The Keystone Research Center (KRC) is a left-of-center public policy organization created to research economic and civic issues within the state of Pennsylvania. A number of members from the organization’s board of directors are associated with labor unions.
Based in Harrisburg, the Keystone Research Center was founded in 1996 to propose economic as well as civic policies by conducting research through case studies and quantitative analysis.
KRC claims to use “collaborative efforts” in conducting its research by not only including academic scholars, but also unions and left-of-center civic organizations within the state.
KRC claims that Pennsylvania’s current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour doesn’t allow Pennsylvanians to “afford the basics.” KRC supports the Service Employees International Union-backed effort to raise the minimum to $15 per hour, more than double the current minimum wage.
KRC’s research initiative surrounding “new unionism”—the rise of post-industrial-era unions—hinges on the think tank’s belief that a “rebound of labor organizations” in a modern workforce can supposedly aid current economic challenges.
Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) is a research project of the Keystone Research Center that provides research on budget, state tax, and related policies. PBPC makes the case for a progressive, left-of-center tax system. PBPC is part of a larger national network of organizations called the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative, coordinated by the left-wing Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
“State of Working Pennsylvania”
Among its other reports, KRC produces an annual publication reviewing Pennsylvania’s economy and labor markets titled, the “State of Working Pennsylvania.” The most recent report explored Pennsylvania’s economic growth since the great recession and the subsequent impact on incomes and the role of public policy.
Stephen Herzenberg is executive director of the KRC. Prior to joining the Keystone Research Center in 1996, Herzenberg worked at the U.S. Department of Labor during the Clinton administration. He was an assistant to the chief negotiator of the labor side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Officers and Board Members
A number of KRC’s officers and board members represent liberal causes and are associated with labor unions.
KRC vice president Bill Dando is a legislative director at the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 13. AFSCME is the United States’ largest union for government workers other than teachers, with over 1.3 million members.
Board member Ken Mash is president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF), the labor union representing faculty at universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. 
KRC receives the bulk of its funding from foundation grants and receives additional funding from union and individual contributions. KRC’s most recent Form 990 shows more than $915,000 of total revenue and more than $808,000 in expenses.
According to KRC’s own analysis, unions provide 20 percent of the organization’s funding. Unions that have provided financial support to KRC include the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), AFSCME Council 13, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, UFCW Local 1776, and the Communications Workers of America.