In October 2022 with the support of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF) embarked on a five-year effort to build and nurture the Economic Development District Community of Practice (EDD CoP).  Through the EDD CoP, NADO RF and its partners will provide tools, resources, and networking opportunities for EDD staff to strengthen organizational capacity and better guide regions towards becoming more competitive, resilient, and equitable. 

Economic Development Districts (EDDs) are multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development agencies federally designated by EDA. There are over 400 EDDs across the country that encourage economic development planning and project implementation in distressed urban, suburban, and rural regions.  EDDs open the door for local communities to grant and loan funding opportunities, administrative and technical assistance, and access to data and technology resources. Last updated: September 2023 

Economic Development District Interactive Map

As part of the EDD CoP, NADO RF has created this interactive EDD map that provides information about each EDD’s service area, website, contact information, CEDS link, and EDA regional office.  It also includes two search functions:  one that allows the user to quickly identify which EDD serves any address or location and one to search the map by the name of the EDD. Click here to access the map.   

CEDS Resources

Webinar Briefing: The State of the EDDs and CEDS Content Guidelines Updates
In the spring of 2023, the U.S. EDA  designated its 400th Economic Development District and also released updates to its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Content Guidelines.  This webinar briefing provides a reflection on the state of the national network of EDDs and information about the updated CEDS Content Guidelines that highlight equity, climate resilience, and workforce development.  Click here to view the recording and download presentation slides.

Integrating CEDS and Hazard Mitigation Planning 
Integrating CEDS and hazard mitigation plans can ease plan “silo-ing” between EDD departments, make identified strategies easier to implement, reduce uncertainty around economic downturns, and, most importantly, make your region more resilient and responsive to hazardous events.  Learn basic practices and more from our webinar recording, tip sheet, and tips from a planner resources.  

CEDS Resource Handbook
NADO RF has created an online CEDS Update Resource Handbook with resources and examples to support Economic Development Districts as they engage with stakeholders in their regions around the new topic areas added to the CEDS Content Guidelines.  Click here to access the Handbook.

CEDS Central 
CEDS Central is a free resource curated by the NADO Research Foundation to share resources and information including reports, case studies, videos, webinars, and presentation materials on planning, developing, and implementing the CEDS.  Click here to access CEDS Central.  

EDDs in Action Case Studies Series

The EDDs in Action Case Studies Series demonstrates the wide breadth of programs, projects, and initiatives EDDs support and implement to improve their regions, making them more resilient, prosperous, and better prepared for the future.  Click here to access the growing library of short case studies, written to inspire and show the possibilities for how EDDs can leverage federal and state funding to support a variety of initiatives across the regions they serve.

Reports & Briefs

Economic Development Districts & Military Installations: Partnerships for Future Planning and Community Cooperation
Economic Development Districts (EDDs) are well-suited to be the regional liaison with military installations across a wide variety of topic areas of mutual interest to military installations and their surrounding communities. This report examines some of the main challenges facing communities with military installations and offers how EDDs can best support these vital economic drivers in their regions. Throughout this report are examples from EDDs successfully managing these relationships and showcasing specific, replicable strategies that can be used at EDDs across the country serving regions home to military installations.  Click here to view the report.

Past Event Materials

Wealth Creation Training 
In August 2023, Economic Development Districts, tribes, and others gathered in the Dakotas and Minnesota to attend the kickoff meetings for the USDA-funded North Central Regional Food Business Center led by Region Five Development Commission.  Melissa Levy, NADO Regional Development Researcher and wealth creation specialist, designed and developed the trainings as a way to share the wealth creation framework with participants.  Click here to access training materials and learn more.  

2023 Southwest Region Economic Development Association (SWREDA) Conference
Several EDD CoP sessions were offered at this May 2023 conference, which convened staff from EDDs, Tribal Planning Grantees, University Centers, Revolving Loan Funds, and others engaged in economic development across the five-state EDA Austin region.  Click here to access presentation materials.    

2023 Economic Development Conference for the EDA Denver Region
Several EDD CoP sessions were offered at this April 2023 conference, which convened staff from EDDs, Tribal Planning Grantees, University Centers, Revolving Loan Funds, and others engaged in economic development across the ten-state EDA Denver region.  Click here to access presentation materials. 

EDA Seattle EDD Regional Roundtable
The NADO Research Foundation and EDA Seattle Regional Office hosted an EDD Regional Roundtable in March 2023 that brought together EDD and EDA staff for training, networking, and sharing opportunities and challenges facing EDDs across the EDA Seattle region.  Click here to learn more and download the presentation slides.   

An Afternoon with the Districts
This event in March 2023 brought together nearly 70 participants representing EDDs, the U.S. Economic Development Administration, EDA community of practice partners, and other national organizations for an afternoon of networking, training, and conversations that explored how best to position EDDs for success in achieving regional economic development and resilience. Click here to learn more and download the presentation slides.   

EDA and EDDs: Partners in Regional Economic Development
During this session at the 2023 NADO Washington Conference, EDA and EDD staff reflected on opportunities for collaboration, the latest updates on CEDS guidelines, and how EDDs can effectively engage with an array of federal partners and programs.  Click here to download the presentation slides.  

Webinar Recordings

Data Deep Dive for EDDs: A Closer Look at Argonne National Laboratory’s NERDE and EDCI Tools
This webinar demonstrated how the National Economic Resilience Data Explorer (NERDE) and the Economic Development Capacity Index (EDCI) tools can be utilized to support your CEDS and other regional planning efforts. Click here to view the webinar recording and download presentation slides.

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Webinar for EDDs 
In support of the EDD CoP, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) hosted a webinar with Trent Frazier, Deputy Assistant Director for the Stakeholder Engagement Division of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). In the webinar, Frazier discussed what CISA resources and materials are available to EDDs. Click here to view the recording.

Plugging Into the Future of Electric Vehicle Infrastructure 
This webinar showcased available funding, capacity building opportunities, and resources available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) at the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy to support electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure. Click here to view the webinar recording and download presentation slides.

Stay Up-to-Date with the EDD CoP Via NADO News

Sign-up for NADO News to stay up-to-date on the latest resources, training opportunities, and upcoming events available from the EDD CoP and our partner networks.  This free weekly newsletter is sent to your inbox every Thursday.    

EDD CoP Overview

The EDD CoP provides a forum for EDD leadership and staff to access the latest information, best practices, resources, and data to ensure districts are well-positioned to lead their regions in supporting with pandemic recovery and building long-term resilience to other shocks, stresses, and disruptions.

The EDD CoP delivers in-person and virtual training, capacity building, and networking opportunities for EDD staff to learn from each other, federal partners, and subject matter experts.  Programming offers useful and responsive resources through a mix of educational platforms and deliver up-to-date training and networking services to EDDs, guiding them on a path to support regional recovery and prosperity.

The EDD CoP consists of five program areas, outlined below:

  • EDD Essentials offers organizational and professional development resources and provides training to EDD staff on writing and implementing effective Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS), a strategic blueprint that drives regional economic development.  
  • Resilient and Equitable Regions builds EDD capacity by providing resources and training to support districts in achieving resilient and equitable outcomes with their planning initiatives. 
  • Wealth Creation Strategies engages with EDDs to identify ways to build diverse types of capital and wealth in their regions by leveraging local assets and growing from within.  
  • Research, Partnerships, and Technical Assistance supports other areas of the EDD CoP by developing reports, issue briefs, and additional resources for EDDs; promotes relationships among federal agencies, EDDs, and other thought leaders; and delivers responsive technical assistance.
  • The Virtual Community of Practice Portal serves as central, online platform for EDD and EDA staff to share resources and information, ask questions, and network.  

Project Partners

The NADO Research Foundation has partnered with three organizations to deliver the EDD CoP, each bringing unique expertise and a valuable perspective to the field of regional economic development: National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), University Economic Development Association (UEDA), and First Nations Development Institute.

The EDD CoP is made possible through an award from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (ED22HDQ3070106).  The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the participants, trainers, and authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.


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Applications cannot be saved and returned to at a later time. It is recommended you compile all of your information in advance in a word processor and cut and paste into the application below.

2023 Impact Awards

The primary applicant must be a NADO member. Project partners, both NADO and non-members, can be recognized under "Project Partners" below.

Primary Project Contact:
This person will be the designated point of contact for all future awards-related correspondence.

Organization Address

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Additional Organizational Information
Please upload your organization's logo which will be included on the winning project award certificate.

Project Information
This title will be printed on the award certificate for winning projects and in all 2022 NADO Impact Award materials and cannot be changed.

Project Summary & Questions
Please craft clear, thoughtful, and engaging responses to the following questions. Use the following sections to tell us how your project has made an impact, such as its use of creative funding mechanisms, efforts to create efficiencies or reduce costs, unique partnership models, and emphasis on building resilience and/or enhancing your region's quality of life.

For award-winning projects, the information provided below may be used verbatim to inform project descriptions that will be published in the 2023 NADO Impact Awards materials and included on the NADO website.

Please submit at least one photo showing your project in action. Please keep file size to a minimum (<2Mb) and use JPEG format. If uploading multiple files, ZIP files prior to submitting. If you have trouble uploading images they can be directly emailed to Brett Schwartz at [email protected]. Include the project title they correspond to in the subject line of your email.

Note: Submitted photos may be used in NADO Impact Awards materials and in other NADO published materials with credit to your organization. Please also consider submitting photos for NADO's 2023 Photo Contest, which will be held this summer.

Your application is not submitted until you are directed to a confirmation page. If you have any questions or are unsure if your application has been submitted, please contact Brett Schwartz at [email protected]

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Joe McKinney serves as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO). Headquartered in Washington DC, NADO provides advocacy, education, research, and training for the nation’s 500+ regional planning and development organizations.

Joe has thirty-one years of experience having served in city, county, regional, national association, and government management since 1991. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a candidate for a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

McKinney has provided congressional testimony on numerous occasions regarding the importance of regional development organizations in helping shape the nation’s economic growth. He is nationally recognized for promoting innovative solutions in areas such as planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, and aging services.

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