MCBER's Mission

To provide independent university-based analytical expertise and technical assistance that informs and advances economic, community, and workforce development decision-making in Maine.

About Us

Since 1977, the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) has been critical resource in supporting Maine’s economy by providing the public and private sectors with university-based expert research and services. CBER is designated by the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) as a University Center for the state of Maine and is supported in part by the Maine Economic Improvement Fund (MEIF). In addition to providing sponsored services to organizations across the state, the Center’s core programs are focused on supporting innovation and diversification in Maine’s forest resource economies and communities, and supporting efforts that build Maine’s knowledge workforce.


The Center maintains a host of analytical tools that allow modeling of a range of economic issues, including economic impacts, the impacts of policies, as well as population and economic forecasting. The Center provides a number of services and technical assistance that include the following:

  • Economic Modeling & Forecasting

  • Labor Market  & Workforce Research

  • Industry and Occupational Analyses

  • Demographic Forecasting

  • Spatial Analysis & GIS

  • Local & Regional Economic Development

  • Market Research

  • Survey Design & Implementation

  • Program Evaluation

Clients, Grant Providers, & Community Partners

CBER provides public and private sector organizations with the critical knowledge and insights they need to make informed decisions. A selection of past and current clients, grant providers, and partners are below.

American Automobile Association - Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments - Aroostook County Partnership - Atlantic Corporation - Biobased Maine - TD Banknorth Group - Casco Bay Estuary Partnership - Central Maine Power - Coastal Counties Workforce Investment  - Coastal Enterprises, Inc. - Colby College - Consensus Economic Forecasting Commission - Consumers Water Company - Cooperative Extension Service - Cumberland County Civic Center - E2Tech - Eastern Maine Development Corporation - Economic Development Council of Maine - ELIZA - Greater Portland Council of Governments - Hannaford Brothers - Health Watch Technologies, LLC - IDEXX - InforME, Inc. ( - Institute for Real Estate Research and Education - Kennebec Valley Council of - Governments - LL Bean - Mainebiz - Maine Council on Economic Education - Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry - Maine Department of Economic and Community Development - Maine Department of Labor - Maine Department of Transportation - Maine Development Foundation - Maine Economic Development District Association - Maine Enterprise Council - Maine Housing Authority - Maine Legislature - Maine Manufacturing Association - Maine Mass Timber Commercialization Center - Maine Medical Center - Maine Office of Innovation - Maine Real Estate & Development Association - Maine Renewable Energy Association - Maine Revenue Service - Maine Small Business Development Centers - Maine Space Grant Consortium - Maine State Planning Office - Maine Technology Institute - Maine Turnpike Authority - Mass Timber Commercialization Center - Maine Wedding Report, LLC. - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - New England Association of Cable Television Operators - New England Economic Partnership - Northern Maine Development Commission - Northrup, Devine & Tarbell, Inc. - Our Katahdin - Pan Atlantic Consulting - Portland Chamber of Commerce - City of Portland - Portland Community Chamber of Commerce - Portland Stage Company - Portland Water District - Professional Logging Contractors of Maine - ReEnergy Holdings -  City of Rockland - Rosemont Markets - Southern Maine Economic Development District - Stinson/Bumblebee Foods - The Corporate Library - UNUM - US Department of Agriculture - USM Data Innovation Project - Verizon - West Oxford Agricultural Society - City of Westbrook

Meet Our Team

Ryan Wallace, Ph.D.

Director, Maine Center for Business and Economic Research

Dr. Wallace is a regional economist and director of the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at the University of Southern Maine (USM). Under Ryan’s leadership, CBER prepares economic forecasts for the state of Maine and provides research, technical assistance, and expertise to private and public sector organizations across the state addressing economic development and workforce challenges. He has authored over 60 studies on the Maine and New England economies. He serves on the advisory board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center and his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, US Economic Development Administration, US Department of Agriculture, and Maine Economic Improvement Fund, among numerous private sector organizations. Ryan earned a PhD in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and has a BS in finance from Bentley University. He also teaches graduate courses in quantitative methods and economic development analysis and policy at UMass and USM.


Laura Yeitz, M.P.P.M.

Research Analyst

Laura holds a Master’s in Policy, Planning, and Management with a focus on sustainable development and geospatial technologies, and a graduate certificate in Applied Geographic Information Systems from the Muskie School of Public Service, and BS in Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University. Prior to her position as a research analyst, Laura worked for CBER as a graduate research assistant on projects such as Portland’s Economic Scorecard 2015 and A Labor Market and Workforce Profile of the Coastal Counties Workforce Investment Region. She also interned for the Town of Yarmouth's Planning Department where she assisted with Site Plan reviews and worked to redraft the Subdivision Ordinance.


Charles S. Colgan, Ph.D.

Senior Research Advisor, Professor Emeritus Muskie School of Public Service

Dr. James Beaupre, Innovation Engineer, Foster Center for Student Innovation, University of Maine

Renee Kelly, Director of Economic Development Initiatives and Foster Center for Student Innovation, Office of Innovation and Economic Development, University of Maine

Dr. Tracy Michaud, Dept. head and Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Tourism, University of Southern Maine 

Shane O'Neill, Forest Industry Business Development Manager, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine 

Dr. Jonathan Rubin, Professor School of Economics, Director Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, University of Maine

Dr. Stephen Shaler, Professor and Director, School of Forest Resources, University of Maine 

Jake Ward, Vice President of Innovation and Economic Development, University of Maine

University Center Affiliate Staff and Faculty:

Dr. Colgan is Senior Research Associate and Advisor at CBER, Professor Emeritus at USM, and director of Research at the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Previously, Dr. Colgan served as Professor of Public Policy and Management in the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine and was the Chair of the Muskie School’s PhD Program in Public Policy. His long term economic forecasts are used by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Economic Development Districts of Maine. Prior to joining the University of Southern Maine, he served in the Maine State Planning Office, was State Economist, Special Assistant to the Governor for International Trade, and Director of Natural Resource and Economic Policy. Dr. Colgan’s research has been funded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maine EPSCoR, National Science Foundation, NOAA, and the Senator George J. Mitchell Center.