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US economic crisis – there are huge funded groups of economic study, research, statistics, analysis and interpretation and development and WHAT gets done? Spending more money to study it some more –


However, in many regions across the nation, development professionals have not fully maximized the opportunities afforded by regional solutions.

To address this discontinuity, the U.S. Economic Development Administration partnered with Western Carolina University ’s Institute for the Economy and the Future to create the Know Your Region Project.  During the first year of the project, the Institute for the Economy and the Future worked with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Regional Economics Applications Laboratory , and The Council for Community and Economic Research (formerly ACCRA) to develop a  curriculum that enables practitioners to understand and apply core concepts of regionalism and clustering to the strategic planning process.  During this second year of the project, the Institute for the Economy and the Future is focused on delivering the Know the Region curriculum and developing and disseminating additional resources for development practitioners across the nation.



U.S. Economic Development Administration

Bureau of Economic Analysis

American Planning Association

www.nawb.org – National Workforce Boards

National League of Cities

www.compete.org – The Council on Competitiveness

www.kauffman.org – how some of the most sophisticated forms of research are now being performed abroad.

Curriculum Designers PDF Print E-mail

Dr. Edward Feser
ImageDr. Edward Feser is Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Research Associate Professor at the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL).   Dr. Feser oversees research on local and regional economic development strategies, the development of methods and datasets for understanding regional economic change and competitiveness, and the study of economic development policy making processes and politics.  In addition, Dr. Feser teaches courses in state and local economic development policy, regional development theory, urban and regional analysis, and urban spatial structure. His research focuses on the forces influencing the growth, decline, economic adjustment, and industrial restructuring of cities and regions. He has published work on technology-oriented economic development, theories of industry clustering, industry cluster analysis methods, agglomeration economies and industrial productivity, migration and regional economic distress, regional influences on process technology adoption in manufacturing, and the improvement of data and spatial-analytical techniques for local development practice. Currently he is studying economic development policy making processes and the role that universities can play in assisting states and regions undertake strategic economic development planning.

Dr. Feser’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States, as well as multiple state and local agencies. He is involved in the development and operation of  NEURUS —the Network for European-U.S. Regional and Urban Studies—a consortium of universities in the U.S., the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.

Dr. Kenneth Poole
ImageDr. Kenneth E. Poole is CEO of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) and Executive Director, ACCRA.  Dr. Poole has managed economic development research, analysis, and technical assistance efforts for 23 years.  In January 2000, Dr. Poole formed the Center as an independent non-profit affiliated with George Mason University and ACCRA-the Council for Community and Economic Research.  CREC focuses on developing a stronger understanding of how regional economies can compete effectively in the knowledge-based economy.  As part of those efforts, Dr. Poole directs a national nonprofit membership organization (ACCRA) serving economic and community development researchers in communities, states, academia, and the private sector.  In his capacity of Executive Director, Dr. Poole oversees all program development activities of the organization including its research and professional training activities.

These are two of the team that is working on this regional definition approach to economic development.

They are found on this page with their team members and backgrounds.



ACCRA Cost of Living Index Site


Policy makers who are using the median household income data should pay more attention to the effects of cost of living adjustment. In areas with higher cost of living, the current median household income report overstates the buying power of household incomes. At the same time, households in areas with a lower cost of living frequently do better than their ranking might suggest. As the following table shows, the ranking of the nation’s wealthiest counties changes considerably when adjusted for the ACCRA Cost of Living Index.


** Note __ This page contains a brief chart of cost of living adjusted for selected areas.

The Council For Community and Economic Research





National Development Organizations PDF Print E-mail

Development organizations perform a variety of tasks aimed at enhancing the business and community climate of a given locale in order to support economic development.
The results from the National Needs Assessment of Economic and Workforce Development Practitioners that was conducted by the Institute for the Economy and the Future as the first phase of the “Know Your Region” Project revealed community development as the most common organizational priority, followed closely by development and finance, planning and research, and workforce development.  These findings are supported by the results of the Survey of Economic Development Organizations conducted by ACCRA / The Council for Economic and Community Research in June of 2006.

The following categories represent these organizational priorities, as well as other common organizational focuses.   National development organizations have been aggregated into these categories, such that clicking on one of the headings below will generate a list of relevant development organizations and a link to their homepage.

US Economic Development Administration – http://www.eda.gov/
US Department of Agriculture –  http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome
U.S. Small Business Administration – http://www.sba.gov/

Entrepreneurial Development:
Kauffman Foundation – http://www.kauffman.org/

Entrepreneurial Development
National Association of Development Organizations – http://www.nado.org/
National Association of Regional Councils – http://www.narc.org/

Research Park / Tech Transfer / Business
National Business Incubation Association – http://www.nbia.org/
Small Business Development Center – http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/index.html
State Science and Technology Institute – http://www.ssti.org/about.htm
Association of University Research Parks – http://www.aurp.net/

Policy & Research
National Governors Association – http://www.nga.org/portal/site/nga
National League of Cities – http://www.nlc.org/
National Association of Counties – Resource Center – http://www.naco.org/
American Planning Association – http://www.planning.org/
Council on Competitiveness – http://www.compete.org/

Workforce Development
National Association of Workforce Boards – http://www.nawb.org/
National Workforce Association – http://www.nwaonline.org/


this is ridiculous – there are layers and layers and layers of stupid that is studying the hell out of all these economic things in the US but not getting anything economic done for us. GOOD GRIEF!