About CREC

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded to provide policy-makers from around the world with the information and technical assistance they need to formulate and execute innovative, regional, job-creating economic strategies.

Our staff members come from around the globe, bringing with them diverse backgrounds, and world-class skill sets.

CREC staff

Lee Winkler
Research Assistant


Lee Winkler joined the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) team in June 2018, and currently serves as a Research Assistant. Mr. Winkler assists with the initial data review and analyses for the Cost of Living Index, contributes to the maintenance of the State Business Incentives Database, in addition to serving on various consulting projects and assisting with the Council for Community and Economic Research’s (C2ER) product development and marketing efforts.

Mr. Winkler primarily assists with data collection and analysis for consulting projects at CREC. Currently, Mr. Winkler supports CREC’s research for Credential Engine on different types of credentials. Mr. Winkler is responsible for researching credentials located in the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, in addition to continuing education certificates, and non-Title IV alternative online degrees. Mr. Winkler is also involved with CREC’s evaluation of the Michigan Business Development Program for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. For C2ER, Mr. Winkler assists in the maintenance of the State Business Incentives Database and plays a significant role in the COLI data review and data collection. He assists with the review of COLI data and is currently working to identify methods to improve the efficiency of COLI’s data collection processes, while maintaining their quality.

Previously, Mr. Winkler worked as a Research Assistant with Dr. Andrew Reamer at the George Washington Institute for Public Policy where he helped identify the users of Bureau of Economic Analysis data.  Mr. Winkler conducted a methodological review of federal coal mining employment statistics as an intern with the Office of Surface Mining, collected data on and evaluated innovations with potential economic development applications as an intern with the Economic Development Administration, and spent time as a Spanish and Dutch language researcher at an investigations firm. In addition to his role at CREC, Mr. Winkler moonlights as a youth flag-football coach.

Mr. Winkler holds both a Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in Economic Development and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the George Washington University.

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