UC San Diego Extension creates research division

Responding to ever-evolving trends that shape local, national, and international economies, UC San Diego Extension has announced the launch of a new on-campus research division, the Center for Research on the Regional Economy (CRRE).

Specific emphasis will be placed on regional workforce trends and the impact of universities, research institutions, and continuing education on regional economic growth. The center’s focus will be on technological innovations, global trends, and industry developments.

“We are simply formalizing our efforts to collect valuable data on regional economies, not only here in San Diego but throughout the world,” said UC San Diego Extension Dean Mary Walshok. “As before, we seek to be a leading source for research and evaluation on issues relating to job creation, innovation, and economic vitality.”

The center’s launch is the latest example of UC San Diego Extension’s ongoing programs of community outreach, which in 2013 included:

  • 1,300 total relationships with employers and/or advisors

  • 233 employers

  • 80 professional associations

  • 88 community non-profits

  • 249 academics

  • 117 consultants

  • 20 government agencies

  • 318 vendors and/or business clients


shapiro.jpgJosh Shapiro, Ph.D., who serves as director of research and evaluation for UC San Diego Extension, coordinates the center’s projects.

Among his prior work, Dr. Shapiro was one of the core evaluators on the effectiveness of the Department of Labor’s $500 million WIRED initiative (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development), which involved 15 regions across the U.S. Most recently, he was also a team member working under a grant from the National Science Foundation on the role of social and cultural dynamics in regional innovation.

Dr. Shapiro holds a Ph.D. and master’s in sociology from UC San Diego and a BA in social thought and analysis from Washington University in St. Louis.



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