Region Nine Development Commission (RNDC) presented at the National CEDS Forum that was held June 18-20, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. The National CEDS Forum is organized by the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The National CEDS Forum gathered local, regional, and federal partners to share best practices and resources to support effective CEDS. The forum organized as part of the NADO Research Foundation’s Stronger Regions program, was funded through a grant from the EDA.
As part of the first ever forum, Shawn Schloesser, community and business development specialist for RNDC, presented on CEDS in Action and the importance of bringing the right people to the table instead of the usual suspects to create a diverse voice. The forum provided fresh ideas and inspiring examples to guide RNDC’s planning, design, and implementation efforts to make the CEDS process one that is more inclusive, engaging, and supportive of local efforts to foster a resilient and prosperous region.
The CEDS continues to be an important opportunity to engage with EDA and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants. However, it is much more than a static document developed to access certain types of federal funding. It has real potential to be a road map that brings together many voices from RNDC’s nine-county area to form a common vision for economic prosperity and resilience.
What is the CEDS?
The CEDS is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document. An effective CEDS allows a region to maximize its economic development potential, as well as engage with the EDA and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants.
An effective CEDS planning process identifies locally-grown strategies that guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improves economic outcomes and overall quality of life in a region. The resultant document is updated at least every five years and includes:
- Summary Background
- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis
- Strategic Direction/Action Plan
- Evaluation Framework
In addition, the concept of economic resilience is incorporated into the plan to strengthen the ability to avoid, withstand, and recover from events such as economic shifts, natural disasters, and impacts of climate change.