NRVRC staff have begun the 2018-19 update process for the New River Valley Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) document. The CEDS provides a review of economic data and conditions for NRVRC jurisdictions, identifies goals and strategies that help to address these regional issues, and prioritizes regional economic development projects that the region can undertake to achieve these goals. The CEDS documents from previous years are available on our website: https://nrvrc.org/what-we-do/economic-development/comprehensive-economic-development-strategy/
This year’s CEDS update process will bring major changes, as NRVRC staff conduct a regular five-year ‘overhaul’ of the CEDS, updating data and revising the CEDS report content to reflect the most recent available economic data, and to align the CEDS strategies with the most recent goals and initiatives of regional and local economic development stakeholder groups. Concurrently, NRVRC staff are working to supplement the standard written report of the CEDS with a parallel web-based format which will provide a more interactive experience that allows users to browse CEDS content by section or by strategic focus areas, such as workforce development or entrepreneurship, and explore related data and partner activities.
With data mining underway, the next step is to convene the CEDS think tank, a group of 25 volunteers who represent economic development-related organizations around the New River Valley. The diverse committee has a broad understanding of the regional economy, and a deep knowledge of specific issues that contribute to the region’s economic health. This year’s committee contains representatives with a variety of expertise, including finance, international trade, small business development and entrepreneurship, educational institutions (both K-12 and higher ed), manufacturing, workforce development, and local government, among others. These experts serve as the ‘think tank’ for the CEDS, providing ideas, guidance, and a critical eye to help NRVRC staff ensure the CEDS captures the most important economic development issues in the New River Valley.
The CEDS think tank will meet several times in 2019 in order to provide input on the CEDS update process, such as reviewing and updating the ranking and prioritization of economic development projects. In January, the committee will meet to begin reviewing revised CEDS content and providing input on this year’s updates. In addition to the committee’s usual discussions of economic development trends and issues in the New River Valley, the meetings this year have a special focus on reviewing the draft versions of ‘data dashboard’ and web-based CEDS content, as NRVRC staff seek to complete the CEDS five-year overhaul.
For more information on the NRV CEDS update process, please contact Patrick O’Brien: firstname.lastname@example.org, 540-639-9313 x206