Northwest CT Economic Development Corporation
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
The Northwest CT Economic Development Corporation (NWCTEDC) is preparing to update and expand the five year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for our 20 town region. NWCTEDC works in close cooperation with the eleven towns in the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials (LHCEO), the nine towns in the NW CT Council of Governments (NCCOG) and the NW CT Chamber of Commerce which serves the same combined twenty town region.
The current CEDS was created in 2004 and included 9 of the 11 towns in the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials plus the town of North Canaan from the Northwest CT Council of Governments. Since CEDS are designed as five year plans it is time to update. NWCTEDC, LHCEO, NWCCOG and the NW CT Chamber have endorsed the creation of a new 20 town regional CEDS for NW CT.
The plan is for the new CEDS (2012-2017) to include the eleven towns in the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials and the nine towns in the NW CT Council of Governments. This five year plan would include yearly progress updates and reviews. CEDS is a federally sponsored program that also closely aligns with the
CT Economic Strategic Plan 2009
The goal is to create a five year action plan for addressing economic development issues and developing strategies throughout the 20 town NWCTEDC region. This plan would balance the interests of conservation and development. It should also serve as a guide to individual towns when they update their local Plans of Conservation and Development.
As a result of scenario planning and task team meetings in 2008, NWCTEDC identified the following regional economic issues: Revitalization of Town & City Centers, Workforce Development, Redevelopment of Brownfields, Transportation, Energy, Agriculture, and Culture & Tourism. The CEDS process would establish regional priority goals and develop specific strategies to address them.
The CEDS process also integrates closely with the issues identified in the
CT Economic Strategic Plan 2009
(September 2009): Housing, Transportation, Education & Workforce Development, Government, Business, Culture & Tourism, Energy.
LHCEO, NWCCOG and NWCTEDC received a Planning Grant from the U.S. EDA (U.S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration) to create a new CEDS for NW CT. The Planning Grant grant provides matching funds ($50,000) to regions updating their CEDS. Local funds of $25,000 are needed to match the federal grant award ($25,000). Half of the $25,000 ($12,500) could be in-kind services. A completed federally approved CEDS would align our region with both the state and the federal levels.
The communities in NW CT want to maintain the quality of life that currently exists in our region. CEDS should be unique to our region and reflect a desire to maintain our natural heritage while addressing economic needs such as jobs, services, local tax base and affordable housing.
We will need to generate some revenue to meet these goals. Currently there are no paid staff members on NWCTEDC, it is strictly a volunteer effort. Our current Board of Directors includes representatives from both the public and private sectors. Board members also represent multiple economic sectors and communities throughout the region.
We are seeking sponsors to help move us forward to the next level of strategic planning with specific goals and strategies that will be measured in a systematic manner at the regional level.
Sponsors will be featured on our web site (www.nwctedc.com
) throughout the five year CEDS cycle. Any future programs or activities will also acknowledge those supporting NWCTEDC. NWCTEDC is classified by the IRS as a 501(c)(6) organization. Please consult with your tax advisor for more details about tax deductions.
Both the public and private sectors are encouraged to support this effort. Here are the categories of support:
Platinum Sponsor: $5,000 or more
Gold Sponsor: $1,000 to $4,999
Silver Sponsor: $500 to $999
Bronze Sponsor: $250 to $499
Patrons (Individuals): $100 to $249
Currently we are soliciting sponsors for $250 to help cover the costs of the CEDS process. Checks can be mailed to: NW CT EDC, Box 774, Litchfield, CT 06759.
Please email info to: email@example.com
Call Doug Parker for more information (860-567-2204).
NW CT Economic Development Corporation
U.S. Department of Commerce
Economic Development Administration
COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
CEDS - SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS
Introduction: A comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies. The CEDS should analyze the regional economy and serve as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. A CEDS integrates a region's human and physical capital planning in the service of economic development. Integrated economic development planning provides the flexibility to adapt to global economic conditions and fully utilize the region's unique advantages to maximize economic opportunity for its residents by attracting the private investment that creates jobs for the region's residents. A CEDS must be the result of a continuing economic development planning process developed with broad-based and diverse public and private sector participation, and must set forth the goals and objectives necessary to solve the economic development problems of the region and clearly define the metrics of success. Finally, a CEDS provides a useful benchmark by which a regional economy can evaluate opportunities with other regions in the national economy.
Who should develop a CEDS? A Planning Organization seeking to formulate and implement a regional economic development program will benefit from developing a CEDS. Successful economic development efforts are based on CEDS that provide an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies.
A. EDA-funded CEDS
1. Planning Organization:
The Planning Organization is responsible for:
- Appointing a Strategy Committee (CEDS Committee);
- Developing and submitting to EDA a CEDS that complies with 13 C.F.R. § 303.7;
- Making a new or revised CEDS available for review and comment by the public for a period of at least thirty (30) days prior to submission of the CEDS to EDA;
- Obtaining approval of the CEDS from EDA;
- After obtaining approval of the CEDS, submitting to EDA an updated CEDS performance report annually. The performance report, in addition to reporting progress on CEDS implementation, should also discuss community and private sector participation in the CEDS effort. Any performance report that results in a change in the technical components of the EDA-approved CEDS must be available for review and comment by the public for a period of at least thirty (30) days prior to submission of the performance report to EDA;
- Submitting a copy of the CEDS to any Regional Commission if any part of the EDA-approved EDD region is covered by that Commission;
- Submitting a new CEDS to EDA at least every five (5) years, unless EDA or the Planning Organization determines that a new CEDS is required earlier due to changed circumstances.
2. Strategy Committee:
The Strategy Committee is the entity identified by the Planning Organization as responsible for developing, revising, or replacing the CEDS. The Strategy Committee must represent the main economic interests of the region, and must include Private Sector Representatives as a majority of its membership. In addition, the Planning Organization should ensure that the Strategy Committee also includes:
- Public officials;
- Community leaders;
- Representatives of workforce development boards;
- Representatives of institutions of higher education;
- Minority and labor groups; and
- Private individuals.
B. Technical Requirements
A Planning Organization must include the following information in a CEDS submitted to EDA.
1. Background: The CEDS must contain a background of the economic development situation of the region that paints a realistic picture of the current condition of the region. This background must include a discussion of the economy, population, geography, workforce development and use, transportation access, resources, environment, and other pertinent information.
2. Analysis of Economic Development Problems and Opportunities: The CEDS must include an in-depth analysis of the economic development problems and opportunities that identifies strengths and weaknesses in the regional makeup of human and economic assets, and problems and opportunities posed by external and internal forces affecting the regional economy. This analysis must:
- Incorporate relevant material from other government-sponsored or supported plans and demonstrate consistency with applicable State and local workforce investment strategies.
- Identify past, present, and projected future economic development investments in the region.
- Identify and analyze economic clusters within the region.
3. CEDS Goals and Objectives -- Defining Regional Expectations: The CEDS must contain a section setting forth goals and objectives necessary to solve the economic problems, or capitalize on the resources, of the region. Any strategic project, program, or activity identified in the CEDS should work to fulfill these goals and objectives.
- Goals are broad, primary regional expectations.
- Objectives are more specific than goals, clearly measurable, and stated in realistic terms considering what can be accomplished over the five (5) year time frame of the CEDS.
4. Community and Private Sector Participation: The CEDS must include a section discussing the relationship between the community in general and the private sector in the development and implementation of the CEDS. Public and private sector partnerships are critical to the implementation of the CEDS.
5. Strategic Projects, Programs and Activities: The CEDS must contain a section which identifies regional projects, programs and activities designed to implement the Goals and Objectives of the CEDS. This section should identify and describe:
- All suggested projects, programs and activities and the projected number of jobs to be created as a result.
- Lead organizations responsibilities for execution of the projects.
- A prioritization of vital projects, programs, and activities that address the region's greatest needs or that will best enhance the region's competitiveness, including sources of funding for past and potential future investments. These can be overarching "themes" for regional economic development success and is expected to include components. Funding sources should not be limited to EDA programs.
6. CEDS Plan of Action: The plan of action, as described in the CEDS, implements the goals and objectives of the CEDS in a manner that:
- Promotes economic development and opportunity;
- Fosters effective transportation access;
- Enhances and protects the environment;
- Maximizes effective development and use of the workforce consistent with any applicable State or local workforce investment strategy;
- Promotes the use of technology in economic development, including access to high-speed telecommunications;
- Balances resources through sound management of physical development; and
- Obtains and utilizes adequate funds and other resources.
The CEDS must also contain a section that discusses the methodology for cooperating and integrating the CEDS with a State's economic development priorities.
7. Performance Measures: The CEDS must contain a section that lists the performance measures used to evaluate the Planning Organization's successful development and implementation of the CEDS, including but not limited to the:
- Number of jobs created after implementation of the CEDS;
- Number and types of investments undertaken in the region;
- Number of jobs retained in the region;
- Amount of private sector investment in the region after implementation of the CEDS; and
- Changes in the economic environment of the region.
These are not meant to be the only performance measures for the CEDS. Most Planning Organizations developing a CEDS will benefit from developing additional quantitative and qualitative measures that will allow them to evaluate progress toward achieving the goals identified as important in their regions.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL CEDS
prepared by Mark Waterhouse
CEDS Committee must be broadly representative
Communities - enough but not all
Business and labor
- Must have substantial participation of CEDS Committee
- Should allow public involvement
- Must be documented in detail for inclusion in the CEDS
- Final document must be adopted by CEDS Committee and COG's before submission to EDA
Detailed data profile of the region
- Must provide realistic picture of current regional condition
- Must be analyzed to identify important trends (both positive and negative) and opportunities
- Must identify and analyze regional economic clusters
Goals and Objectives
- All projects included in the CEDS must relate to these
- Goals are broad expectations; Objectives should be measurable and related to 5-year CEDS timeframe
CEDS document must have section discussion community - private sector interaction in development of the CEDS
Must provide lists of all proposed projects and priority (“vital”) projects
- Priority projects must be selected using a predetermined evaluation methodology that includes EDA's evaluation criteria
- Should be detailed
- Should relate to EDA's 7 focus areas
- Must contain section discussing relationship to State's economic development priorities
Performance Measures (see 5 required by EDA)
- Must contain a section listing measures used in developing and implementing the CEDS