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 and social movements in shaping each other.

His current work identifies and promotes economic development policies that address the continued 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.


  • Sectoral Analysis
  • Southern California Regional Economy
  • Urban and Regional Economic Development
  • Labor and Economic Development
  • Community Research and Organizing

Special two-quarter courses:

  • Walmart and Walmartization (Community Scholars, 2005)
  • Roadmap to Green Manufacturing (Comp Project, 2012)
  • Towards a Just and Sustainable Logistics System in Southern California (Community Scholars, 2017) [national American Planning Association award winner for “Best Applied Research Project.”



“The Impact of Port Automation on Workers and Community in Los Angeles and Long Beach” – LAEDC (Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation)

“Assessing the Need for and Advancing Public Banking in Los Angeles County”  – District 1, County Board of Supervisors.

“Case Study of Worker Ownership/Coops” – LUCI (Los Angeles Union Cooperative Initiative)


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), 1999-2004.

Executive Director of the Harry Bridges Institute in San Pedro for three years

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

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

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”

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

Developed 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

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

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

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

City of Los Angeles—Develop proposals for rationalizing economic development in the City (served as Co-Chair of the Committee)

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


Economic Development Commissioner, for Los Angeles County 1st Supervisorial District (Hilda Solis)

Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC), Member, Executive Committee and Board of Governors.

UC-AFT 1990 (UCLA Lecturers/Librarian Union), past president and currently on the Executive Board

Los Angeles Food Policy Council board member, and past 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


“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.