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The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent research organization devoted to investigating the causes and effects of unemployment, to identifying feasible methods of insuring against unemployment, and to devising ways and means of alleviating the distress and hardship caused by unemployment. The Institute is an activity of the W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation, which was established in 1932 to administer a fund set aside by Dr. W.E. Upjohn, founder of the Upjohn Company.
The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research organization, was established on July 1, 1945. It is an activity of the W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation, which was founded in 1932 to administer a fund set aside by the late Dr. W.E. Upjohn (1852-1932), founder of the Upjohn Company, for the purpose of conducting research into the causes and effects of unemployment and measures for the alleviation of unemployment.
The Institute grew out of Dr. Upjohn’s concern for the well-being of workers who were displaced because of economic downturns. In 1932, just months before his death, he purchased a sizable parcel of land outside Kalamazoo, Michigan, where laid-off workers could grow food for their families. This grand experiment of a land-based social safety net was supplanted by the Social Security system a few years later.
Today, the Institute has 55 employees working in two divisions. The Research Division analyzes the dynamics of the labor market and conducts evaluations of employment programs around the world. The Employment Management Services Division is the administrative entity for the local Workforce Investment Board, administering the federal and state employment programs for Kalamazoo and St. Joseph counties.
The marriage of research and operations makes the Institute a unique organization. With a recent expansion and upgrading of facilities, we are even better equipped to fulfill our mission of finding practical solutions to employment-related problems.
Watch a video on the life of W.E. Upjohn
The activities of the Research Division are funded largely by income from its endowment, supplemented by outside grants, contracts, and publication sales.
The Institute’s research program is composed of three elements: