National CEDS Forum Event Materials

The first-ever National CEDS Forum was held in Columbus, OH on June 18-20, 2019.  Over 75 participants from 31 states and Washington, DC came together for training sessions, networking opportunities, small group discussions, and a mobile workshop tour to Wilmington, OH.  Attendees learned about the latest best practices and resources available to support their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning, development, and implementation.  Session topics focused on economic resilience and diversification; accessing and interpreting data; aligning the CEDS with other plans; outreach and engagement; Opportunity Zones; and more.  Select sessions were held in conjunction with the National Regional Transportation Conference.  To learn more about the National CEDS Forum, click here to view the conference program.  Training sessions have been approved for AICP credit.  Click here to access APA’s page to self-report.

The National CEDS Forum was organized as part of the NADO Research Foundation’s Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions program, funded through a grant from the US Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Attendees from 31 states and Washington, DC convened at the National CEDS Forum to discuss the latest best practices and resources available to support CEDS planning, development, and implementation
Attendees from 31 states and Washington, DC convened at the National CEDS Forum in Columbus, OH to discuss best practices and resources to support CEDS planning, development, and implementation

Presentation Materials

“Back from the Brink: A Visit to Wilmington, OH”

Community Engagement for Complete Communities Interactive Workshop

Regional Planning and Substance Use Disorder Interactive Workshop

Getting the Most Out of StatsAmerica to Support Your Planning Efforts

Understanding Development Finance in Transportation and Economic Development

Innovative Transportation and Economic Development Initiatives

Lunch Session: Putting the CEDS in Context and a Conversation with EDA

Strengthening Your Region’s Resilience through Economic Diversification

CEDS In Action Snapshots

Resilience in Focus

Building Your Community’s Opportunity Zones Strategy

Economic Development Integration and Regional Plan Alignment

Getting in the Zone: Supporting Startups, Scaleups, and Becoming Internationally Known

Focus on the Future – Trends Shaping Today’s Most Modern CEDS

The National CEDS Forum was organized by the NADO Research Foundation (NADO RF) using Federal funds under award ED17HDQ3030005 from the US Economic Development Administration, US Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the Department of Commerce.

This event is part of NADO RF’s Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions program, supported through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.  Please visit our CEDS training and resource archive at to learn more.


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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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