Mission and History

The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies conducts independent data analysis and policy research to improve the quality of life in the Chattanooga region.


The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies began serving the Chattanooga community as the Metropolitan Council for Community Services in 1962. The Metropolitan Council 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). CRC provided data collection and analysis services to non-profit organizations and local government. In addition, CRC housed the Southeast Tennessee Neighborhood Information Service, which in 2004 produced a major study on literacy in Hamilton County.

CRC became the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies in August 2008 to better reflect an increasing focus on policy issues that affect the Chattanooga region.