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Clients: State & Regional Planning Agencies

Economic Analysis of the 495-MetroWest Partnership Region
The Center for Economic Development recently completed a report on the state of the regional economy for its region of 32 communities on the western fringe of the Boston metropolitan region, at the request of the 495/MetroWest Corridor Partnership. This study involved collecting, tracking and analyzing economic, demographic and real estate market data. The Partnership recently published the final report on their web site. http://www.495partnership.org/

Innovation in Precision Manufacturing - New Technology to New Business
With support from the National Science Foundation's Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program, this two-year project aspires to develop a national model for building R&D partnerships between university STEM faculty and small- to medium-sized businesses. This initiative brings together UMass Amherst faculty from the College of Engineering, Natural Sciences, and Social Behavioral Sciences with staff from the Research and Engagement Office, and representatives of the Western Massachusetts Chapter of the National Tooling and Machining Association. CED Associate Director Henry Renski serves as co-PI on this project. In addition to hist advisory, oversight and reporting responsibilities, Dr. Renski is also assisting the PFI project by collecting and analyzing data for its program evaluation and monitoring, including interviews with participating companies and researchers.

Update of the Virgin Islands Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
The CED recently assisted the Bureau of Economic Research in the U.S. Virgin Islands with an update of the territory-wide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) Plan. CED originally got involved in the U.S.V.I. CEDS planning process two years ago at the request of EDA staff in Philadelphia, and has assisted in the update at the request of the territorial governor.

CED Director John Mullin and consultant Dr. Z. Kotval have prepared economic and area analysis portions of the document, facilitated CEDS committee and community discussion in St. Thomas this past January, and made recommendations to develop an economic Self-Sufficiency Standard for the territory. Results of the year-long study were forwarded to the U.S.V.I. Legislature in March 2011.

State of the Economy Study for Southern Vermont
In the late summer of 2010, the UMass Center for Economic Development completed its study on the State of the Southern Vermont Economy. The document was prepared on behalf of officials from Windham County and southern Vermont to make a case for having a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The full report in PDF format is available here.

Proposal development for the Center for the Advancement of Building Systems
Associate Director Henry Renski was part of a multi-institutional team of collaborators from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, MIT, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and other representatives of the Commonwealth who developed a proposal to establish a Center for the Advancement of Building Systems (CABS).  The purpose of the CABS is to establish an Energy Innovation Hub on Energy-Efficient Building Systems Design to develop, demonstrate and deploy practical, replicable strategies, technologies, and approaches for reducing overall energy consumption in buildings. 

In addition to his contributions to the UMASS component of the CABS proposal, Dr. Renski also helped prepare the companion Energy Regional Innovation Clusters (E-RIC) proposal for the EDA.  The E-RIC proposal demonstrates how the establishment of the New England CABS would work in conjunction with the regional institutional infrastructure to promote innovation-led economic development throughout the region.  More specifically, Dr. Renski conducted an analysis of the economic base of the region, mapped the existing Clean Energy cluster in New England, and wrote several of the sections under the “Identification, Description, and Analysis of Region” portion of the E-RIC proposal.

An Analysis of Workforce Flows in the Maine Marine Trades Cluster – Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Information and Research (CWIR)
CED recently completed a study that used confidential establishment and employee unemployment insurance data to analyze labor force dynamics in the Maine Marine Trades Cluster.  The study tracks the recent employment and wage history of businesses in the cluster and compares their performance to other key sectors of the Maine economy.  It also investigates the career history of workers in the Marine Trades cluster.



The Economic Impact of Housing Investment Through the Community
Summary: This study attempts to look at the need for affordable housing and the economic impacts of housing in the city of Boston. Its premise is that the economic impact of housing is significant and involves a multitude of factors, from the monetary effects of the construction process to the impact of personal incomes on the local economy. The study uses the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) local impact model to assess economic impacts.

Economic Development Report for the Three Corners Region
Summary: The Three Corners Region consists of nineteen communities in the northeast corner of Connecticut, the south-central section of Massachusetts and the northwest corner of Rhode Island. The Region is centrally located between the metropolitan areas of Boston, Providence, Worcester and Hartford and is in close proximity to the rapidly developing Route 495 corridor in Massachusetts. This region possesses a strong industrial and agricultural history and is rich in cultural and recreational resources. However, due to its proximity to urban centers and current land use patterns, the area is prime for rapid sprawl growth. This report examined the economies, infrastructure, social and cultural, and landscape aspects of this Tri-State Region. Interviews, charrettes, and research revealed that the greatest risks for the Region were the lack of a true east-west transportation corridor, the development pattern which is inconsistent with historical village and town center settlement patterns, a weak sewer and fiber optic infrastructure and low educational attainment. The region is strengthened by its proximity to urban centers, natural resources, and the presence of the national heritage corridors and their affiliation with the National Park Service.

Connecticut River Economic Development Administration's Economic Adjustment Project: An American Heritage River Initiative
Summary: In phase one of this study, various environmental and economic criteria were inventoried for the region and displayed in digital map format. In the second phase that data was analyzed for implications for development potential. Environmental and economic factors were included in a Net Available Land Analysis (NALA) done for the entire region to determine the areas available for development. In the third phase the Net Available Land Analysis (NALA) methodology was applied on the town level to two towns that meet one or more of the three Economic Development Administration criteria. There will be greater detail at the town level than the regional level. With the addition of parcel, zoning and other environmental constraint data, if available, the town level NALA's will be more accurate.

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Berkshire County, Massachusetts
Summary: Regional strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and treats were assessed. Elements were used as a guide to create the strategies and programs that fit these objectives and identified throughout the region and prioritized for implementation within the action plan. Procedures were also identified to update economic development activities in the region and to evaluate the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy process on an annual basis.

Guide to Green Planning and Regulation Practices in the SuAsCo Watershed
Summary: This document was used to identify local planning tools and practices within its thirty-six communities located in north central Massachusetts that were most effective in improving and protecting the aquifer while encouraging "smart growth". In effect, planning development to minimize environmental impact while permitting economic development and growth. The compilation of six case studies was intended for use as an outreach and advocacy guide for local planners, officials, and others in the SuAsCo region.

Strategic Plan for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Boston, Massachusetts
Summary: The Center for Economic Development in partnership with MAPC created a strategic plan for a Data Center last summer. This year, CED helped MAPC begin implementation of actions outlined in the strategic plan to create a state of the art data center. CED will work with MAPC to identify and assess critical trends with policy implications, identify strategic partnerships with other statewide organizations, and facilitate educational seminars sponsored by MAPC.

Merrimack Valley Planning: Regional Assets Study
Summary: This report is intended to illuminate the Merrimack Valley Region's assets. The Region represents 15 communities located in the northeastern corner of Massachusetts bordering both New Hampshire and the Atlantic Ocean and just 30 minutes away from Boston. The communities are Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimack, Methuen, Newburyport, Newbury, West Newbury, North Andover, Rowley and Salisbury. The report is divided into two parts. The first is a compilation of the assets from a regional perspective. The second is intended to serve as a technical compendium. It lists the assets on a community-by-community basis. Included in the report are 8.5 X 11" maps of Zoning and Open Space for each community.


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The Center For Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, housed within the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning.

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