Dr. Henry Renski’s research focuses on understanding the technological and social forces driving regional economic competitiveness and transformation, building upon this knowledge to improve the effectiveness of economic development policy. Dr. Renski’s current work examines regional influences on entrepreneurship; changing patterns of commercial development in the internet age; industrial cluster analysis and cluster-based development strategies; and the application of spatial-analytical techniques to local economic policy decision-making.
Of specific note is Dr. Renski’s expertise in using confidential, employee- and employer-level data to analyze workforce mobility and his work on labor force mobility and knowledge flows within industrial clusters. This research examines employee-employer data to measure mobility, testing how well national industry staffing patterns and buyer‐supplier associations explain labor mobility between industries. Using similar data, Dr. Renski conducted a study of workforce flows for the Maine Department of Labor, Center for Workforce Research and Information.
Dr. Renski’s work has been published in a variety of planning, economic development and regional science journals including the Journal of the American Planning Association, the Journal of Planning Research and Education, Regional Studies, the Journal of Regional Science, Papers in Regional Science, and Economic Development Quarterly.
Dr. Renski joined the UMass Amherst faculty of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning in the fall of 2007. He teaches courses in quantitative methods, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and spatial analysis, and state and local economic development policy. Prior to joining LARP, Dr. Renski worked as a Special Assistant to the Governor of the State of Maine as both the Deputy Program Manager of Maine’s WIRED (Workforce Innovations in Economic Development) initiative and as a Research Economist with the Maine State Planning Office. Dr. Renski holds a PhD and MRP from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a B.A. from the University of Southern Maine.
In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Renski serves as the Director for the UMASS Center for Economic Development – a campus-based institute which provides technical assistance and conducts applied research on behalf of states, communities, regional planning and development agencies, and other public/non-profit entities interested in promoting economic development. He is the Graduate Program Director of the PhD in Regional Planning, and the resident methodologist for the UMASS Institute for Social Science Research.