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As stated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document that creates the space for our region to identify its strengths and weaknesses and brings together a diverse set of partners to generate good jobs, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth. This process engages various partners, including Economic Development Districts (EDDs), community leaders and residents, the private sector, educational institutions, and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future.

An effective CEDS allows a region to maximize its economic development potential and engage with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants, such as those through EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. The CEDS is a pre-requisite for federal designation as an EDD and must be updated at least every five years. An inclusive CEDS planning process identifies locally-grown strategies that will guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improve economic outcomes and overall quality of life in our region.