Community Economic Development

At its heart, community economic development is about understanding place. We seek to understand how people live and work, to help create thriving communities statewide.

Our faculty research how economic growth, relocation, and changing labor markets affect the economy of communities across Wisconsin, especially in rural areas. Our work is geared towards informing governments, decision makers, business owners and community members. Trying to understand paths forward for rural economies in today’s world is especially challenging, requiring a focus on innovation, alternative development strategies, the role of women in business, and more.

Community Economics Development News

Property rights, land use and economic development

October 13, 2023

Dustin Frye studied how the complex history of property rights on Native American reservations has affected land development and cultivation.

Survey: Just under half of Wisconsin businesses plan to hire additional employees over the next six months

July 17, 2023

The state of the job market for new graduates

May 16, 2023

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Community Economic Development Courses

AAE 306: The Real Estate Process Introductory survey course. Decision-making processes for the manufacture, marketing, management and financing of real estate space. Survey of institutional context, economics of urbanization, historical pattern and structure of city growth, and public policy issues regarding urban environment and business management.

AAE 520: Community Economic Analysis Economic theory (location and growth) applicable to community economic development; the role of private and public sector in local economic development, and techniques for economic analysis of community.

Community Economics Development Faculty

Tessa Conroy

Associate Professor

(608) 265-4327

323 Taylor Hall

Steven Deller


(608) 263-6251

515 Taylor Hall

Dustin Frye

Assistant Professor

(608) 262-3890

422 Taylor Hall

Rhiannon Jerch

Assistant Professor

(608) 262-1441

402 Taylor Hall