An Economic Roadmap to Diversify and Strengthen Our Region
Through a planning grant provided by the U.S. Department of Commerce, SRDC develops and maintains the region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The CEDS brings together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies. The CEDS analyzes the regional economy and serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources.
Every five years a new CEDS is submitted to the Federal Economic Development Administration, with revisions updated annually. This regionally-driven planning process engages community leaders, leverages the involvement of the private sector, and establishes a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration to create an environment for economic resiliency and prosperity. The 2022-2027 CEDS was worked on throughout 2021 and was formally adopted by the CEDS Committee and SRDC Board in December 2021.
The Four Cornerstones
DevelopMN is an initiative of the Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO) who in 2015 released a plan outlining collaborative strategies for growth and prosperity in greater Minnesota. Through the DevelopMN process the following cornerstones were identified as key components of strong regions and communities. These cornerstones are used in the CEDS to help create prosperity in Southwest Minnesota and throughout Greater Minnesota.
Developing, retaining, and attracting talent is critical for Southwest Minnesota to sustain and grow our businesses and communities. Tracking the characteristics of the labor force and the needs of employers and creating strategies for alignment between the two are the foundation for this cornerstone.
Making Southwest Minnesota an attractive environment for growth is critical to creating jobs, improving living standards and financing necessary public services. Economic Competitiveness requires communities to develop and link all available assets to support innovation and encourage business growth.
Community Resources include topics that balance the preservation and improvement of local social, cultural, and natural assets that are critical for the future.
Southwest Minnesota communities require proactive and collaborative approaches to address infrastructure needs in a cost-effective manner. Managing the access to, maintenance, replacement, and growth of these assets are key to preserving and maintaining communities and providing growth opportunities. Foundational assets include above-ground and below-ground infrastructures such as transportation, water-wastewater, housing, and broadband.
Why is the CEDS Important to the Region?
Planning doesn’t stop at borders.
As a regional plan, the CEDS has the potential to influence issues with a larger voice. What benefits one area of the region benefits the region in its entirety. What’s learned today could be shared and replicated tomorrow to build a more resilient region.
A forward-thinking, collaboratively-driven document.
The CEDS is a forward-thinking, collaboratively-driven document that showcases our region’s capacity to retain residents and attract new residents, both of which are critical to address labor force issues. This document also showcases our region’s capacity to attract private investment and promote business expansion.
A trusted data source.
The CEDS can be used to support projects in grant applications and can be used as a trusted data source. The Federal EDA has a specific section in their online submission process that asks applicants to provide a nexus between their proposed project and the respective CEDS in that Economic Development District. Through project support in the CEDS, additional dollars can be brought to the region for project implementation.
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SRDC offers a vast list of services to assist with your needs. Contact us if you are interested in working with SRDC on your project.