What is NC Tomorrow?
The North Carolina Association of Regional Councils is leading a collaborative partnership with assistance from the US Economic Development Administration, North Carolina Department of Commerce -Division of Community Development, the US Department of Housing & Urban Development and the SAS Institute of Cary, NC to create a statewide Strategy for Comprehensive Economic Development for North Carolina.
The first initiative is to conduct uniform Regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) across North Carolina. These regionally significant CEDS will then serve as the foundation to create the NC Strategy for Comprehensive Economic Development (SCED) that can serve as a statewide blueprint for creating an economically sustainable economy for North Carolina.
The Statewide CEDS can serve as a “blueprint” for growth and community development based on common-sense, sustainable best practices and a “single version of the truth” provided by data collection and analysis from the SAS Institute to ensure consistency in reporting. The SAS Institute is developing software specifically for the initiative, North Carolina Regional Economic Prosperity Solution (REPS). REPS will be a “tool” for use by planning professionals, economic development professionals, elected officials and private industry developers. Also, REPS will provide a tool for measuring success. REPS will be housed at the SAS Institute in Cary at its World Headquarters in the Institute for State and Local Government that was established in 2010.
Funding for the NC Tomorrow initiative comes from the federal Economic Development Administration and the NC Department of Commerce – Division of Community Development through the NC Catalyst Program of the CDBG funds program. NC Commerce is providing planning grants to non-entitlement local governments within each of the 16 Councils of Government (COGs) regions. While the Regional Councils will lead the effort to create the Regional CEDS, the non-entitlement local unit of government will foster regional, multi-jurisdictional participation around the program goals and assist in the development of the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy that will build the foundation for the NC Strategy for Comprehensive Economic Development.
The NC Strategy for Comprehensive Economic Development will center on the Six Livability Principles established by the EPA, HUD & DOT Federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, the Six Investment Principles set forth by the federal Economic Development Administration and the NADO CEDS Standards of Excellence. The planning process will include all sectors of the economic development community, including local, regional and state economic developers, planners, private industry, educational institutions, elected officials and many other community organizations that work on the ground to make North Carolina a great place to live, work and play.
The Association and its partners aspire to develop a strong foundation for common- sense development and growth that will create jobs for our citizens while conserving the natural resources that make North Carolina the special place it has always been, a place where companies can thrive and where families want to live.