Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for PTRC

I was the consultant and principal author of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (NC – 12 counties, 1.6 million population)

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Final Report – Adopted February 19, 2014

project logoTriad Tomorrow, the Piedmont Triad Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), serves as the foundational economic development element of our region’s sustainable communities planning effort, Piedmont Together. The CEDS is designed to help stakeholders form partnerships to leverage existing resources that will revitalize the communities of our region. Building on existing regional and local economic development plans, Triad Tomorrow strategies focus on supporting collaboration among local and regional stakeholders within the economic development community, private industry, educational institutions, local government, foundations and the private sector. The CEDS is a responsive and flexible five-year strategic economic development plan, designed to be easily adjusted to meet the changing needs of communities throughout the region.

The Piedmont Triad Regional Council undertook development of Triad Tomorrow as part of the statewide NC Tomorrow Initiative, which aims to create a more uniform, coordinated approach to economic development planning across our state. In this initiative, led by the North Carolina Association of Regional Councils, regional CEDS are developed by each of the 16 regional councils across the state, with the ultimate goal of combining them to create a statewide strategic plan. This CEDS will benefit communities in our region in three important ways:

  • The CEDS is to be combined with those of the other regional councils across the state, and then submitted to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for approval. Upon approval, organizations in our region will be eligible to compete for assistance under EDA’s public works program, economic adjustment program, and many of its planning programs.
  • The CEDS highlights key priorities on which the region can work together to achieve significant results. By marshaling resources and fostering collaboration, local communities and regional organizations can make progress in these critical areas.
  • The CEDS identifies important regional interests. Communities seeking to advance projects in these identified areas can use the CEDS to demonstrate that their projects are not just of local concern, but support broader regional interests.

Triad Tomorrow outlines the region’s four priority economic development focus areas:

  1. Competitive Advantage & Leverage – Sectors of the Piedmont Triad’s regional economy vital to our economic mix which are growing or emerging, and/or unique to the region. These include market clusters, entrepreneurship support systems and our quality of life. The primary goal related to competitive advantage and leverage is to build on and improve the economic sectors that are authentic to the Piedmont Triad region.
  2. Regional Infrastructure – Fixed assets of the region including transportation, utilities, support systems, broadband and the natural environment. The primary goal related to infrastructure is to build on and improve the fixed assets of the region.
  3. Vibrant Communities – The characteristics of communities with a high quality of life, including local leadership, housing stock, and community amenities. The primary goal related to vibrant communities is to provide resources that support a high quality of life in the region.
  4. Talent – The human assets of the region, including our workforce, education and healthcare systems and access to capital. The primary goal related to talent is to invest in the region’s human assets and support systems.

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