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Greg Schrock
Greg Schrock

Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning

Exploring labor markets and opportunity

PhD, Urban Planning and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago
MURP, Urban and Regional Planning, University of Minnesota
BA, Government & Int’l Studies, University of Notre Dame


Assistant Professor of Urban Studies and Planning

    Regional economic development, labor market analysis, workforce development policy, green jobs, industrial revitalization, social equity

    • USP 515: Economic Applications to Urban Studies
    • USP 311U: Introduction to Urban Planning
    • USP 510: Workforce Development
    • USP 572: Regional Economic Development
    • USP 510: Regional Economic Development Lab

    Current CV

    Phone: (503) 725-8312
    Office: Urban Center 370C

    Professor Greg Schrock explores how economic opportunity is shaped in the labor market. His research investigates regional economic change and its influence on local labor market outcomes and social inequality. He studies the effectiveness of programs and institutions for promoting inclusive and equitable economic development.

    Dr. Schrock has authored and co-authored several articles on workforce training and development, the arts and cultural economy, manufacturing and high-technology industries in journals including Urban Geography, Urban Studies, and Economic Development Quarterly.

    Before joining PSU faculty in 2010, Dr. Schrock taught as a visiting professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. While completing doctoral studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he worked at the Center for Urban Economic Development, where he worked with local officials in Chicago on research and evaluation of jobs and workforce development programs. He has also worked in state economic development in Minnesota and Indiana around diverse issues as manufacturing skills and welfare-to-work programs.  

    He teaches courses in regional economic development, the economics of urban planning, and urban labor markets. In and out of the classroom, Dr. Schrock strives to help students gain the skills and connections necessary to succeed professionally. He enjoys teaching undergrads the relevance of planning, shaping MURP students into the next generation of planners, and helping doctoral students become social scientists.   He was named the Toulan School’s recipient of the inaugural CUPA Teaching Awards for 2011-12.

    Recent Projects

    He is currently active on several areas of research, including:

    Local and “first source” hiring policies in U.S. cities.  How can the benefits of local economic development be targeted to populations in need?  Prof. Schrock is studying the use of “first source” and local hiring policies as a tool for communities to ensure that disadvantaged populations and communities benefit from publicly-subsidized job creation efforts.  He recently received an Early Career Research Award from the WE Upjohn Institute for Employment Research to support this work.      

    Migration and labor market outcomes for young, college-educated workers.  Is Portland really “the place where young people go to retire”? This research, in collaboration with Professor Jason Jurjevich, examines the shifting relationship between migration, amenities, and economic opportunity for younger workers. They presented their work in September 2012 as part of the Toulan School’s “City Wise” series. Related reports:

    Social equity, green jobs and local sustainability plans.  Are cities making social equity a part of their planning for climate change and sustainability? This research, in collaboration with Prof. Ellen Bassett of the University of Virginia, examines recent climate action and sustainability plans from a number of U.S. cities and assesses whether social equity is part of their plans, and how they are connecting their plans to economic and workforce development strategies for green jobs.

    Labor restructuring in U.S. manufacturing.  Should cities still look to manufacturing as a source of good jobs?  This research, in collaboration with Prof. Marc Doussard of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, examines the restructuring of employment opportunities in the manufacturing sector over the past thirty years, and the potential for industrial revitalization efforts in U.S. cities.

    What Professor Schrock has to say...

    BEST PARTS OF JOB: I like helping students look at the world, the urban environment, and the practice of urban planning differently. All my students live in communities that will be affected by planning. Planning is a fundamental human behavior that we participate in as citizens, consumers, and voters. We plan so we can accomplish goals; we plan cities so we can have the communities that we want. We have to make intentional decisions along the way and decide what values we want to embed in our society. Even if they don’t choose planning professionally, I want students to understand how planning relates to their lives.

    ON TEACHING IN PORTLAND: Planning is taken seriously here. Having been in Chicago, it’s easy to become cynical because so much is based on politics and power. Those dynamics are here too, but planning in Portland is a very public and deliberative process about what people want. People are used to having that conversation and making decisions about how the region should grow. It’s been successful, but there have also been blind spots in terms of social equity and race.
    APPROACH TO TEACHING: Empathy. I understand and remember vividly how exhausting school is...

    ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: To realize that school is a critical time to build networks and experience.  Skills are obviously important, but you should choose a school that will help connect you to the network of people with whom (and places where) you want to work.  

    WHEN NOT TEACHING, I... Watch baseball. I’m a converted Twins fan after growing up rooting for the White Sox. I appreciate the subtlety and strategy in the match-up between the pitcher and the hitter.

    FAVORITE GRADING TOOL: Adobe Acrobat. I grade electronically, and don’t accept anything on paper.