Midwest Economic Policy Institute

A Higher Road for a Better Tomorrow

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The Midwest Economic Policy Institute (MEPI) is an associated organization of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. The Midwest Economic Policy Institute is used when the researched policy, project, or market primarily impacts the Midwest region extending beyond the borders of Illinois. The Midwest Economic Policy Institute believes states must collaborate and learn from one another to build a high-road economy that works for all families. To that aim, MEPI supports timely, candid, and dynamic research on major subjects affecting Midwestern economies, specializing in infrastructure investment and the construction industry. MEPI educates the public and lawmakers through reports, publications, forums, conferences, the media, and social media.

The Midwest Economic Policy Institute uses reliable research techniques to evaluate working conditions, industries, labor standards, fiscal conditions, and policy changes throughout the region. Subjects of interest include (but are not limited to): prevailing wage legislation, right-to-work and collective bargaining laws, employee misclassification, project labor agreements, public and private transportation investment, the utilities and energy industries, and human capital investment of the region’s youth and workers.

Our research mainly focuses on Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. However, we also touch on other Midwestern states – such as Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota – in our research. Please check out our website, reports, and posts to stay updated on high road economic development in the Midwest.

Our Staff

FrankFrank Manzo IV, MPP – Frank Manzo is the Policy Director of the Midwest Economic Policy Institute. Prior to working at MEPI, he worked at the University of Illinois Labor Education Program and in the Federal Reserve system. He earned a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and an Advanced Certificate of Labor Studies from the University of Illinois Labor Education Program. His research interests include labor market analysis, economic development, infrastructure investment, the low-wage labor force, and public finance. He can be contacted at fmanzo@midwestepi.org.


Mary Tyler, MUP, AICP – Mary Tyler, AICP is the Transportation Policy Analyst at the Midwest Economic Policy Institute. Prior to joining MEPI, she served as the Coordinator for the Victoria, TX Metropolitan Planning Organization and Senior Transportation Planner for the City of Victoria, TX. She earned a Master of Urban Planning and Graduate Certificate in Transportation Planning from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Evansville. Her research interests include transportation planning and policy, community development, energy policy, infrastructure investment, and environmental policy. She can be contacted at mtyler@midwestepi.org.


Jill Gigstad – Jill Gigstad is the Midwest Researcher at the Midwest Economic Policy Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies from Iowa State University. Her research interests include income inequality, infrastructure investment, economic development, education policy, and the overall labor force. She can be contacted at jgigstad@midwestepi.org.

AllisonAllison Taylor – Allison Taylor is the Comptroller at the Midwest Economic Policy Institute. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance from Benedictine University. She can be contacted at ataylor@midwestepi.org.

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