Our Pillars

UBRI has a broad understanding of the complex and interconnected factors present in healthy economies.

Community leaders and policy makers had to plan to grow, support and sustain a 21st century economy. UBRI’s work played a pivotal role in economic development strategy through a strong portfolio of relevant quantitative and qualitative research. UBRI’s projects range in scale from analysis of regional and local economies using key indicators; to identifying strengths and opportunities to leverage growth; to economic impact analysis of programs and institutions to better understand their roles in the larger economic ecosystem. Our work examines and explains complex and shifting economic landscapes leading to smarter investments to continue upward trajectories.

UBRI has been focusing on regional economic development strategy around four interconnected pillars:


We plan for great places.

Placemaking is critical to our ability as a region to attract new companies, a talented workforce and grow existing businesses. The region’s architecture and built environment must create accessible job centers and vibrant, livable communities, serviced and connected by sustainable infrastructure.

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We strategically grow the workforce pipeline.

A flexible, inclusive and industry-driven workforce training and talent attraction environment prepares workers for success and helps businesses thrive, while addressing the barriers to economic self-sufficiency for the region’s unemployed and underemployed populations.

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We promote economies and environments for current and future generations.

Sustainability encompasses environmental design that fosters the conservation of resources and promotes public health; social well-being that encourages equitable access to opportunities, reduces disparities, and empowers communities; and economic wellness that achieves shared prosperity for all.

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We foster innovation to keep the region moving forward.

Innovation strategies generate more startup enterprises by facilitating applied research & development and support systems for entrepreneurs and small businesses, while strengthening networks for collaboration for growth.

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