well as the skills for high demand occupations as well as identify the inventory of postsecondary education programs available to help meet those needs. In addition to a quantitative analysis, the team conducted working sessions with regional leaders to validate findings and instruct them on how to use the information in their planning and implementation activities.

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Conducting An Economic and Workforce Profile of Hawaii's Technology and Innovation Industries
Hawaii Science and Technology Council, Honolulu, HI
2008
Working with the Hawaii Science and Technology Council as well as the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism, C2ER/CREC is developing a comprehensive assessment of the state's technology clusters. The focus is on identifying the current and potential cluster linkages for nine technology areas as well as to explore the workforce needs of those clusters. C2ER/CREC involves extensive efforts to interview technology companies throughout the state. In addition, C2ER/CREC is providing training and technical assistance aimed at helping the state develop the capacity to continue this research after the project is completed.

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Developing Workforce Strategy for Racine County
Racine County Workforce Development Board, Racine County, WI
2007-08
C2ER/CREC collaborated with the PAROS Group to facilitate a data-driven strategic planning effort – "Higher Expectations." The strategy identifies six major initiatives designed to address each of the county's most important challenges related to (1) raising standards for public education; (2) supporting stronger, more financially stable families; (3) creating jobs in communities with concentrated unemployment; (4) enhancing workforce transportation alternatives; (5) improving information about job opportunities in new and expanding companies; and (6) communicating a more positive community image. The plan was completed in close collaboration with the area business leaders as well as economic development, education, government, and the philanthropic community. The project involved conducting a study of workforce supply and demand issues that would serve as an input for a series of strategic planning retreats for area business, public, and community leaders.

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Labor Market Opportunities Study of the Nashville Economic Market Area
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, Nashville, TN
2007
C2ER/CREC conducted a Targeted Labor Market Opportunities Study for the Nashville area. The study was designed to help leaders better align workforce development and education investments with the region's economic development efforts. The study involved conducting an analysis of the industry and workforce trends, including forecasting anticipated growth sectors. The team then matched those growth forecasts with economic development targets and identified the most relevant on-going education and training efforts. The study included recommendations for area leaders on the most significant investments required to ensure that Nashville has an adequate and adaptable workforce designed to create a regional competitive advantage.

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Study of State Incentive Policies
Techsolve, Inc., Cincinnati, OH
2007
Under a subcontract agreement with TechSolve, the C2ER/CREC staff conducted a comprehensive assessment of incentive programs in 11 states designed to support an analysis of Ohio's comparative advantage. The analysis included a summary of key programs, an assessment of reported program performance, a snapshot of funding support, and an analysis of the policy priorities for nearly 300 incentive programs. The research project represented a component of a larger legislative policy priority agenda for the State's governor.

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Comparison of Metropolitan Life Sciences Initiatives
Business Development Advisors, Inc., Arlington, VA
2007
Prepared under a subcontract for Detroit Renaissance, this study examined how successful life sciences regions have organized their life sciences development efforts. Life sciences are defined to include how medical, education and research institutions can combine effectively support growth in this sector. The goal of the project was to provide a framework for leaders to consider opportunities for expanding the Detroit regional life sciences sector. The study benchmarked the area to 10 regions: Baltimore-Washington, DC; Boston; Cleveland; Los Angeles; New York; Philadelphia; Raleigh-Durham; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle.

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Counting on Arizona's Future: A Report To the Arizona Data Estimates and Population Task Force
Arizona Department of Commerce, Phoenix, AZ
2006-07
Governor Janet Napolitano created the Arizona Data Estimates and Population Task Force (ADEPT) to undertake several key tasks: (1) evaluate best practices by other states for developing accurate population and employment estimates and projections; (2) assess population estimates and projections models currently used by entities in Arizona; (3) evaluate current employment estimates to include estimates of income and labor capacity and creating employment projections consistent with the population projections; (4) evaluate best practices by other states for access to utilization of labor market information; and (5) make recommendations to enhance the population and labor market data programs. The C2ER/CREC provided consulting support to ADEPT, conducting research on best practices in other states and facilitating the development of recommendations. ADEPT not only adopted the recommendations, but the Governor began implementation of key governance recommendations before the study was even finalized.

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Assessing the Importance of Demographic Data In Allocating Public Resources: A Report To the Arizona Growth Cabinet
Arizona Department of Commerce, Phoenix, AZ
2007
C2ER/CREC explored how demographic estimates affect Arizona in accessing federal funds and allocating its resources. This project involved reviewing a number of recent studies of the effects that variations that census population counts and various population estimates might have on the distribution of federal funds and state resources. The report recommended that policy leaders make the case to the state legislature that it should invest more state dollars in population estimates program because: (1) the Census Bureau's decennial counts and subsequent annual estimates historically have undercounted Arizona's population; (2) the undercounted population estimates have resulted in a loss of federal funding for Arizona; (3) more accurate Decennial Census counts and DES estimates could help in more equitably distributing state shared revenues to localities; (4) improving Census data and DES estimates require better data inputs from Arizona partners; and (5) Arizona must invest in its population estimates and projections program to improve its data inputs and methodologies.

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NC State of the Workforce Study and Policy Development Process
North Carolina Department of Commerce
2006-07
C2ER/CREC collaborated with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce to analyze the State's current labor market in and identified major supply and demand characteristics, barriers, and gaps. The study examined demographic trends and labor market issues, with an emphasis on the differences among the state's three major geographic regions as well as distinctions between metropolitan, micropolitan, and rural areas. An important part of the study included projections of state's labor supply and demand as well as an analysis of the capacity of the state's higher education institutions to meet the projected needs.

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Conducting An Impact Analysis of the Defense Intelligence Agency Move To Charlottesville, VA
Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission and Piedmont Workforce Network
2007-08
C2ER/CREC is conducting a survey of US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) personnel scheduled to move from Washington, DC to Charlottesville, Virginia as a result of the 2005 Base Reuse and Alignment Commission (BRAC) recommendations. The project includes an analysis of the direct and indirect impacts on the Charlottesville economy to help area economic and workforce development agencies prepare for the shifts of more than 1,000 positions expected during 2009-2011.

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Base Realignment and Closures
Northern Virginia Workforce Investment Board
2006-07
C2ER/CREC analyzed the direct and indirect impacts of base realignment and closures for the Northern Virginia area, focused on 25,000 in-bound workers moving to Fort Belvoir and the Marine Corps Base at Quantico due to the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommendations. The C2ER/CREC team estimated the industries and workforce impacts expected as a result of the planned moves. The Council conducted a national search of potential models and efforts include assessing the impact of job shifts on training and education requirements and identifying policy alternatives and recommendations.

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Economic Development Finance Needs and Options for "Moving Arizona Forward"
Arizona Department of Commerce, Phoenix, AZ
2005-2006
C2ER/CREC is working with the State of Arizona to develop a 'Financing Road Map' to support the state's "Moving Arizona Forward" economic development strategy. Focus groups and interviews were conducted with key stakeholders to identify the financing challenges facing their programs and communities. Working in partnership with the Council for Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), C2ER/CREC also collected information about community and business financing programs from other states and countries, as well as federal programs in order to identify best practices. From this research we identified Arizona's key financing needs and gaps, and offer recommendations for improving the state's financing capacity.

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Durham Workforce Development Strategy Implementation Retreat
Durham Workforce Development Board, Durham, NC
2006
C2ER/CREC will be facilitating a day-long retreat for the Durham Workforce Development Board. C2ER/CREC helped the board draft their initial strategy that identified several target industries and occupations, as well as offered several recommendations for making better use of their Workforce Investment Act funds. This retreat will assess the progress the board has made to date in implementing their strategy, as well as establishing their priorities for the coming year.

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Regional Economic Growth Strategy for the Texoma Region
Texoma Regional Commission, Sherman, TX
2006
C2ER/CREC is working in collaboration with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) to develop a regional growth strategy for a 13 County area in Texas and Oklahoma. This effort is a collaborative one between the Texoma Workforce Development Board, the Southern Oklahoma Workforce Investment Board and the economic development organizations across a 13-county region along the Texas and Oklahoma borders. Combined, these organizations, called the Texoma Regional Consortium (TRC), seek to engage participating counties in the development of a regional strategy that will define a new economic future for area residents, workers, and businesses. This project aims to create consensus on the most critical strategies to address regional issues and developing a regional economic growth strategy that will stimulate the creation of new jobs and the attraction of new investment.

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LocationOne Information Systems Data Audit
Aquila Inc., Kansas City, MO
2005
The LocationOne Information System (LOIS) is a web-based application—created by Aquila Inc., that provides state, county, metropolitan area, regional area, community and site and building information. C2ER/CREC was asked to provide a data audit of the LOIS fields in order to ensure their validity. In addition, C2ER/CREC provided suggestions for alternate fields and alternate sources of data that might the LOIS to better maximize its potential.

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North Carolina's Eastern Region Visioning Plan
North Carolina's Eastern Region, Kinston, NC
2005-2006
C2ER/CREC is helping to guide leaders in North Carolina's Eastern Region in targeting their business recruitment, retention, and entrepreneurial development efforts by developing a vision plan for 13 counties. C2ER/CREC is working with its partner Eva Klein and Associates, Ltd. to gather insights from key stakeholders, analyze existing research, conduct supplemental research, and guide a group for regional leaders through the process. The goals of this project aim at creating consensus on the most critical strategies to address regional issues and developing a regional economic development vision plan designed to create jobs and attract new investment. An important element of this work includes a regional cluster study conducted in collaboration with senior consultant Ed Feser.

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Isothermal Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
Isothermal Planning and Development Commission, Rutherfordton, NC
2005
C2ER/CREC helped leaders in four predominantly rural counties west of Charlotte identify strategic economic, community, and workforce development priorities. These counties were strongly impacted by declines in textiles, apparel, and furniture product and they have fewer workers today than a decade ago, even though new people continue to move to the region. The focus of the plan is to find future employment opportunities and help the region transition to a new economic future. Strategies presented relate to improving education and training, infrastructure assets, and creating linkages to key urban centers.

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Arizona Solar Industries Economic and Labor Demand
Arizona Department of Commerce, Phoenix, AZ
2005
C2ER/CREC is helping the Energy Office of Arizona Commerce Department identify economic growth opportunities and workforce development needs for the state's solar energy business cluster. The project included a survey of 170 solar energy industries firms and telephone interviews of industry experts and company executives. The focus of the study is to assess the current economic opportunities and workforce training capacity for the future growth of solar energy industries in Arizona. Policy recommendations include increasing solar technology development and deployment, supporting growth in solar cluster industries, expanding solar energy demand, and ensuring a prepared, skilled workforce.

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Future Forward Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Implementation
Future Forward Economic Alliance, Hickory, NC
2004-2006
C2ER/CREC was engaged by the Future Forward Economic Alliance Board on an 18-month assignment to help in implementing key elements of their strategic plan. The scope of work under this project includes: helping to complete an industry growth analysis; a brownfields site survey; identifying key developable sites in the region; monitoring and evaluating plan activities; and facilitating board and committee activities. C2ER/CREC is also charged with helping to facilitate the development of key leadership networks throughout the region. As part of this effort, C2ER/CREC and related efforts have helped to leverage approximately $3 million in federal, state, and private funding for projects in the region.

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Arizona Construction Trades Labor Study
Arizona Department of Commerce
2004-2005
C2ER/CREC coordinated a survey of more than 1,600 construction trades firms and 55 construction trades apprenticeship and training providers. The staff analyzed occupational projections, skill demands, and training program gaps to help provide recommendations for Arizona's workforce policy. The Arizona Department of Commerce plans to use the study results to reshape its investment in training and apprenticeship programs statewide.

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Durham Workforce Development Strategy
Durham Workforce Development Board, Durham, NC
2004-2005
C2ER/CREC helped leaders in Durham, NC to bridge the gap between long-term unemployment and underemployment in Durham County, NC and job opportunities available in the fast-growing Raleigh-Durham Metro area. The staff identified target growth industries and occupations and determined the skill and related occupational needs of those firms. Durham WDB plans to use the results to shift investments in their federal Workforce Investment Act training programs. The strategy document included research on forecasted occupations, their wage and training needs, and training opportunities.

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Benchmarking the Arizona Commerce and Economic Development Commission
Arizona Department of Commerce, Phoenix, AZ
2004, released July 2005 (Matrix 1 and 2)
C2ER/CREC staff conducted a survey of the budget, governance structure, and incentive policies in 18 competitor states. The staff compared how Arizona's economic, workforce, tourism, and community development efforts are structured as compared with other states. C2ER/CREC proposed a significant expansion in the State's investment in economic development based on a comparison with peer states. The additional investment would help to ensure that Arizona remains competitive. C2ER/CREC also offered several alternatives for governing the agency. Arizona DOC leadership plans to use the study findings in their upcoming budget proposals as the state legislature debates the agency's future.

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Integrating Workforce and Economic Development in a Regional Strategy
Upper Coastal Plain Workforce Development Board, Rocky Mount, NC
2004 (Matrix 1 and 2)
C2ER/CREC worked as a subcontractor to the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) to develop a strategic framework for the Region L (Upper Coastal Plain) WDB. The Center provided a one-day training program and co-facilitated two retreats with the board on how they could move forward in creating an integrated workforce and economic development strategy for the region along I-95 in the "upper coastal plain" region. The Board used NAWB and C2ER/CREC expertise to design an in-house approach for strategic planning.

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Building A Stronger State-Federal Partnership
US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Gaithersburg, MD
2002-2006 (Matrix 1 and 2)
C2ER/CREC is working in collaboration with several partners including the State Science & Technology Institute to develop a strong support structure for this federal-state partnership program created to help manufacturers become globally competitive. Built on the agricultural extension model already widely known, the US Congress created the National Institute of Standards & Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) in the late 1980s to address the challenges of global competition and to provide access to state-of-the-art knowledge about technical and management techniques that could be applied in small and medium-sized manufacturing facilities.

C2ER/CREC worked with policy makers in Washington and in several state capitals to identify political challenges to the program in the respective state legislatures or executive branches. In addition, C2ER/CREC worked with the staff within not-for-profit manufacturing extension centers across the US to help in developing strategies for communicating the goals and results of manufacturing extension efforts. C2ER/CREC provided strategic advice to NIST MEP, met with key state and national leaders to discuss the program, and provided technical assistance and facilitation support to stakeholders and manufacturing centers in a variety of states, such as Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Alaska, Alabama, Connecticut, Washington, and Texas.

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Assessing the Impact of Manufacturing and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership on the US Economy
US National Institute of Standards and Technology, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Gaithersburg, MD
2003-2004 (Matrix 1, 2, and 3)
C2ER/CREC coordinated a federal-state collaborative research project aimed at analyzing the impacts of manufacturing on the US and selected state economies using commercially available software. While several commercial and proprietary software packages could be used for this effort, NIST MEP has historically used software produced by Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. (REMI) as a tool to conduct such analyses. C2ER/CREC provided guidance in the research design and in leveraging the in-kind resources from several of its member states across the US who also own a license of REMI Policy Insight´┐Ż model. The project was designed to answer questions regarding manufacturing's importance to the national/state economy, which industrial sectors are most critical to the economy, and what the impact of the MEP program has had in assisting critical industrial sectors at the national and state levels.

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C2ER State Incentives Database
C2ER (State Economic Development Researchers Chapter), Arlington, VA
2004-present (Matrix 1 and 2)
C2ER has developed a national database of state business incentives with profiles on more than 1400 programs. The database was designed to give economic developers a one-stop resource for comparing incentive programs. Data provided in the database includes a fully searchable text description of the program as well as other program information. For instance, an economic developer might search for tax credit programs or loans in a neighboring or competitive state for benchmarking purposes. In addition, the database has a number of analytic descriptors designed to classify incentive programs. Users can easily search for economic development incentives by looking at program category (i.e., tax, direct financing, indirect financing), program type (i.e., bonds, grants, insurance, loans, tax credits, tax exemption, etc.), geographic focus (i.e., enterprise, technology or trade zone, etc.), or business needs (i.e., capital access, facility/site location, infrastructure). C2ER's state economic development research offices are working with C2ER staff to maintain the database to ensure that it is continuously updated.

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Linking Workforce and Economic Development in Virginia
National Center on Education and the Economy and Virginia Workforce Council, Richmond, VA
2004 (Matrix 1 and 2)
Under a subcontract to and in close collaboration with the National Center on Education and the Economy, C2ER/CREC conducted a series of videoconferences and in-person presentations to local elected officials throughout Virginia on the role that workforce development resources can play in economic development. The purpose of the project was to engage elected officials in influencing workforce development investments related to training and strategic planning.

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Roanoke Regional Cluster Analysis
5th Planning District Regional Alliance and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, Roanoke, VA
2003-04 (Matrix 1, 2, and 3)
C2ER/CREC conducted a targeted cluster analysis aimed at identifying existing technology-based clusters in the "NewVA" region, which includes nine cities and counties, including the Roanoke and Blacksburg metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) as well as their surrounding rural counties. Using IMPLAN software, C2ER/CREC's staff identified trade relationships among key service sectors and created a set of service-oriented benchmark clusters for study. The analysis was being supplemented with a survey of local businesses in a targeted set of technology-oriented clusters. The goal of the exercise was twofold: to help the region better understand its economic base and to identify progress in developing technology-oriented clusters of development. C2ER/CREC worked closely with the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission (RVARC) staff to provide training on how to conduct such analyses in the future. The study revealed the inter-dependency of the Roanoke and Blacksburg Metropolitan areas with Roanoke serving as the financial and health center of the region while Blacksburg provided emerging new technologies generated from research at Virginia Tech. These historically distinct regions (separated by mountains) had never before examined their economic interactions. The goal of the study is to initiate a dialogue among regional leaders on common challenges and opportunities. This effort was one of the specific tactics to be accomplished as part of a 2002 strategic planning engagement conducted in collaboration with Eva Klein & Associates.

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Lancaster County Economic Development Strategy
Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, PA
2003-2004 (Matrix 1 and 2)
C2ER/CREC helped county leaders in Lancaster to identify several strategic priorities for action. Lancaster Prospers — the name given to the project — is being managed through a 36-member planning group representing stakeholders from across the county including government, business, and academia.

The community concluded that it wanted Lancaster to be a national leader in economic innovation and a highly attractive community to the next generation of citizens. In achieving that vision, the county's leadership and citizen identified a number of key values building on the county's unique heritage and its current economic strength. During the process, county leaders embraced economic change and demographic diversity in an environment in which citizens are encouraged to take risks and communities are urged to participate in larger regional initiatives. A critical priority in the county's future is to ensure that its urban areas are revitalized as part of an overall plan to preserve the county's land assets and create appealing places for today's younger workers.

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Economic Development Training for Workforce and Local Elected Leaders
US Department of Labor, Workforce Excellence Network, Washington DC
2002-2005
National Association of Workforce Boards Future Forward Regional Economic Strategy
Western Piedmont Council of Governments, Hickory, NC
2002-2004 (Matrix 1, 2 and 3)
C2ER/CREC served as the lead consultant for a national team involved in developing a comprehensive strategy for a 12-county region in western North Carolina. The project, championed by US Congressman Cass Ballenger of "District 10", examined the economic and cultural challenges facing a region of 800,000 people that is highly dependent on employment in vulnerable manufacturing sectors, including textiles, apparel, furniture, and fiber optic cable. The nine-month project included researchers from Eva Klein & Associates, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the Hudson Institute. The team conducted extensive data analysis, more than 150 interviews, a series of 10 workshops involving more than 400 local leaders, and a series of decisions support meetings with a strategic planning committee. Each of the 12 county commissions adopted a resolution of support for the strategy, and to date 11 of the fiscally hard-hit counties have contributed funding to an alliance of local leaders.

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Promoting Entrepreneurial Development as an Economic Development Strategy
National Commission on Entrepreneurship, Washington, DC
2002-2003 (Matrix 1 and 2)
C2ER/CREC conducted a survey of more than 100 economic development organizations across three states — Maine, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. The purpose of the survey was to identify entrepreneurial development initiatives, attitudes among economic developers about entrepreneurial development as a strategic direction, obstacles to implementing entrepreneurial development, and efforts to evaluate these programs. The survey examined rural and urban initiatives, distinguishing between efforts to promote lifestyle and growth-oriented entrepreneurs.

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Roanoke Regional Strategies
Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission, Roanoke, VA
2002 (Matrix 1 and 2)
Working under a subcontract with Eva Klein & Associates, C2ER/CREC assisted in developing a Regional Economic Strategy for this 12-county region. The project involved collaborating with public, private, and academic sector stakeholders in interviews and via a 36-member Planning Leadership Group. EKA and C2ER/CREC developed strategies and related tactics and worked to support achievement of "buy-in" of all key players to a unified, focused strategy. Major attention was devoted to the technology economy, the role of Virginia Tech and other academic institutions, transportation and connectivity issues, and entrepreneurship.The consultants helped local leaders to articulate six strategic themes that serve as a common "song sheet" for all stakeholders. These themes include Visibility, Connectivity, Knowledge Work Force, Entrepreneurship, Industry Clusters, and Quality of Life Amenities. For each of the six themes, the EKA and C2ER/CREC team helped local leaders identify a set of specific goals and tactics. Some of the projects are complex and long-range undertakings. Others are more immediate. Assignments of roles and responsibilities and directions for financing were included in the Strategy. The leadership group received more than 150 endorsements from local governments and various other entities, and the Regional Economic Strategy is being implemented systematically. Under the Visibility theme, a branding recommendation led to renaming of the area as "NewVA." In August 2004, the NewVa leadership group published a report of accomplishments to date. Ongoing accomplishments are still described and organized according to the themes, strategies and tactics as expressed in the EKA and CREC strategy report.

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Cost of Living Index
C2ER Board of Directors, Arlington, VA
1968-present (Matrix 1 and 3)
Originally titled the Inter-City Cost of Living Indicators Project, then the ACCRA Cost of Living Index, The Cost of Living Index has been published quarterly since 1968. Working collaboratively with a network of more than 300 state, local, and university researchers across the US, C2ER produces the Cost of Living Index to provide a useful and reasonably accurate measure of living cost differences among urban areas. Items on which the Index is based have been carefully chosen to reflect the different categories of consumer expenditures. Weights assigned to relative costs are based on government survey data on expenditure patterns for mid-management households. All items are priced in each place at a specified time and according to standardized specifications. The Cost of Living Index is recognized as an authoritative source of cost of living data by the US Census Bureau, CNN Money, and the President's Council of Economic Advisors, and the index is included in the federal government's annually published Statistical Abstract of the United States.

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University of Southern Mississippi Executive Format Masters Degree in Economic Development
University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
2004-present (Matrix 1 and 3)
In 2004, C2ER initiated a partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Economic Development to offer an Executive Master's degree in economic development. Using a non-traditional academic calendar and periodic on-site instruction at locations across the US combined with on-line course support, C2ER and USM are paving the way for a new model for advanced learning in the fields of economic and workforce development. The first class of 10 students is graduating in 2005 and the second class began in September of the same year. USM is integrating its class work with C2ER training wherever possible and C2ER has played an active role in recruiting instructors and designing the material for the entire curriculum.

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