The Center for Economic and Community Development (CECD) is an applied research center dedicated to strengthening local and regional development in Pennsylvania and beyond. The Center is committed to working with and for communities in addressing the issues they face. The Center team includes faculty, staff, and students.

In the early 1990s, the CECD was created to strengthen the college’s research and outreach activities on community and economic issues across the Commonwealth. In 2018, the CECD received institutional support from the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education (AESE) to expand its efforts. Today the Center’s key priorities include:

  • Working with members, leaders, and stakeholders of various communities to identify emerging issues and barriers to improved quality of life
  • Providing evidence-based research and analysis related to community-identified issues and barriers
  • Offering education and engagement opportunities for communities, Extension educators, and undergraduate research assistants

Our work is grounded in the belief that communities can and should be at the forefront of driving positive change. Through our applied research work, we aim to support communities in making informed decisions.

For more information about CECD services and pricing, please contact Cristy Halerz Schmidt at