Alabama Statewide Consolidated Economic Development Strategies: Planning for the Future


The NADO Research Foundation’s report “Alabama Statewide Consolidated Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies:  Planning for the Future” addresses the role that Regional Development Organizations (RDOs) – in this case, Regional Councils – played in the Alabama statewide Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) process and explores lessons learned that can be applied to future RDO attempts at creating statewide CEDS.

The Regional Councils in Alabama strive to improve the quality of life for their residents by obtaining funding for local government assistance, coordinating local governments’ responses to regional issues, and providing a wide range of services to the region’s governments and  residents.  Regional Councils have differing structures and program priorities, but each focus on areas of economic development and planning.

Collectively, Alabama’s 12 Regional Councils work across the State of Alabama by planning and implementing strategies that create opportunities for development and prosperity. The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) of each of the Regional Councils reflects the goals, objectives, and priorities specific to their region or constituency.  The Alabama Consolidated CEDS was developed by the Planning Task Force of the Alabama Association of Regional Councils (AARC) to reflect the common vision, values, and goals contained in each regional CEDS and to serve as a comprehensive and representative statewide economic development strategy for the State of Alabama.

Click here to download the report (PDF)


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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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