JSU and UNA Collaborate to Study Lessons Learned from COVID-19


Jacksonville State University and the University of North Alabama are collaborating to study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the businesses and economies in their respective regions.

“There is a lot of very useful information coming out at the national and state levels,” said Jennifer Green, director of the JSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research. “JSU and UNA want to dig deeper to find out how it has affected and is affecting the microeconomics of each of our regions at the organizational level and plan to provide this data to all stakeholders within our regions.”

The two universities are surveying community leaders, businesses and organizations in both the East Central Alabama and the Northwest Alabama regions of the state. The JSU region is comprised of Blount, Calhoun, Clay, Cleburne, Cherokee, DeKalb, Etowah, Marshall, Randolph, St. Clair and Talladega counties. The University of North Alabama region is comprised of Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Marion and Winston counties.

The survey is currently being distributed within each region with the assistance of Chambers of Commerce and economic development authorities and organizations. The results are expected to show the level at which sectors were impacted and highlight lessons learned so that both universities can educate their regions on how to prevent, handle and recover from this and future emergency situations.

“We are excited to work with our colleagues at Jacksonville State to assess the impacts from the COVID-19 crisis on our respective regions,” said Dr. Doug Barrett, director of the UNA Institute for Innovation and Economic Development. This work is part of an ongoing collaboration between our universities, and we believe it will provide valuable information for private and public entities in the two regions.”

The JSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research has also constructed a COVID-19 pandemic resources page on its website, compiling some of the best data available to help communities create an economic recovery strategic plan. 

For more information about JSU's involvement with the study, contact Jennifer Green at 256-782-5796 or jngreen@jsu.edu. At UNA, contact Dr. Doug Barrett at 256-765-4270 or jdbarrett@una.edu