The Center for Economic Development is a research and community-oriented technical assistance center that is partially funded by the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. As an EDA Center housed at the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, it fits well with the Department's long tradition of outreach to Massachusetts' cities and towns, and is well suited to meet EDA's mission, goals and objectives. As a case in point, its faculty and students have worked on economic development issues in more than 200 cities and towns in the past ten years. As well, its faculty has specializations that include industrial development, retail/commercial development, tourism, marketing, employment training, quantitative analysis and data analysis.
The Center's role is to provide technical assistance to communities, undertake critical community based studies, disseminate information, and to enhance local and multi-community capacity for strategic planning and development. This approach is designed to relate the concerns and goals of commerce and industry to those of the broader community. The Center can then work closely with both community and business sectors, providing information and assistance needed for growth, management, and public benefit. The Center's clientele and cooperators reflect that the Center does indeed work well with all sectors: community development corporations, state agencies, municipalities, regional planning agencies, developers, business leaders, chambers of commerce, local officials, public groups and the managers of firms.