A University of West Florida Outreach Office

Serving Northwest Florida since 2011

The UWF Office of Economic Development and Engagement (OEDE) is a research center that supports our region by providing expertise to inform public policy and give business and community leaders the data they need to make sound decisions. Professionals at OEDE use economic data, market analytics, workforce information, and industry research to support our regional industry and government partners. Our research covers a variety of topics, including economic impact studies, consumer and visitor profiles, as well as research on talent gaps. Our analysts collaborate to bring objective and reliable information to our clients and community leaders. OEDE’s visual reports help nonprofits, municipalities, and businesses make informed decisions. Our experts conduct research and share valuable information to the public on bed tax collections, airport traffic, retail sales, employment, and disaster impacts. 

Below are a few examples of common research projects OEDE conducts for our region:

Education Data Dashboard – OEDE developed and maintains a data dashboard of how Escambia County students compare across the state. Achieve Escambia is a county-wide partnership of local leaders that work together to make data driven decisions to help bolster employment and eradicate poverty. The OEDE dash board is used to inform these senior leaders on their cradle-to-career initiative.

Election Survey - OEDE conducted a study on voter satisfaction for the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections. Researchers studied Escambia County’s primary and general elections, assessed the ease and efficiency of the voting process and the voters’ knowledge of voting options, locations and other general election information. The results will be used to provide an even better voter experience in Escambia County.

Workforce Housing Demand - At the request of Walton county officials, OEDE conducted researched to assess the demand for and cost of workforce housing in Walton County. This information gave Walton County vital information to better plan for future growth and meet the needs for affordable housing.

Healthcare Needs Study - OEDE conducted an economic impact study of a new Healthcare facility in Northwest Florida. OEDE staff researched and provided a report on best locations for the construction of a new facility and the impact of investing in an existing facility. This study allowed decision makers to make an informed choice about the future of their healthcare facility.

Homelessness Assessment - OEDE was asked by Opening Doors Northwest Florida (formerly EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless) to assess the current state of homelessness in their two-county service area. This study was designed to measure the cost of all homelessness services in the area to allow them to make the case that they could provide more efficient and cost-effective assistance to the homeless population through a coordinated continuum of care.

Hurricane Michael Impacts - Researchers at OEDE are documenting the recovery of small businesses across Northwest Florida after Hurricane Michael. Information is being gathered on the recovery and OEDE is producing infographics to inform the public of the economic impacts of regional recovery.

Golf Course Impact on Residential Property Values* - *OEDE is currently conducting a study of property values of homes in a golf community. The analysis will help guide the understanding of a “golf course premium” attached to property values, how long it lasts, and what happens to values when the golf course ceases to exist. 

The 8 disproportionately affected counties
OEDE Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI) service area

The Sixth Wave

Regional economic development efforts come in waves. As a metaphor, the wave describes the strategies and used by economic developer to build economic value. Each wave has the ultimate goal of building the local economy.

So far researchers have defined five waves of economic development efforts.  But what will be the Sixth Wave?


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Free simple requests including general demographics, ring studies, traffic counts, unemployment statistics, retail sales, etc.

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GeoData Center

The Center maintains a comprehensive campus-wide Geographic Information System including a 32 workstation laboratory, field data collection equipment, and web and database servers configured to run GIS applications

GeoData Center
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Information for the region

Area Economy

Economic Profile

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Work Area Profile