Building a Future Ready Region

If you work in economic development, you’re likely familiar with the acronym CEDS, which stands for a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy.   If regions are seeking federal money from the US Economic Development Administration or other agencies, they typically are expected to have completed a CEDS that assesses the region’s competitive assets and challenges.  The CEDS is an important tool, and when done right, they not only assist regions in accessing funding, but they also improve the rigor and effectiveness of local economic development investments. EDA and its partner, the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation, do a good job of helping regions improve their planning efforts.  They have a great resource at CEDS Central.  On March 16, they’re also sponsoring a workshop here in Arlington VA, known as “An Afternoon with the CEDS,” to dig deeper into these issues.  I’ll be there to learn from lots of local leaders, and will also be presenting on “Building a Future Ready Region.”  My talk will discuss the issue that will dominate economic development thinking for the near future:  how to deal with pressing talent gaps and build stronger regional labor markets.  I’m looking forward to a great event.