The UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development creates, applies, and transfers multidisciplinary knowledge to help people understand community change and identify opportunities.
The Center for Community and Economic Development is the UW-Extension outreach unit providing community and economic development applied research and educational programs and assistance to individuals, local governments, and community organizations. The Center collaborates with Cooperative Extension in all Wisconsin Tribes and counties to support work with local businesses, communities, and organizations. Current areas of emphasis include Community Preparedness; Asset-based Sustainable Development; Regional Economics; Community Demographic and Market Analysis; Business District Market Analysis; Tourism Business Development; Entrepreneurship Development; Local Food Systems; Community Marketing and Branding; and Community Placemaking. Located in Madison, The Center is comprised of faculty and staff with expertise in economics, geography, business, planning, public administration, sustainability, communications, and community development.
In recognition of the importance of locally-led community and economic development in addressing the challenges facing Wisconsin communities, Cooperative Extension Dean and Director Dr. Ayse Somersan created the UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) and appointed Dr. Ron Shaffer to serve as its Director in 1990.
The appointment of Professor Shaffer, an Extension Community Development Specialist and faculty member in the UW-Madison Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, was a reflection of the significant impact that the Community Economic Analysis (CEA) program was having on the revitalization of small and medium sized communities across Wisconsin. The Center began with a modest staff of Extension Specialists from UW-Madison’s Departments of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Rural Sociology, and Urban and Regional Planning.
The CCED was formed in part to support the continuation of the CEA Program. It also resulted in a regular newsletter and served as a hub for the development of new ideas and applied research and outreach initiatives to address emerging community and economic development issues and challenges faced by Wisconsin communities. In 1995, staff from the former Tourism Research and Resource Center (previously named the Recreation Resources Center) joined the CCED. Extension’s tourism work dates back to 1969. Specialists in the Center have developed new educational programs and resource related to topics such as regional economic assessment, labor market issues, quality of life, food systems, community marketing, entrepreneurship, and downtown business development.
Faculty and staff that have served or are currently serving in the CCED include: Ron Shaffer, Gerry Campbell, Harriot Moyer, Bill Ryan, Dave Marcouiller, Rachel Lohr, Steve Deller, Jerry Hembd, N. R. Sumathi, Bill Pinkovitz, Al Anderson, Matt Kures, Andy Lewis, Gary Green, Greg Wise, Chuck Law, Randy Stoecker, Laura Brown, Erin Peot, Kristin Runge, and Tessa Conroy.
Past and Present CCED Directors:
- 1990-2000: Professor Ron Shaffer
- 2000-2005: Professor Al Anderson
- 2005-2008: Professor Gary Green & Distinguished Lecturer Chuck Law
- 2008-2017: Professor Greg Wise
The UW-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development works in partnership with local and area Extension offices and in collaboration with other UW campuses, specifically UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, UW-Green Bay, and UW-Platteville. We count many federal, state, regional, local, and Tribal governments and organizations as partners. Our partnership is sometimes based on financial support, but most often includes a strong collaborative element that leverages our ability to effectively and efficiently meet ours and our partners’ mission. We endeavor to partner in ways that avoid duplication and bring the unique assets that we have in support of the success of our partners and our mutual efforts.
Federal Agencies and Multi-State Organizations:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Labor
- North Central Regional Center for Rural Development
State Agencies and Organizations:
- University of Wisconsin System Campuses
- Wisconsin Rural Partners
- Wisconsin Downtown Action Council
- Wisconsin Economic Development Association
- Wisconsin Department of Administration
- Wisconsin Department of Tourism
- Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
- Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
- Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
- Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Wisconsin Department of Revenue
- Wisconsin Towns Association
- Wisconsin Counties Association
- Wisconsin League of Municipalities
- Statewide Trade Associations
- Regional Planning Commissions
- Regional Economic Development Organizations
- Workforce Development Agencies
- Community Action Programs
- County and Municipal Economic Development and Planning Agencies
- Local Units of Government
- Community Nonprofit Organizations
- Wisconsin Tribes
- American Planning Association
- Community Development Society
- International Association for Community Development
- National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals