Penn State’s Center for Economic and Community Development connects residents and local leaders with information about the issues facing our communities.

We create and share applied research that can help you know your community, region, and state more deeply. Our team releases report series that provide background information to enable you to make informed decisions.  

  • The Pennsylvania county profile series is designed to help you identify opportunities and challenges in your county. Each report reviews population, quality-of-life, economic, and agricultural information. 
  • Economic trend reports paint pictures of what's going on in our state and local economies at given points in time. We also focus on timely issues, such as COVID-19. 
  • Pennsylvania agriculture updates illustrate trends in agriculture across the state.  

We also conduct economic impact analyses to explore the potential effects of projects, policies, and other changes in a given area. In the past, we looked at how the spotted lanternfly, if not contained, might impact Pennsylvania's economy. 

Our applied research is shaped by our experience working with communities. Community engagement – working together to address shared issues – is a powerful approach to strengthening your community. In addition to doing research, our team co-creates programs and trainings, and we partner with on-the-ground practitioners to bring engagement to life. The engagement toolbox on our website also offers practitioners a guide to concepts, tools, and strategies used in community engagement work. 

Along with our standing research portfolio, our team also conducts work by request. For more information about CECD services and pricing, please contact Alyssa Gurklis at

Center Staff