Center for the Study of Community & Economy

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The Center for the Study of Community and the Economy (CSCE) is a public service, applied research organization with a mission to conduct research and provide data analysis and planning on issues related to community and economic development and public policy.  The Center serves the needs of Williamsport, Lycoming County and North Central Pennsylvania.  The interdisciplinary nature of faculty and staff involved in the Center provides an unbiased and complementary approach to the study of the communities that the Center serves.

The Center is built upon the idea that a growing economy is necessary to maintain a vibrant community and a vibrant community is required for economic growth.  In taking an interdisciplinary approach to the study of public opinion, public policy, economic analysis and community development, the Center’s primary goal is to improve the region’s quality of life as it is defined in the broadest sense.

The Center’s mission also extends to providing students with special opportunities to work with faculty in producing original, applied research.  As future economic and community leaders, students involved in the Center’s activities will gain the opportunity to work in a real world laboratory to hone their ability to understand the challenges and opportunities they and their communities face.

Drs. Kolb and Williamson recently completed research funded by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency entitled “Natural Gas Development’s Effect on Housing in Pennsylvania.” The study explored the effects the growth of the gas industry is having on housing statewide through interviews of over 70 stakeholders including local elected officials, county and municipal planners, housing authority officials, social service agency representatives, landlords, developers, realtors, gas company representatives and new residents on four broad issues: 1) rental housing, 2) owner-occupied housing, 3) housing affordability and availability, and 4) the capacity of the development community to meet demand for housing.

In recent years, CSCE has conducted applied research projects for the following organizations:

  • Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA)
  • Lycoming County United Way
  • City of Williamsport
  • Williamsport Crosscutters Minor League Baseball Organization
  • Lycoming-Clinton Counties Commission for Community Action (STEP), Inc.
  • Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation (CPWDC)
  • Lycoming Clinton Bi-County Office of Aging
  • Williamsport/Lycoming Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ)

Please contact Jonathan Williamson, Ph.D., Director, or Bonita Kolb, Ph.D., Co-Director, for additional information.