The Northern Center for Community and Economic Development focuses on applied research and education in Northern Wisconsin. It works with and through the county-based Community Resource Development Educators of UW-Extension. This is in support of statewide educational emphases in four areas:
- economic development
- natural resources
- leadership and organizational development
- local government
As a regional center, it also works directly with multi-county and statewide organizations and agencies on issues of specific importance to Northern Wisconsin. It seeks to foster partnerships and collaborative relationships in order to leverage limited regional resources.