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


Check out the profile of Allison in the StatsAmerica newsletter!

Dr. Allison Forbes is Vice President of Research at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC). Dr. Forbes has 19 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 data-driven approaches to understanding industrial change and corresponding trends in education and training. She leads several initiatives that improve the availability of information useful to educators, employers, and their intermediaries: expanding access to LMI for more equitable pathways and estimating future skill demand. In 2019, she supported development of the National Association of Workforce Board National Labor Exchange, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Talent Pipeline Management, and Job Data Exchange initiatives, and she served as Senior Research Affiliate on an interdisciplinary team with the MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future, working to understand how regional workforce development systems are adapting to technological change.

Research and reports include: a report on capacity building for college and career pathway analysis (https://crecstorage.blob.core.windows.net/crec/2024/01/CREC_Bridging-Disparities-Final.pdf); a report on racial equity for youth apprenticeships with 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-2021/); development of state certifications and licensing data tables with the LMI Institute (https://www.lmiontheweb.org/what-we-do/state-certifications-and-licenses-data/); development of a new, more transparent approach to estimating automation impacts on regions (https://www.lmiontheweb.org/automation-exposure-score/) in collaboration with Steve Hine.

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 focused 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 outdoor sports magazines.

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