Center for Applied Economic and Community Research


The Center for Applied Economic and Community Research was launched in July 2021 by USC Upstate's George Dean Johnson, Jr. College of Business and Economics (JCBE) in downtown Spartanburg. CAECR will leverage the university's resources to advance the economic development and well-being of the Upstate region of South Carolina. The center will enable the JCBE to conduct economic impact studies, community indicator projects, survey and focus group studies, collaboration with local businesses and nonprofit organizations, and other relevant business and community projects.


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Sam Cooper
Director of Strategic Initiatives and Special Projects for the JCBE; Director of the CAECR 

Dr. Sam Cooper is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate. He earned his Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in Economics from the University of South Carolina and has served in both faculty and administrative roles at other universities. Cooper has been published more than 40 times, including peer-reviewed articles, a book chapter, book reviews, and op/ed pieces. His research interests include public economics and the economics of education.

For questions about the center and its programming, please contact Sam Cooper at