Goetz Wolff

Goetz Wolff’s research and teaching interest center on equity and economic development issues—in particular the reciprocal roles of industries and regions in shaping each other.

His current work identifies and promotes economic development policies that address the consequences of economic restructuring in the Southern California region. He works extensively with organized labor, as well as community organizations, public and non-profit agencies, and the private sector.

Wolff teaches courses on Sectoral Analysis, The Southern California Regional Economy. He has taught two courses focusing on Wal-Mart and “walmartization.” The first course analyzed Wal-Mart’s success and impacts, and the second dealt with responses by labor, community, environmental, and small businesses to Wal-Mart. The courses culminated in a major conference “Is Wal-Mart Good for America?” with over 500 participants.



Policy and Community in Los Angeles Economic Development
chapter in David Sloan (ed.) Planning Los Angeles.  Chicago:  American Planning Association, 2012.

What Aspect of Critical Planning Should We Be Concerned With?
Critical Planning Vol 15, 2008.



Social Media, Insecure Work and New Conceptions of Labor Solidarity
a joint UCLA/UC-Davis research project funded by UC-Humanities Network.

Revitalizing Manufacturing Industry and Jobs in Los Angeles
an 18 month research project in collaboration with USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)], LAANE, and Green for All (Surdna Foundation)

From Farms to Waste and/or Recycling:  Assessing and Improving the Jobs in the California Food Chain
For the California Labor Federation and the LA Food Policy Council.

Clean Up / Green Up:  Developing Green Zones for the City of Los Angeles
For Liberty Hill Foundation



From 1999-2004 he served as the Research Director of the 800,000 member Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO and director of the Center for Regional Employment Strategies (CRES).

He served as Executive Director of the Harry Bridges Institute in San Pedro for three years, now serves as board member

His consulting practice, Resources for Employment and Economic Development, has included a variety of clients and projects:

Project Director, City of Los Angeles Community Development Department, “Industry Cluster Initiative for Employment Training;”

Assessing the status and trends of the Los Angeles garment industry for workers and contractors in the region, supported by the Rosenberg Foundation;

Developing a research program on Global Logistics (the new international web of production, transportation, distribution and sales that is reshaping the role and status of workers and communities) for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Industry/Labor Market Consultant for the California Labor Federation,  Workforce and Economic Development Program

Strategic Planning Consultant for the United Way of Greater Los Angeles Workforce Development Project.

Southern California Workplace Lead Project (UCLA LOSH)—providing guidance and strategy for identifying and analyzing sectors in which workers are exposed to high lead levels

Los Angeles Manufacturing Action Project (LAMAP)—of which he was cofounder—a multi-union effort to assist in the organizing of low-wage, largely immigrant Latino workers in the industrial core of Los Angeles

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)—providing sectoral research on the health industry which led to a multi-million dollar economic development initiative

MultiCultural Collaborative (MCC)—developing tools to support alternative economic development strategies for minority and disadvantaged communities in Los Angeles

City of Los Angeles—review and develop proposals for rationalizing economic development in the City

Southern California Edison (SCE)—developing the Apparel Industry Roundtable, and supporting sub-regional economic development cooperation among cities, agencies, and the private sector in a period of industrial restructuring.



Los Angeles Food Policy Council, and Co-Chair Good Food Economy Working Group

Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research [“The Peoples’ Library: Working for a world where all people have the ability, resources, and freedom to make their own histories”].  Emeritus Board member, including having served four years as President

AFL-CIO Labor Community Services, board member

United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Community Investment Cabinet member

Diane Middleton Foundation [ “to support fundamental change through struggles for economic justice and projects that address community and labor organizing, civil rights and civil liberties, labor education, and training a new generation of leaders”], board member.



Sectoral Analysis

Urban and Regional Economic Development

Southern California Regional Economy

Labor and Economic Development


Special two-quarter courses:

Walmart and Walmartization (Community Scholars, 2005)

Roadmap to Green Manufacturing (Comp Project, 2012)