Predicting where jobs are, workforce trends and community and economic development needs are all under the Center for Research on the Regional Economy's umbrella. The world-renowned research center is run by a team with expertise in workforce and regional economic trends, data-driven research, program evaluations and continuing education.
CRRE is spearheading efforts to teach others in the community how to use data to make informed decisions. The center has recently created the Community Research and Program Evaluation Certificate that teaches working professionals the skills needed for program evaluation, data collection and community research. The center also has a research fellows program that works with undergraduate and graduate students to teach them analytical skills.
The Center for Research on the Regional Economy (CRRE) researchers have expertise in regional workforce trends, the impact of universities, research institutions and continuing education on regional economic growth. The following is a selection of the CRRE research reports:
- Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos, G., Carton, G., Emerging Careers for College Graduates (2017).
- Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos, G., Carton, G., Priming the Talent Pipeline (2017).
- Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos, G., Carton, G., Labor Market Analysis: Public Sector for the San Diego Workforce Partnership (2017).
- Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos, G., Carton, G., Emerging Careers for College Graduates (2016).
- Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos, G., Carton, G., San Diego County Labor Market Analysis: Specialty Foods and Brews, interviews for the San Diego Workforce Partnership (2016).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos G., San Diego County Labor Market Analysis: Aerospace Industry, report for the San Diego Workforce Partnership (2015).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos G., Carton G., Downtown San Diego: The Innovation Economy's Next Frontier, report for the Downtown San Diego Partnership (2015).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos G., Priority Sectors: Workforce Initiatives in San Diego County, report for the San Diego Workforce Partnership (2015).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., Selfridge-Bustos G., Diamond Neighborhoods Collective Impact, dashboard for the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (2015).
- Shapiro, J.D., Baru, S., Selfridge-Bustos, G., Hot Careers for College Graduates (2015).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., Baru, S., San Diego County Labor Market: Advanced Manufacturing, report for the San Diego Workforce Partnership (2014).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., " Beyond Tech Transfer: A More Comprehensive Approach to Measuring the Entrepreneurial University" Journal of Management Studies (2014).
- Walshok, M.L. and West, Joel. " Serendipity and Symbiosis: UCSD and the Local Wireless Industry." In Public Universities and Regional Growth: Insights from the University of California. Kenney, Martin, and David Mowery. Forthcoming Stanford Press, (2014).
- DeVries, H., Baru, S., Shapiro, J.D., Hot Careers for College Graduates and Returning Students (2014).
- Walshok, M. L., Shragge, A., Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego's Innovation Economy, Stanford University Press (2013).
- DeVries, H., Baru, S., Shapiro, J.D., DeVries, H., Baru, S., Shapiro, J.D., Hot Careers for College Graduates and Returning Students (2013).
- Walshok, M.L., Shapiro, J.D., Owens, N., " Unraveling the Cultural and Social Dynamics of Regional Innovation Systems", Report to the National Science Foundation (2013).
- Audretsch, D. B., & Walshok, M. L. Creating competitiveness: Entrepreneurship and innovation policies for growth. Elgar Publishing (2013).
- Walshok, M.L., The Strategic Management of Place, Evolution of San Diego Innovation Economy. Ed. David Audretsch. Elgar Publishing (January 2013).
- Walshok, Mary. " A Systemic Approach to Accelerating Entrepreneurship." innovations 8.3-4 (2013): 7-17.
- Walshok, Mary L., Josh D. Shapiro, and Nathan Owens. "Transitional Innovation Networks Aren't all Created Equal: Towards a Classification System". The Journal of Technology Transfer (1, 2012).
- Walshok, M.L., Owens, N., OrthoWorx Evaluation: Second Report January 2011-July 2012, report for BioCrossroads Indiana (2012).
- DeVries, H., Baru, S., Shapiro, J.D., Hot Careers for College Graduates and Returning Students (2012).
- Walshok, M. L., Munroe, T., DeVries, H., Closing America's Job Gap, New Win Publishing (2011).
- DeVries, H., Hot Careers for College Graduates (2011).
- DeVries, H., Hot Careers for College Graduates (2010).
- Walshok, M. L., Connecting Science and Business, Developing University-Industry Relations - Pathways to Innovation from the West Coast, Ed. Miller, R. C., LeBoef, B.J. Jossey-Bass Publishers (2009).
- Walshok, M.L., Owens, N., Horowitt G., Usry, S., Biotechnology Cluster Project: San Diego Analysis, report for the United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney (2010).
- Walshok, M.L., Horowitt, G., NISP CONNECT, assessment report for MATRIX, Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel (2009).
- Walshok, M.L., Evaluation of Generation I of the Workforce Investment Regional Economic Development (WIRED) Initiative, report prepared for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, Office of Policy Development, Evaluation and Research, Washington, DC (2009).
- Walshok, M. L., Lee, C.W.B., Road Map for Collaboration: Describing St. Louis, MO's Federally Funded Research and Innovation Assets through RaDiUS, report for Washington University's Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (2006).
- Morris, K., Owens, N., Walshok, M.L., Borderless Innovation: Catalyzing the Competitiveness of the San Diego - Baja California Region, report by San Diego Dialogue (2005).
- Walshok, M. L., Lee, C.W.B., Eizenberg, M., Lowenstein, A., Guttman, R., Building the Foundation for U.S. - Israel Initiatives in Biotechnology: Connecting Israel's Institute of Technology (Technion) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), report for the U.S. - Israel Science & Technology Foundation (USISTF) (2005).
The CRRE works closely with partners to develop the research design that works best for their organization. The following are a list of the type of services we provide:
Partnering with various sized non-profits, the research team works in collaboration with organizations to design and conduct evaluations to demonstrate their program's impact and reach. Using a mixed methods approach researchers use quantitative and qualitative research methodology to get a thorough understanding of a program. Whether it be designing surveys, conducting in-depth interviews, or creating psychosocial profiles to understand the social environment, physical and mental wellness of program participants. The CRRE research team works in collaboration with partners to ensure the program evaluation is holistic and meets their needs.
Helping communities and cities understand their constituents by creating dashboards with innovation and economic indicators. The research team analyzes hundreds of data sets such as the following:
- Demographics: Race, age, educational attainment, wage ranges, etc.
- Economic: Firms by industry cluster, housing cost, GDP, industry cluster economic impact, etc.
- Innovation Economy: Number of startups, incubators/accelerator working spaces, job creation, etc.
- Community: Walking score, number of non-profits or art organizations, crime, teen fitness/health factors, parks, tree canopy coverage, street lighting, etc.
The elements above help inform leaders about their community to identify the type of services the will most benefit their community.
The research team works with university departments and non-profits to conduct market research studies to determine the viability of programs being considered. Projects vary from proposed academic degrees to training programs serving local communities. Researchers use qualitative and quantitative research methods to help organizations determine the viability of the proposed programs by conducting a landscape analysis, evaluating the potential target audience’s receptiveness, job market needs, and employer needs. The CRRE team has conducted a myriad of market research studies for proposed university Masters programs, as well as, training programs for non-profits.
The CRRE is an advocate for data-driven decisions. In addition, to helping organizations make decisions based on quantitative and qualitative data, the department also works on efforts to teach others how they can use data on their own to make programmatic and organizational decisions.
The following are some programs the organization spearheads:
Community Research Certificate
The specialized certificate in Community Research and Program Evaluation offers an overview of data sources and methods and fundamentals for evaluating programs and services in school, health, government, nonprofit agencies, social service agencies, state departments, consulting firms, and businesses. The program allows working professionals from a variety of disciplines to develop baseline training in program evaluation, data collection, and community research. Our course environment encourages inquiry-based learning as a central feature of the training approach. Students will link scholarship to practice through case studies, problem-solving exercises, as well as a capstone project. The Community Research and Program Evaluation Certificate will provide students with an expanded toolkit to assess various research methodologies, ask essential questions for program evaluation, access community data, and perform descriptive analyses to make a difference within their organization. Learn More.
Institutional Research Certificate
The online specialized certificate in Institutional Research trains professionals and individuals to learn the fundamental skills to analyze data, conduct routine monitoring, and ultimately conduct institutional research. The certificate offers an overview of the field of institutional research, teaching students to utilize quantitative and qualitative methodologies to create research instruments and evaluate university outcomes. Students will have the opportunity to participate in internships and gain real-world experience in each course. This program is ideal for post-baccalaureate students and career professionals new to the discipline of institutional research. Learn More.
The CRRE department offers a unique opportunity for UC San Diego undergraduate and graduate students to be a research fellow for the department. Students work closely with the CRRE research team to learn research and analytics skill sets by working on research projects. Students are welcomed to apply for the program by emailing a statement of interest to Dr. Josh Shapiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Mary Walshok is an author, educator, researcher, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She is a thought leader and subject matter expert on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth. She is the author of more than 100 articles and reports on regional innovation, the role of research institutions in regional economies and workforce development. She has authored and co-authored numerous book chapters and articles on the world of work, including: Blue Collar Women (1981), Knowledge Without Boundaries: What America's Research Universities Can Do for the Economy, the Workplace, and the Community (1995), Closing America's Job Gap (2011) and Invention and Reinvention: The Evolution of San Diego's Entrepreneurial Economy (2013). As an industrial social scientist studying the dynamics of regional economic development and transformation, Walshok has studied various communities across America. She has evaluated 13 WIRED regions funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, studied three innovative regions for a National Science Foundation-funded project, and assessed one region’s efforts to grow an industry for a Lilly Foundation-funded endeavor.
Dr. Josh Shapiro is the director of research and evaluation at the Center for Research on the Regional Economy at UC San Diego Extension. His current evaluation projects cover a wide range of topics, including health care, advanced manufacturing, STEM education, and the role of philanthropy in economic development. He has worked on a number of labor market and innovation reports, including a grant from the National Science Foundation on the role social and cultural dynamics play in regional economic development. Dr. Shapiro was one of the core evaluators on the effectiveness of the Department of Labor’s $500 million WIRED initiative, which involved 15 regions across the United States. He also leads Extension’s market research team, which focuses on assisting educational programs to conduct market research and curricula development for workforce and education training programs. Dr. Shapiro has taught classes on research methodology for UC San Diego and is trained in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies with a specialization in survey design. Before attending graduate school, Dr. Shapiro worked in the conflict resolution field in Washington D.C., served as a public school teacher in South Carolina, and built homes with Habitat for Humanity in Louisiana. Dr. Shapiro holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology from the UC San Diego and a B.A. in social thought and analysis from Washington University in St. Louis.
Gladys Bustos-Selfridge is a research associate at the Center for Research on the Regional Economy at UC San Diego Extension. She has led numerous outreach surveys, interviews, and focus group efforts. Selfridge has experience working with workforce agencies, education systems, high school districts, community colleges, and universities. She has spearheaded efforts to expose job seekers to careers in the manufacturing sector, collaborating with industry, workforce centers, educators, and other stakeholders. She made strong contributions to the South and East County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and has provided expertise to SANDAG for their 2012 Traded Industry Clusters in the San Diego Region report. She earned her bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego, graduating magna cum-laude.
Gina Carton is a research analyst at the Center for Research on the Regional Economy at UC San Diego Extension. She has experience conducting quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, report writing, and other research support. Gina has worked on a variety of evaluations with local community organizations, institutions of higher education, and workforce development agencies. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science at UC San Diego.