February 24, 2016 – Laura Berkley, Senior Planner, provided more information on the 2016 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) full update. The CEDS is redeveloped every five years. The CEDS must be completed for the region to receive federal funds from the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
The Gross Regional Product was flat $19.7 million in 2014, which is the most recent data available. Unemployment is flat compared to last year, but the workforce is also shrinking. According to modeling software EMSI, overall jobs are projected to grow 5% in the next five years, with the largest growth in the sectors of Management of Companies and Enterprises; Transportation and Warehousing; Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services; Finance and Insurance; and Health Care and Social Assistance.
The CEDS update will include an Opportunities and Threats discussion with the following themes: Arsenal, Infrastructure, Fiscal Matters, Housing, Education and Workforce Training, Environment, Culture, and Planning and Programs. These topics are discussed in more detail in the report.
The CEDS Committee is currently working on finalizing the goals, objectives, and strategies for the plan with the following topics: Business Retention and Expansion, Workforce Development, Infrastructure, Public-Private and Intergovernmental Partnerships, Economic Resilience, and Quality of Life.
Bi-State staff will bring a draft of the 2016 CEDS full update to the Commission in March for review and a final draft in April for approval.