The federal Economic Development Administration (EDA), a bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce, is charged with leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.
EDA’s mission is to encourage programs that promote job growth and business expansion in today’s technologies and in discovering tomorrow’s. The EDA supports key initiatives among regional areas across the United States, thereby developing economic stability through intergovernmental and public/private sector collaboration. One of those initiatives is the development of Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies throughout the United States.
A comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) is designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies. The CEDS should analyze the regional economy and serve as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. A CEDS integrates a region’s human and physical capital planning in the service of economic development. A CEDS must be the result of a continuing economic development planning process developed with broad-based and diverse public and private sector participation, and must set forth the goals and objectives necessary to solve the economic development problems of the region and clearly define the metrics of success. Finally, a CEDS provides a useful benchmark by which a regional economy can evaluate opportunities with other regions in the national economy.