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)


Joe McKinney has served as Executive Director of the National Association of Development Organizations since 2012. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Land of Sky Regional Council in Asheville, North Carolina from 2003 to 2012. Under his leadership, Land of Sky became recognized nationally for its innovation in program areas including planning and economic development, workforce development, transportation and transit, aging services, volunteer services, and geographic information systems. Joe has also held various other roles in city, county, association, and government management. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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