Featured Resources

CREC produces reports, webtools, and other products that we make available to our network. These products and services reflect the diversity of CREC's capabilities and our commitment to advancing the state of the economic and workforce development practice.

Bridging Data Disparities for Equitable Career Pathways – Jan 2024

For two years, the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) worked alongside Jobs for the Future (JFF) and 14 workforce and education intermediary organizations participating in the Building Equitable Pathways (BEP) initiative to address information gaps and expand data-related capabilities. This cohort of intermediary organizations demonstrated the extent to which more coordinated and collaborative action is possible at the regional level and across regions nationwide to bolster workforce and education pathways for low-income, Black, and Latinx youth. Read the full report here.

Addressing Appalachia’s Substance Use Disorder Crisis Through Recovery-to-Work

The United States has seen a dramatic increase in substance use disorder (SUD) during the 21st century, and especially in Appalachia. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) increasingly recognized the importance of developing a regional response to the SUD crisis that fits their mission of furthering economic and workforce development in Appalachia. As a result, ARC unveiled the Recovery Ecosystem Model, which reflects the need for the regional coordination of recovery services, workforce training, and employment to help those in recovery from SUD achieve lasting employment. To develop that model further, ARC provided funding to the Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) to provide technical assistance, encourage peer sharing, and identify best practices in building recovery-to-work ecosystems. Read the full report here.

Strategic Positioning of MEP Centers in Providing Workforce Services

Small Manufacturing Enterprises (SMEs) fuel the U.S. economy. They compete through innovation, energy, and agility in response to rapidly changing global supply chain requirements and they take risks by introducing new processes and products. The vital role of SMEs, however, depends on a strong manufacturing workforce, and the challenges that SMEs face are particularly acute in finding, retaining, and skilling up workers. This working paper and accompanying presentation document how MEP Centers are well positioned to address a range of workforce challenges faced by SMEs and facilitate effective talent development. Produced by CREC for NIST MEP. Read the executive summary here.

Tracking Innovation in Credentialing Systems

An April 2021 report features a new earn-and-learn bridge program, launched in Philadelphia. The program addresses an urgent need for higher quality pre-K programming by helping high school students launch careers in education. Find the report here.

Credential Engine and CREC counted more than 1 million unique credentials in the U.S. The report, released December 2022, demonstrates the need for more transparency in the credentialing landscape. Find the report here.

Measuring Economic Development Performance

In helping regions compete, CREC is dedicated to helping policymakers better measure their economic performance.

CREC is collaborating with partners to sponsor research on how states are measuring the performance of the portfolio of economic development programs.

In 2016, we published the first of an occasional series.  We welcome others to contribute and to help us in moving this effort forward on behalf of the economic development practice.

2016 State Economic Development Performance Indicators White Paper (PDF)
2017 Redefining Economic Development Performance Indicators for a Field in Transition (PDF)

State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI)

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was created through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (the “Act”). SSBCI was funded with $1.5 billion to strengthen state programs that support financing of small businesses.  Treasury awarded funding to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. Territories, based on their proportion of unemployed persons as a percentage of the national total.

Participating States funded new or existing state programs that fell into one of the following types: Capital Access Program (CAP)Collateral Support ProgramLoan Guarantee ProgramLoan Participation Program, or Venture Capital Program. General program parameters required Participating States to demonstrate a reasonable expectation of leveraging $10 of private dollars for every $1 of SSBCI funding expended.

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