BBER and U of M Extension commit to formal partnership

Agreement encourages collaboration on projects impacting northeastern Minnesota

Economic and community development projects in northeastern Minnesota will get a boost through a new partnership between the Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the University of Minnesota Extension’s Department of Community Development.

The two-year partnership will provide the benefit of more economic impact analysis support and applied research. It will also allow more resources to be shared between both entities to strengthen collaboration on joint community projects. 

Through the partnership, Extension’s Department of Community Development also will have access to faculty and students at Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics who are interested in addressing community issues.

BBER Director Monica Haynes will serve as a bridge between the two entities, championing opportunities—such as research reports, projects, and curriculum—that benefit local communities.

“When I'm having conversations in communities and thinking about what we are able to do to support them, I'm able to think bigger and broader knowing that we have the technical and analytical abilities to do the applied research,” said John Bennett, Extension community economics educator.

Increased collaboration between the two departments has already had a measurable impact. “Last year, we collaborated on research studying the feasibility of a transportation redesign in downtown Duluth,” said Haynes. “That partnership contributed to the success of a Reconnecting Communities planning grant, which awarded $1.8 million to the city of Duluth.”

Publication Date