January 28, 2015 – Laura Berkley, Senior Planner, provided a brief update on the status of the 2015 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Progress Report.  The CEDS is updated annually and fully redeveloped every five years.  The strategy must be completed for the region to receive federal funds from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). 

The CEDS planning process is a collaborative effort with participation from economic development organizations, local governments, institutions of higher learning and private businesses.  A core Bi-State staff of seven works closely on the document while another five provide information and review.  The CEDS also serves as a unifying economic development strategy that broadly incorporates goals and projects from across the region.

The CEDS Progress Report includes a comprehensive list of economic development projects that have been completed in the last year, are currently underway, and projects planned for the future.  The jobs and investments from this list are reported to EDA and are utilized by legislatures to promote the region and champion projects.  Granting bodies also can review the list and use it to make decisions on future grant awards.

The timeframe for the CEDS has changed.  In the past, progress reports were due in June, but they will be due in April moving forward.  Also new this year was the decision to hold meetings in each county to ensure full representation of the region.  The CEDS progress report contains a progress toward the goals of the 2011 full CEDS, background demographics, data analysis include quality of life, and an overview of the region’s opportunities and threats.  The next full version of the CEDS will be completed in 2016.

Bi-State staff will bring a draft of the 2015 CEDS Progress Report to the Commission in March for review and a final draft in April for approval.