Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension

All great cities want to grow their economies, steward their environment, improve the health and safety of their citizens and insure that governments and non-profits create sound and equitable policies.

WSU’s Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension (Metro Center), puts ‘the people’s university’ to work for Washington’s cities, bringing world class expertise to help inform data driven decisions and implement change that works. Utilizing applied research, the Metro Center’s work is outcome driven and solution oriented, geared toward developing practical knowledge and place-based solutions to alleviate modern world problems.

Headquartered at WSU North Puget Sound at Everett, and with over 30 years of collective experience working with the complex socio-political landscape of the Puget Sound region, Metro Center staff serve as the conduit between metropolitan decision makers and WSU faculty expertise across the state. This project-based and client-centered approach gives the Metro Center flexibility to respond quickly to emerging metropolitan needs, and help build capacity to create sustainable solutions for the future.

Contact Us

WSU North Puget Sound at Everett
2000 Tower Street – MS45
Everett, WA 98201 (MAP)

WSU Seattle Office
901 5th Avenue, Ste 2900
Seattle, WA 98164 (MAP)

Center Director

Brad Gaolach
(425) 405-1734

News & Events

AWC’s Annual Conference
June 20-23, 2017 | Vancouver

AWC’s Annual Conference offers a city-focused agenda, with general sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, an exhibit and social events designed to maximize the attendee experience. This conference offers educational, thought-provoking and inspiring sessions about a wide variety of city issues.

SR 530 Mudslide: Long Term Recovery Report

In response to the SR 530 mudslide, Washington State University (WSU) assembled a multi-disciplinary team to support the long-term recovery of the impacted communities. Visit the following link to read more about WSU’s long-term recovery report.

When Disaster Strikes, Extension Responds

The aftermath of the Oso Landslide could have left a region totally devastated but instead they served as a catalyst for economic revitalization efforts, and spurred Washington State University (WSU) to explore how it supports communities in moving forward after a disaster. Continue Reading about WSU’s post-landslide recovery efforts.

Additional Services

Business Ecosystem Services
Washington State University’s (WSU) Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension (Metro Center) has developed a suite of community economic development services for local communities around the Puget Sound region. Our services strengthen a community entrepreneurial ecosystem by achieving the following: Applying entrepreneurial thinking; supporting existing business owners with financial empowerment; building the capacity of community stakeholders to support their businesses.


Grant-making & Request for Proposal Development Services
WSU’s Metro Center helps non-profits, agencies, governments and foundations create quality grant making and Request for Proposal (RFP) programs to:
– Increase the quality of the applications you receive
– Increase the efficiency of the review process
– Insure that the short-term strategies of your RFP project align with the goals of your agency


Poverty Immersion
The Poverty Immersion is an interactive workshop that changes attitudes and challenges stereotypes about the working poor – paving a pathway toward professional growth and organizational transformation. Although it uses play money and fictional scenarios, the Poverty Immersion is a role play – not a game. It is a powerful experience that takes only three hours but makes a lasting impact. What you learn about poverty may surprise you.


STEM Mentor Training
Inspire the next generation of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) professionals by becoming a confident mentor. Offered online at no charge through WSU’s Global Campus, STEM Mentor Training allows you to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Recent Projects