The CVCERD will be expanding in the fall of 2014 as we hire a full-time regional economist so that we can better interact with and serve the needs of local and regional community
stakeholders. This position is made possible by generous support from Northwestern
Bank, Excel Energy and the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Commitment.
The Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development (CVCERD) provides local/regional economic data as well as research and analysis as a service to the community. Our mission is to supply basic economic information and to produce and disseminate timely economic analysis in order to help foster economic development in the region.
In accomplishing this mission, we strive to create strong and lasting relationships between the university and the area business community as well as local/regional public officials. In addition, we pride ourselves on providing hands-on experience for our economics majors by involving students in our research and analysis activities.
Faculty and students working under the banner of the CVCERD can for example, track trends in the local economy and perform studies investigating a variety of other topics of special interest to the region.
The CVCERD gratefully acknowledges generous funding support from the following sources:
- Northwestern Bank
- UWEC Economics Department
- UWEC Office of Research & Sponsored Programs and Differential Tuition
Do you have a question relating to economics or the local economy? Please contact Professor Eric Jamelske at 715-836-3254 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Laura Middlesworth at 715-836-2151 or by email at email@example.com.
Chippewa Valley Economic Indicators Project: 2004 – Present
It is inevitable when there is an election or when the general public is asked their opinion regarding the most important issue of the day, the answer always seems to be, IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID! This fact highlights the importance of having access to basic economic data and information describing the performance of the economy. That is, business, government and the general public all have an interest in knowing how the economy is doing.
To meet this demand for economic data and information, the Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development began its Economic Indicators Project in 2003. This project is on-going as the CVCERD collects and maintains a variety of local, regional and state economic data. These data have been organized into a database that can be used for local/regional economic research. Additionally, these data are available for download from our website making the CVCERD a one-stop-shop for this type of economic data. The CVCERD also prepares a monthly report featuring these data showing the monthly and annual changes and trends in economic conditions. In addition, the CVCERD prepares several other papers/reports through the year that may be of interest to various stakeholders in the community.
In addition, the CVCERD has collaborated with Volume One Magazine as
they have compiled a Chippewa Valley Report Card designed to describe and
assign a ranking to a variety of economic and social indicators. Click here for
more details on the Volume One Chippewa Valley Report Card.
Click here for more details on the CVCERD Economic Indicators Project
Eau Claire Basket Investment Track Project: 2005 - Present
As one watches any of a number of daily news shows, a constant feature is the slowly moving ticker ribbon along the bottom of the screen showing the stock prices for publically traded companies as well as a variety of other investment information. People always want to know how their investments are doing and how the overall stock market is performing.
There are a variety of publically owned companies trading on the major stock exchanges located in the Chippewa Valley and Western Wisconsin employing a significant number of people. In an effort to provide information on these companies as well as on the overall stock market, the Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development (CVCERD) partnered with The Leader Telegram to begin its Eau Claire Basket Investment Track Project in 2005.
This project is on-going as the CVCERD collects and maintains stock market data for a list of publicly-owned companies that are of local or regional interest. Company performance is tracked through a simple investment basket called the Eau Claire Stock Basket (ECB). The return on a hypothetical investment in these area companies is compared to the performance of alternative investments in the Dogs of the Dow as well as a Standard & Poor's Index exchange traded fund and a Gold exchange traded fund. This comparison is a weekly feature in the business section of the Leader-Telegram each Tuesday. Quarterly and year-end reports are also prepared using these data and are released through stories in the local media and on our website.
Climate Change Research Project: 2009 – Present
Climate Change (CC), a phenomenon entailing warming average global temperatures (global warming, GW) is an important and divisive national and international policy issue. Despite overwhelming scientific consensus and corresponding warnings, many people including policy makers still disagree about the reality of CC and the degree to which human activities are responsible. Not surprisingly, there is also significant public and political debate about what action, if any, should be taken to address CC.
The debate is heightened by uncertainties regarding the relationship between human activities, CO2 emissions and CC. In particular, it is difficult for the general public to accept that human actions are to blame, in part because taking action would likely require significant lifestyle changes with costs that are seen by many as prohibitive.
Overcoming these obstacles will require building a consensus among the general population. More specifically, policy actions to address CC will have to account for public perceptions and must be understood and accepted in order to be politically feasible and successfully implemented.
Therefore, it is important to find out what people know, think, and believe across a spectrum of issues related to CC.
The Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development (CVCERD) began its Climate Change/Global Warming Research Project in 2009. This research is currently ongoing as the CVCERD has been collecting and analyzing a variety of survey data to examine public awareness, understanding and beliefs regarding climate CC issues. Thus far, surveys have been conducted in the Chippewa Valley as well as across the United States and even in China.
Fruit and Vegetable Research Project: 2006 – Present
Most children and adolescents in the United States consume less than recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables. Experts and advocates recognize the school environment as a fundamental setting for providing children access to nutritious food and opportunities to learn about the importance of healthy eating. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) initiated its Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) in 2002 as part of a broad effort to address poor nutrition and rising obesity rates among children.
The FFVP began as a pilot and was expanded in 2004 and 2006, eventually becoming nationwide in 2008. This program allocates funding for selected schools to provide students with free fresh fruit and vegetable snacks outside of school lunch. The program aims to identify and develop best practices for increasing consumption of fruit and vegetables in schools to improve nutrition and combat childhood obesity. The history and implementation of the FFVP is described in more detail on the USDA website at http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/ffvp/default.htm.
Wisconsin was selected to participate in an expanded pilot of the FFVP during the 2006-07 school year and after a break in 2007-08 has continued participating in the FFVP since the nationwide program expansion in 2008. More information regarding the Wisconsin's implementation of the FFVP can be found on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction website at http://dpi.wi.gov/fns/ffvp.html.
Given the sizeable resources committed to funding the FFVP, more information is needed to understand the successes, limitations, and potential in meeting its stated goals.
In an effort to meet this informational need for both practitioners and policy makers involved in the FFVP, the Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development (CVCERD) began its Fruit and Vegetable Research Project in 2006. This research is currently ongoing as the CVCERD has been collecting and analyzing a variety of survey data to examine the successes and limitations of the FFVP. Over time this research has expanded to explore many methods of motivating children to eat more fruit and vegetables. Thus far, surveys have been conducted in many schools across the state of Wisconsin with a particular focus on schools in the Chippewa Valley.
The CVCERD is also proud to announce an affiliation with a brand new organization on the UW-Eau Claire Campus. The Watershed Institute for Collaborative Environmental Studies (WICES) was formed in 2010 and has just appointed an interim Director and hired its first full-time faculty with two additional faculty hires coming in the next two years. The CVCERD and WICES are also connected to the UW-Eau Claire Office of Sustainability which was established in 2009.
Click on the links below for more information and details regarding both the Watershed Institute and the Office of Sustainability.
Wisconsin Local Food Project: 2007 - 2009
In Western Wisconsin there is a strong push to develop a more robust local/regional food system, for economic development as well as for environmental and health reasons. Much attention has been given to how far food travels and if our current food production, distribution and consumption patterns/habits are efficient and environmentally friendly. A large part of this issue has been directed at where our food comes from. In particular, where large institutions that feed many people purchase there food from. In addition, there has been an increasing interest in where the food that people consume as they eat at home and in restaurants comes from?
In response to this important issue, the Chippewa Valley Center for Economic Research and Development (CVCERD) began its Wisconsin Local Food Project in 2007. The project goals were simple; to provide an applied analysis documenting the degree to which locally produced food is consumed in Western Wisconsin. To this end, the CVCERD conducted a variety of surveys of school district and college food service departments as well as restaurants and households. Although this project ended in 2009, the CVCERD has a continuing interest in the local food landscape and therefore may start up this line of research again in the future.
Northern Wisconsin State Fair: Visitor Profile and Economic Impact Study (Chippewa Falls): Click for report (pdf)
Impact of UWEC on the Chippewa Valley Economy: Click for report (MS Word)
Chippewa Valley Economy: Recent Regional Trends (MS Word)
The Chippewa Valley Economy (Fall 1999): Regional per capita income and recent trends (pdf)
Additional Links: Click for other local, regional and state economic resources