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Volume 6

Strengthening Leadership for Sustainable Economies: The Center for Community and Economic Development

Through its applied research and outreach activities, MSU's Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) has been mobilizing the university's resources and expertise to strengthen Michigan communities for 40 years. Through responsive engagement, strategic partnerships, and collaborative learning, CCED is dedicated to empowering communities to create sustainable prosperity and an equitable global knowledge economy.

CCED's director, Rex LaMore, said the work of the Center "takes place at the engagement interface—the messy, unpredictable place where theory and practice meet in real-time about real-life problems. Its capacity to collaborate with communities in addressing their issues—by co-discovering new ways of addressing persistent problems, engaging in informed experiments, and assessing impacts—creates a unique role for higher education to be fully engaged as a contributing partner in the creation of the 21st century Michigan."

LaMore believes "more and more that community and economic development work is striving to become a sustainable community and economic development paradigm. Nowhere is achieving some form of sustainability more challenging than in the context of the economic decline that we are experiencing in Michigan. Ironically, at the same time there is no greater opportunity to eate a socially just and economically sustainable society than in Michigan, where a fundamental transformation is widely accepted as needed."

Michigan State University's Center for Community and Economic Development, through a rigorous scholarship of engagement, is fully committed to advancing new concepts, building the competence, and facilitating the connections that will lead to a more just and sustainable Michigan. For more information visit http://www.ced.msu.edu.


  • Rex LaMore
  • Director
  • MSU Center for Community and Economic Development
  • (517) 353-9555
  • ced@msu.edu


  1. LaMore, R. (2010, Fall). View from the edge: University/community partnerships. Community News & Views, 20(1). Retrieved from http://www.ced.msu.edu/cnv/Fall_2010_Newsletter.pdf

CCED-Led Project Aims to Develop Export Trade for Michigan Companies

CCED's J. D. Snyder leads a project that is developing export trade capabilities in Michigan's most chronically depressed regions.
CCED's J. D. Snyder leads a project that is developing export trade capabilities in Michigan's most chronically depressed regions.

Economic development experts from MSU's Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) will lead a federally funded effort to help businesses increase exports in two of Michigan's most chronically depressed regions.

The CCED and regional partners will help small and mid-sized companies in the eastern Upper Peninsula and Saginaw regions to find new markets for their products and services. The initiative is funded by a $179,654 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

"Exporting strategies are a critical component of knowledge-based regional economic development," said CCED director Rex LaMore. "This project builds on our previous work to develop regional innovative development strategies."

MSU will collaborate with two regional partners—the East Michigan Council of Governments, which covers the Saginaw region, and the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission—to identify and implement opportunities to increase exporting and importing opportunities between Michigan and neighboring Ontario and other Canadian provinces.

"To be successful in the global economy, small and medium companies must take advantage of lucrative export markets," said J. D. Snyder, project director for the CCED. "In working with our regional partners, we will help companies in their regions to start or expand their exporting."

Project investigators will survey companies in the two regions to identify those interested in entry or expansion into the export market and their knowledge of potential exporting opportunities. The project team will then conduct five workshops during the next 18 months to help Michigan companies enter or expand exporting markets.

The project is designed to support the National Export Initiative (NEI) goal to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014 in support of several million jobs. The NEI enhances the government's trade promotion efforts, increases credit to businesses looking to export, and continues to improve efforts to remove trade arriers to U.S. companies competing in foreign markets.


  • J. D. Snyder
  • Project Director
  • MSU Center for Community and Economic Development
  • (517) 353-9555
  • snyderj6@msu.edu


  1. MSU-led project aims to expand trade for Michigan companies. (2011, July 13). East Lansing: MSU University Relations. Retrieved from http://news.msu.edu/story/9566/