September 30, 2014
At its September meeting, the Board of Directors adopted the 2014 to 2019 Region IV Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The CEDS is a regional strategy document that includes in-depth economic and demographic analysis, identification of economic development problems, opportunities and scenarios; and strategies to be executed by both the RRRC and regional stakeholders and partners.
“We have to undertake the development of a new CEDS every five years,” said Dawn Keeley, RRRC Executive Director. “With this CEDS, we used it as an opportunity to fully understand the issues and opportunities within each of our four counties.”
The strategic planning efforts were kicked off with a public presentation of an economic and demographic analysis completed and provided by Dr. David Flynn, University of North Dakota Bureau of Business and Economic Research. Dr. Flynn presented his analysis at a public meeting on March 20.
The RRRC undertook an extensive planning process to support the development of the CEDS including the establishment of a county Strategy Committee within Grand Forks, Nelson, Pembina, and Walsh Counties which led the development of county-level strategic plans. The Strategy Committees met in April and July 2014 to complete identifying strengths and weaknesses as pertaining to 25 different economic and community development strategies. Additionally, each Strategy Committee discussed Quality of Life issues and opportunities. The 1.5 day planning sessions with each Strategy Committee concluded with drafting an Action Plan. The RRRC licensed the Building Communities, Inc. software to complete the planning sessions which were facilitated by Cheryl Osowski.
The four county strategic plans were the foundation of the Region IV CEDS. The Regional Strategy Committee included members from each county Strategy Committee, RRRC Directors, and community leaders and business owners from throughout the region. The Regional Strategy Committee reviewed a draft regional CEDS and provided feedback at a meeting in August at the RRRC. The CEDS is a requirement of the RRRC’s annual Partners in Planning grant from the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA). Due to a September 30, 2014 deadline to complete, adopt, and submit the CEDS to EDA, the County Strategic Plans completion was delayed and the Strategy Committees will be meeting in November 2014 to review draft plans and complete.
More than 250 people participated in the CEDS development including the four County Strategy Committees, Town Hall participants, Regional Strategy Committee, and the RRRC Board of Directors.
The economic development strategic planning efforts were funded and are being development in partnership with the Nelson, Pembina, and Walsh County Job Development Authorities, Grand Forks County, City of Grand Forks Office of Urban Development, Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation, Red River Regional Council, ND Department of Commerce Division of Community Services, US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
For a copy of the CEDS, click Final CEDS 9-26-2014.