About CREC

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies.

Our staff members come from around the globe, bringing with them diverse backgrounds, and world-class skill sets.

CREC staff

Allison Forbes
Vice President of Research


Dr. Allison Forbes is Vice President of Research at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC). Dr. Forbes has ten years of professional experience in federal and local policy-making and related research. She has provided research support to state housing, economic development and education agencies and worked with a variety of local stakeholders including local housing developers, environmental groups, labor organizations, community colleges, entrepreneurship incubators and small businesses consortiums.

At CREC, Dr. Forbes primarily focuses on trends in education and training, working on several projects to improve the availability of data useful to educators, employers and their intermediaries. In 2019, she served as lead evaluator for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Talent Pipeline Management and Job Data Exchange initiatives. She is currently Senior Research Affiliate with the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, working on an interdisciplinary team to understand how regional workforce development systems are adapting to technological, industrial and demographic trends.

Recently completed and ongoing projects include: a report on racial equity in youth apprenticeships for the North Carolina Justice Center and Annie E. Casey Foundation (https://www.ncjustice.org/publications/making-youth-apprenticeships-equitable-and-effective-lessons-from-north-carolina/); state and national counts of non-degree credentials for Credential Engine (https://credentialengine.org/counting-credentials- 2019-report/); development of state certifications and licensing data tables with the LMI Institute (https://www.lmiontheweb.org/what-we-do/state-certifications-and-licenses-data/).

Dr. Forbes holds a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Maryland and a PhD in City and Regional Planning with a specialization in Economic and Workforce Development from the University of North Carolina. Her scholarly work focuses on the practice of apprenticeship by German firms in North America and workforce skills, training provision and job quality in manufacturing supply chains. She has published papers in Economic Development Quarterly, International Labor Relations Review, and Industry and Corporate Change. She also has a paper trail scattered across local newspapers and obscure outdoor sports magazines.

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