Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

What is a CEDS?

A CEDS is the result of a regionally-owned planning process designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm and community success.

The CEDS provides a vehicle for individuals, organizations, local governments, institutes of learning and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about what capacity building efforts would best serve economic development in the region. The CEDS should take into account and, where appropriate, integrate or leverage other regional planning efforts, including the use of other available federal funds, private sector resources and state support which can advance a region’s CEDS goals and objectives.

Regions must update their CEDS at least every five years to qualify for EDA assistance under its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. In addition, a CEDS is a prerequisite for designation by EDA as an Economic Development District (EDD).

Who is in charge of Economic Development in our Region?

Economic development can be led by several types of organizations in a community. Sometimes communities have a dedicated economic development organization (EDO), sometimes the city or county government has an economic development or community development department, or sometimes a chamber of commerce includes economic development among its activities. In our region, the Northwest Commission is the designated Local Development District (LDD) serving an eight-county region of Northwest Pennsylvania.

Regional Map

The Northwest Commission serves as a regional-based resource for business and economic development as well as community development and planning.  Comprised of a team of skilled professionals, the non-profit agency is dedicated to sustaining the economic vitality and growth by offering both free and low-cost services.  This is achieved through fostering local, state, and federal partnerships across public and private sector lines.  A variety of programs are offered including government contracting, international marketing, business financing, transportation, and grant services.

Other organizations that might be involved are workforce development and education institutions, local governments, state governments, utility companies, community foundations, and convention and visitors bureaus. Ultimately, economic development success depends on everyone in a community working together to establish a vision and accomplish goals. Even individuals that have nothing to do with an EDO can affect change by being positive spokespersons and volunteering in positive community improvements.

Northwest Pennsylvania CEDS
Click here to view the latest 2022-2026 CEDS

For additional information, please contact:

Dr. Tammy Dulaney
EDA/ARC Program Manager
814-677-4800 x 118