Economic Development

Economic development exists now more than ever at the forefront of urban and regional issues, which include workforce development, housing policy, transportation investment, state and local aid and education each of which holds significance in developing our economies. With this in mind, the Dukakis Center staff has sought to understand, across academic disciplines, the issues facing urban areas in the 21st century and to advance practical, data-driven strategies to address economic development needs.

Part of the Dukakis Center’s “tool kit” for policy solutions includes the Economic Development Partnership and accompanying Economic Development Self Assessment Tool(EDSAT). This on-going research collaboration between the Dukakis Center, the National League of Cities, the private sector and municipal governments uses a web-based self-assessment test to determine how capable a municipality is when competing for development.

The Dukakis Center also developed the Labor Market Assessment Tool (LMAT). This tool, a collaboration between the Dukakis Center and the Boston Redevelopment Authority, examines the labor market of a particular geography to determine occupational projections as well as the demographic characteristics of a potential labor supply.

The Dukakis Center also authors research reports with the hope of better informing policy-makers involved in making decisions regarding economic development issues. In 2008 the Dukakis Center released a substantial report on the state of the manufacturing industry in Massachusetts. That report, “Staying Power: The Future of Manufacturing in Massachusetts”, turns conventional wisdom on its head by establishing not only the importance of manufacturing as a potent part of the regional economy, but also as a catalyst for future economic growth in the Commonwealth. Following up on the report, the Center has launched the Staying Power Task Force to work on issues such as “branding” the manufacturing sector and ensuring a well-trained workforce for the growing number of available manufacturing jobs. Economic development issues exist at the heart of the Dukakis Center and advancing policy research in this area has been a focus of the center since its inception in 1999.

Economic Development Research Team

  • Barry Bluestone, Team Leader
  • Nancy Lee
  • Stephanie Pollack
  • Russell Eckel
  • Joan Fitzgerald
  • Liz Williams
  • Anna Gartsman
  • Don Walsh
  • Yingchan Zhang
  • Chase Billingham

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