PEDA - Pennsylvania Economic Development Association

Introduction to Industry Analysis – Identifying Competitive Industries In Your Regional Economy

  • 02/25/2015
  • 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
  • Online Webinar (Log-in credentials will be provided to registrants in advance of the session.)



This webinar will provide economic developers with a basic overview of industry data sources, and how to access these data. The webinar will review key industry data sources available through the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US Census Bureau and the Pennsylvania Center for Workforce Information and Analysis. Webinar attendees will not only learn what these data say (and importantly, do not say) about their economic base, but will also be shown how to access these data.

Participants will also learn several basic analytical techniques that will help them better understand the relative strength of the industries in their region and how to identify sources of regional economic competitiveness. The webinar will cover basic forms of trend analysis that will allow practitioners to compare the regional industry growth trends to that of the state and the nation. Additionally, participants will learn how to calculate and interpret location quotients that will allow them to better identify those industries that might have a unique competitive advantage in their region. Finally, the webinar will demonstrate several simple, publically available tools that can further help practitioners identify their region’s competitive industries.


James F. Futrell, Jr.; Vice President, Market Research and Analysis, Allegheny Conference on Community Development - Pittsburgh Regional Alliance

James Futrell is Vice President of Market Research and Analysis for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.  His major responsibilities include monitoring regional and national demographic and economic trends, conducting in-depth research on targeted businesses and industries, impact analyses, ensuring data integrity of marketing materials and presentations, and overseeing and updating electronic proprietary data sources.  During his tenure, he developed a proactive lead identification process that resulted in Google establishing its engineering center in the region and launched a major research initiative measuring the impact of international business on the Pittsburgh region.  He has been recognized three times by the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) at their annual Applied Community and Economic Research Awards.   He also sits on the executive committee of C2ER, currently serving as Chair Elect.

Before joining the Conference in 2002, Mr. Futrell worked for PNC Financial Services Corporation holding positions as a Loan Underwriter, Credit Analyst, Market Analyst, and Marketing Research Analyst.  Specifically, he authored an extensive study of the internet as an emerging retail channel in 1999 that was termed “the definitive work on the subject” by the Director of Research at Simon Property Group.  During his time at PNC, he also developed state of the art marketing research methodology in support of the Community Reinvestment Act.

Mr. Futrell has also worked in market research and analysis for the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation in Youngstown, Ohio and Sears, Roebuck and Company in Chicago, Illinois. 

Mr. Futrell has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with majors in Marketing and Organizational Administration from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.  Mr. Futrell is part of a select group to be recognized as a Certified Community Researcher (CCR) by C2ER.  He is an avid amusement park enthusiast serving as Historian for the National Amusement Park Historical Association, working with the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, publishing five books on the subject and authoring numerous articles on the subject.

Attention Certified Providers: This course is approved to provide 1.50 organizational PDUs (Marketing / PR) as explained in the Guidelines for Certification of Economic Development Organizations issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and in the Institute’s Policies and Procedures.

*Note: We reserve the right to reschedule or cancel this offering.  In the event of a cancellation, a refund will be provided to registrants.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer


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