About Us

What We Do

The Center for Economic Development (CED) plays a key role in furthering the community engagement mission of UWM.

UWM is an urban research university located in the heart of a racially, ethnically, and economically diverse metropolitan area. Milwaukee faces challenges typical of older, industrial cities, including pronounced racial segregation, high poverty and jobless rates in certain portions of the city, high rates of incarceration, and poor educational attainment.

A key aspect of the Center’s mission is to address challenges such as these, which we do primarily through research and technical assistance.

Our research consists mainly of applied policy studies focusing on various issues confronting Milwaukee and the greater Southeastern Wisconsin region. Our studies have examined labor market issues in Milwaukee and Wisconsin more generally, public transit and access to jobs for inner-city residents, the state of Milwaukee’s economy, jobless rates among African-American residents, and inner-city poverty, among other issues. Our goal is to provide data and analysis that can be used by decisionmakers and stakeholders in the process of developing solutions to the region’s policy problems.

In addition to our policy-oriented research, we also provide technical assistance to government agencies, community groups, and nonprofit organizations that are in need of high-quality, impartial, university-based research. Technical assistance takes various forms, including economic impact studies, GIS mapping and data analysis, market analysis, program evaluation, and community planning.

For technical assistance projects, Center staff work with clients to establish appropriate and affordable fees. Fees for Center services are on a sliding scale, based on ability to pay and the kinds of services requested.

In addition to research and technical assistance, the Center also operates a fellowship program for former Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Public Allies volunteers. The Economic Development Fellows program is a two-year fellowship opportunity that combines work in a community-based organization or government agency in Milwaukee with graduate-level study at UWM.