Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies
The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies conducts independent data analysis and policy research to improve the quality of life in the Chattanooga region.
Since 1962, the Ochs Center (formerly the Metropolitan Council for Community services) has served the Chattanooga region. As the Metropolitan Council for Community Services, it was the community’s first non-governmental health and human services planning agency. Acting as the planning arm for the local United Way, the Metropolitan Council was instrumental in the development of numerous community based efforts to provide services to children and the poor.
In 2000, the Metropolitan Council became the Community Research Council. CRC provided data collection and analysis services to non-profit organizations and local government. In addition, CRC housed the Southeast Tennessee Neighborhood Information Service (SETNIS) which, in 2004, produced a major study on literacy in Hamilton County.
In 2004, CRC and SETNIS formally merged, CRC’s Board was restructured and the organization’s mission expanded to include policy research as well as data analysis. CRC also created a national advisory board, including scholars and practitioners.
CRC became the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies in August 2008, to better reflect an increasing focus on policy issues that affect both the Chattanooga region metropolitan areas nationally.
Our Research Focus The Ochs Center focuses its analytic and research efforts in five key areas of public policy: • Economic and Community Development (including asset development, transportation, housing, community demographic changes and jobs) • Youth and Education (including schools, child care, after school programs and child welfare) • Health (including access to health care, substance abuse and tobacco control) • Crime and Public Safety (including policing, corrections and reentry) • Urban governance (including government performance and structure)
- Environment and Sustainable Development
The Ochs Center provides foundations, non-profit agencies and government with the ability to act on data and research, not just intuition. Teh Ochs Center's work in Chattanooga has an impact locally, but ramifications nationally. Most Americans who live in cities, live in cities like Chattanooga. Yet, midsize cities are frequently left out of discussions of metropolitan or urban policy. In looking at issues in the Chattanooga region, the Ochs Center is able to tell a story that is relevant to midsize cities and regions across the country.