January 27, 2016 – Laura Berkley, Senior Planner, provided a brief update on the status of 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 CEDS planning process is a collaborative effort with participation from local governments, economic development organizations, institutions of higher learning, and private businesses.  In order to ensure full representation of the region, meetings have been held in each county.  A core Bi-State staff of five 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 full update includes a summary of the state of the regional economy; an analysis on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the region; a review and update of economic goals, objectives, and strategies for the next five years; and a comprehensive list of economic development projects that have been completed in the last year, are currently underway, or are planned for the future.  The jobs and investments from this list are reported to EDA, and the list is 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.
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.