CEDS Resource and Training Archive

Posted on: August 25th, 2017 by Brett Schwartz

[Last updated:  February 1, 2018]

With the support of the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) (http://www NULL.eda NULL.gov), the NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF) (http://www NULL.nado NULL.org) has launched “Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions.”  This program will enhance and expand current NADO RF resources available on the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) (http://www NULL.eda NULL.gov/ceds), provide customized trainings and technical assistance to Economic Development Districts (EDDs) and other regional partners, and amplify EDA’s message about the tremendous value and potential of the CEDS to support broader regional economic and community development goals.  Through this program, NADO RF will continue to assist EDDs as they undertake regionally-owned planning processes to craft impactful, technically-sound strategies guiding economic development that will also position them to serve as leaders at the forefront of regional and national resilience efforts.

With the support of the US Economic Development Administration, the NADO Research Foundation has been a leader in training Economic Development District staff and other regional partners across the country in practical and cutting-edge approaches to CEDS planning, design, and implementation. (Image: SWFRPC)

With the support of the US Economic Development Administration, the NADO Research Foundation has been a leader in training Economic Development District staff and other regional partners across the country in practical and cutting-edge approaches to CEDS planning, design, and implementation. (Image: SWFRPC)

For years, NADO RF has provided training, resources, and tools for EDDs and other regional entities to provide a solid foundation for planning, developing, and implementing their CEDS.  Some of the most popular and well-received of these resources are now archived on this page for easy access and reference.  New staff working on the CEDS for the very first time as well as more seasoned veterans of the process should all find this information useful and relevant to their work.  As more materials are developed through Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions, stay tuned to www.nado.org (http://www NULL.nado NULL.org) and our Facebook (https://www NULL.facebook NULL.com/NADO NULL.org/) and Twitter (https://twitter NULL.com/NADOWeb) pages for the latest on CEDS development, resilience planning, and new approaches for getting the most out your CEDS to make it a true, inclusive driver of regional economic development.

CEDS Fundamentals

This tutorial provides an introduction to the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) (http://www NULL.eda NULL.gov/ceds), discusses key elements of the CEDS, and covers information about engagement, implementation, and other resources to support your organization during the CEDS process. This presentation is designed primarily for staff who are new to the CEDS, perhaps working on one for the first time. However, it should also be useful to CEDS veterans who are looking for a quick refresher.

Incorporating Resilience into the CEDS

Resilience planning provides a very workable framework to support building strong and prosperous communities and regions.  This 20 minute webinar lecture covers the ins and outs of economic resilience, what it means, why it matters, and how best to incorporate resilience into your region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) (http://www NULL.eda NULL.gov/ceds).

Harnessing the Power of Data to Improve Your CEDS

The NADO Research Foundation (http://www NULL.nado NULL.org/) and the BlastPoint (https://blastpoint NULL.co/) team delivered a free webinar that explored how big companies think about data and how you can adapt these approaches to improve your organization’s planning and policy development work.  This session covered concepts like indexing, segmentation, and forecasting, and showed how real examples from the world of marketing and analytics are within reach of anyone with the right tools. This session also included a demo of BlastPoint’s features.

“Resilience:  The New Normal” Animated Video 

The NADO Research Foundation  has created a short, animated video to explain the basic concepts of economic resilience and its connection to regional economic development.  The video was designed for a mix of audiences and to be shared across a variety of platforms, including at planning workshops, community events, and board/city council meetings, as well as on regional development organization websites and social media.

CEDS Spotlight Case Studies Series

Through the CEDS Spotlight case studies series, the NADO Research Foundation is highlighting best practices and innovative elements of CEDS planning, development, and implementation from EDDs and other regional development organizations across the country.  Stay tuned as we feature a variety of CEDS that are embracing change and new approaches for improving their regional economic development efforts.  Click here to explore the case studies.

CEDS Outreach and Communication Materials for EDDs

How well is your organization communicating to its stakeholders about what the CEDS is and how it supports your region?  The most effective CEDS are ones developed with the input, creativity, and enthusiasm of a wide cross-section of partners that are fully invested in the process.  The NADO Research Foundation has created customizable materials to assist in your outreach and communication efforts when explaining the CEDS process to a variety of audiences, including: CEDS Committee members, Boards of Directors, elected officials, state and federal agencies, Chambers of Commerce, business owners, citizens, the press, and other important stakeholders groups.  Click here to access the materials.

webinarsInnovation and Opportunity:  A Closer Look at the New CEDS Content Guidelines

This webinar discussed EDA’s CEDS Content Guidelines and covered resources and strategies available to regions to drive economic development and resilience.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand and to download the presentation slides.

Planning More Efficiently and Effectively:  Aligning the CEDS with Other Regional Plans

This webinar focused on aligning CEDS with other regional planning efforts to “connect the dots” and develop robust CEDS that achieve multiple benefits for their regions.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand and to download the presentation slides.

Strengthening the SWOT Analysis

This webinar provided training on how to craft a more effective Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis and incorporate the findings into goal setting and performance metrics for the CEDS.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand and to download the presentation slides.

Measuring Your Progress:  The Importance of Performance Measurements

This webinar highlighted the importance of developing SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) goals and well-crafted performance metrics.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand and to download the presentation slides.

Building Economic Resilience in Your Community:  Linking Economic Development and Hazard Mitigation Planning

This webinar showcased approaches for aligning Hazard Mitigation Plans and CEDS that can help to ensure that businesses can continue operating during and after severe weather events; promote the location of businesses in safe areas; diversify economies and reduce reliance on sectors that are particularly vulnerable to hazards and climate change; and more.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand and to download the presentation slides.  Click here to access the report discussed in the webinar, “Recommendations for Linking Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies and Hazard Mitigation Plans.”

Better Planning Through Better Data:  A Closer Look at the StatsAmerica Innovation Index 2.0 

This webinar featured a demonstration of the StatsAmerica Innovation Index 2.0 (http://www NULL.statsamerica NULL.org/ii2/), a free web resource that can give economic development practitioners and regional leaders the ability to assess their region’s economic strengths and challenges and also provide valuable data that can utilized when writing a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) or other regional economic development plans.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand and to download the presentation slides.


“Taking the CEDS to the Next Level through the Content Guidelines” (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/taking-the-ceds-to-the-next-level-through-the-content-guidelines)

The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s 2015 CEDS Content Guidelines ushered in a new era in CEDS planning, design, and implementation. This session explored the ins and outs of the Content Guidelines, featured examples of CEDS that have embraced the opportunities provided by this framework, and explored additional key areas such as performance metrics, alignment with other planning processes, and engagement strategies to “tell the story of the CEDS” to key constituencies, including your board and CEDS Committee.

CEDS 101

This presentation demonstrated how data analysis leads to SMART goals, as well as how to develop an engagement process that involves multiple methods of public involvement such as surveys, interviews, and public workshops.  Click here to download the slide deck.

Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions Training 

These presentations cover a variety of topics, including:  CEDS Content Guidelines, CEDS requirements, SWOT analysis strategies, outreach and engagement, and incorporating resilience into the CEDS.  Click here to download the slide deck.

Best Practices to Incorporate Resilience Into the CEDS

Planning for resilience positions communities and regions for long-term prosperity and success in the face of an uncertain economic and environmental landscape. RDOs across the country are exploring ways to incorporate resilience planning into their CEDS to address a variety of disruptions in their regions. This session shared best practices and useful approaches for infusing resilience into your CEDS to better prepare for, respond to, and recover from both natural and economic shocks.  Click links to access the resilience overview (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/best-practices-to-incorporate-resilience-into-the-ceds-schwartz), the Southeast Conference (AK) case study (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/best-practices-to-incorporate-resilience-into-the-ceds-schijvens-venables), and the Region Five Development Commission (MN) case study (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/best-practices-to-incorporate-resilience-into-the-ceds-hills).

“Opportunities for Aligning the CEDS with other Planning Efforts” 

Increasingly, regions are looking for ways to integrate the CEDS with other planning efforts to maximize available funding for planning in their region, align objectives and strategies so that projects meet the same regional goals, and reduce planning fatigue among local leaders, stakeholder groups, and the public.  This presentation provides examples from around the country of integrated planning efforts and shares key tips for aligning CEDS plans with transportation, hazard mitigation, and statewide plans.

[Presentation]: “Harnessing the Power of Data to Improve Your CEDS”

Accessing, interpreting, and incorporating the right data are some of the most important tasks in writing an effective and compelling CEDS. This learning lab highlighted data tools and resources including StatsAmerica (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/harnessing-the-power-of-data-to-improve-your-ceds-rogers), BlastPoint (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/harnessing-the-power-of-data-to-improve-your-ceds-shafton), and the Area Sector Analysis Process (ASAP) (https://www NULL.slideshare NULL.net/nado-web/harnessing-the-power-of-data-to-improve-your-ceds-bentley-cowley-gale) that you can use to improve your CEDS and enable stakeholders to make more informed decisions.  Click the corresponding links to see the presentation materials.

“Implementing the CEDS:  A Roadmap for Regional Economic Development”

This presentation covers best practices for implementing the CEDS by growing and nurturing partnerships, communicating its purpose effectively, and using creative approaches to share the CEDS with key public and private stakeholders.  All these efforts aim to broaden the appeal of the CEDS to a wider audience, communicate its economic vision, and begin the collaborative work of implementing the plan by building momentum behind its regional vision.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the CEDS

This session covered the best ways to identify key issues, develop calls to action, formulate goals, and move towards action and CEDS implementation.  Click here to download the slide deck.

Aligning Your CEDS with Other Planning Initiatives 

A growing number of RDOs are looking at ways to better align the various plans they are required to do, resulting in more cohesive and coordinated programs and services delivery mechanisms.  This session provided insight into innovative and resourceful approaches economic development districts have taken to maximize their planning processes. Click here to download the slide deck.

Rethinking the CEDS and EDD’s Role in Economic Development

The presentation show how to better revisit your value proposition (what are you offering your region beyond EDA grants?), review your CEDS (are there opportunities to align with other planning activities?), and rethink your impact (how are you measuring and communicating your results?).  Click here to download the slide deck.

add_resilienceCEDS Resilience Library

The NADO Research Foundation has reviewed CEDS prepared by our members and catalogued examples detailing how EDDs are currently addressing resilience.  The library allows users to browse CEDS that incorporate resilience by state and topic.  All CEDS are organized by state and titled by the organization’s name.  Click here to access the Resilience Library and here to download presentation materials about using the library. 

Planning for a More Resilient Future:  A Guide to Regional Approaches (http://www NULL.planningforresilience NULL.com/)

The NADO Research Foundation released “Planning for a More Resilient Future:  A Guide to Regional Approaches,” a report and companion website that summarizes the rapidly-growing body of research on resilience, describing the main ideas that are driving policy and practice across the country and examining current thinking on regional and economic resilience.  Click here (http://www NULL.planningforresilience NULL.com/) to learn more.

Regional Approaches to Resilience:  A Tour of Resilience Work Around the Country

This series of case studies highlights regional development organizations across the country that recognize the importance of becoming more resilient to natural disasters and other economic disruptions and are taking meaningful action towards building regional resilience such as integrating regional planning efforts, prioritizing resilient transportation investments, diversifying their economies, assessing economic vulnerabilities, and promoting green infrastructure and safe development.  Click here to learn more.

Lessons from the Storm:  Case Studies on Economic Recovery and Resilience 

This case study series produced by the NADO Research Foundation highlights the efforts of EDDs that have received disaster recovery funding from EDA.  The case studies demonstrate how regions have effectively used federal funding to address the impacts of natural disasters, become more resilient to future events, and increase economic competitiveness and quality of life.  Click here to read the case studies.

Making Resilience the New Normal:  A Convening of Local, Regional, and Federal Leaders

This convening brought together representatives from RDOs and local governments whose communities have all been impacted by natural disasters to share how their recovery experiences have changed their approaches to everyday decision-making and how they are finding creative ways to use federal resources to fortify their regions against future hazards and disruptions.  Click here to access convening materials and presentations.

Capacity-Builders, Conveners, Collaborators, and More: The Regional Development Organization’s Role in Disaster Recovery

This webinar featured speakers from three RDOs that have been intensively involved in disaster recovery efforts.  Presenters shared their experiences, lessons learned, and recommendations for other RDOs seeking to engage in recovery work.  Click here to view the webinar on-demand more information and to download the presentation slides.

Resilient Regions:  Integrating Economic Development Strategies, Sustainability Principles and Hazard Mitigation Planning

This report provides an in-depth look at the roles that regional planning and development organizations are taking to help local and regional economies re-build after natural disasters in Iowa, Florida, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Wisconsin.  Click here to download the report.

Planning for Transportation Together:  Collaborating to Address Transportation and Economic Resilience (http://ruraltransportation NULL.org/planning-for-transportation-together-collaborating-to-address-transportation-and-economic-resilience/)

Across the nation, state agencies and regional planning and development organizations are working together and with other partners to create jobs, improve access to employment, education, and essential services, and to advance quality of life in communities and regions.  This report presents case studies that demonstrate how state agencies and regional planning and development organizations are working together on deliberate interventions to produce tangible benefits that are specific to the context, are sustained over time, and make a place more resilient.  Click here (http://ruraltransportation NULL.org/planning-for-transportation-together-collaborating-to-address-transportation-and-economic-resilience/) to download the report.

Lessons Learned from Irene:  Vermont RPCs Address Transportation System Recovery

The collaboration between the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) and the Vermont Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) following Hurricane Irene in 2011 offers lessons for disaster preparedness and recovery, both crucial elements for building more resilient communities.  While the RPCs were well positioned to assist because of their established relationships and networks within the towns, their recovery activities often went beyond their typical scope of work.  Click here to download the report.


The CEDS should be much more than just a static document developed only for your organization to become eligible for certain types of federal funding.  It has the real potential to be a true roadmap  that brings together many voices from your region to form a common vision for economic prosperity and resilience. (Photo courtesy: Region XII Council of Governments, Iowa)

For more information about the CEDS, make sure to visit the US Economic Development Administration’s CEDS Content Guidelines resource page at:  www.eda.gov/ceds (http://www NULL.eda NULL.gov/ceds).  For more specific information pertaining to your CEDS, contact your EDA Regional Office and your state’s Economic Development Representative (contact information here (https://www NULL.eda NULL.gov/contact/)).

To learn more about Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions and other resources available to you from the NADO Research Foundation, contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected] (bschwartz null@null nado NULL.org).

Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions is made possible through a generous grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (Grant #: ED17HDQ3030005)
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