Noteworthy Models and Examples of EDA-funded CEDS

Posted on: July 13th, 2012 by Matt Black

During the past 18 months, NADO’s board of directors and staff have been discussing the future of EDA’s Economic Development District (EDD) program and the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning framework and product.  This discussion is being driven by three main factors:

  1. Immediate political need and reality for EDDs to improve the appearance, marketing/presentation, accountability and metrics, and implementation of their EDA CEDS – this is essential to NADO’s ability to maintain current funding for the EDA EDD planning grant program with Congress and OMB, let alone pursue much needed funding increases in the near future.  This issue is also related to internal criticism by senior EDA policy officials and OMB budget staff.
  2. Potential opportunities to gain greater recognition and value of the EDD CEDS process and document across the federal government or by other individual federal agencies beyond EDA, such as USDA Rural Development, DOT, EPA, HUD, SBA and others.  This also includes taking isolated EDD practices of integrating, coordinating and/or leveraging other federal, state and regional planning processes for transportation, workforce development, sustainability, housing and/or other economic and community development strategies with your regional EDA CEDS process and document.
  3.  Pending regulatory or policy guidance changes being drafted and considered by EDA. (See NADO’s analysis of proposed rule changes at  

As part of NADO’s preliminary efforts to promote stronger peer accountability, resource sharing, and quality controls, the association convened more than 20 EDD representatives in January 2011 to explore noteworthy practices, offer policy solutions to EDA, and discuss options for the future.  One of the event outcomes was a preliminary set of EDD Peer Standards of Excellence (http://www NULL.knowyourregion NULL.pdf) (PDF) that are intended to help the EDD industry take a stronger leadership role in improving the CEDS process and products. 

One idea is to use the NADO EDD Peer Standards of Excellence to help facilitate more beneficial peer exchanges as part of the EDD peer review process required by federal law every three years.  These standards could also be incorporated into NADO’s Regional Council Self-Assessment Toolkit.

In recent months, the association has partnered with EDA through the Know Your Region project ( (http://www NULL.knowyourregion to offer statewide technical assistance training and workshops, a series of webinars, and special reports.  During NADO’s annual training conference (October 13-16 in Las Vegas), we’ll be offering a special two-day workshop on the concepts of CEDS 2.0 (October 13-14). We will also be releasing a series of new reports on performance metrics, regional case studies, and lessons learned from Alabama’s statewide CEDS process.

Next Steps:

  1. We invite you to share your CEDS document, products and websites with us by emailing Brian Kelsey, NADO’s Director of Economic Development, at [email protected] (bkelsey null@null nado  We are looking for noteworthy practices and potential models for sharing with the full membership.
  2. Review some of the current noteworthy models and examples of EDA-funded CEDS and other related regional economic development strategies as linked below.  Many of these examples are highlighted in the NADO EDA Know Your Region presentation at

NADO CEDS Presentation at EDA Philadelphia regional conference

Northern Forrest Regional Strategy

Northland Works Partnership

Pioneer Valley Regional Council – CEDS Executive Summary

Puget Sound Regional Council’s Prosperity Partnership Executive Summary

Purchase Area Development District

Rockford EDC (IL) CEDS – Read the sections on performance metrics

Southern Tier New York Regional CEDS – Format is modern and clean

Southern Tier Open for Business – Sample of statewide data template


Share your ideas on how NADO and its membership can foster the development and implementation of more effective CEDS.  Within the next few weeks, we will be launching a new Sharepoint features on the NADO website at for our members to share documents, post thoughts, and connect.

Remember to mark your calendar for NADO’s annual training conference on October 13-16, 2012 at The Mirage in Las Vegas! Register today online at  We also welcome ideas and suggestions for the CEDS 2.0 two-day workshop.

Get Adobe Reader (http://get NULL.adobe view PDF files.

This entry was posted in Model Documents, Regional and Community Planning, Regional Economic Development. Bookmark the permalink.