A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is an economic development plan required by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) for areas to be eligible for planning and construction funds to improve their economies.
In January 2000, a CEDS planning process was commenced for the forty-town East Central Vermont area, most of which is the TRORC Region. We have been working since this time with the Southern Windsor County Regional Planning Commission, and two regional development corporations (Green Mountain Economic Development Corporation and Springfield Regional Development Corporation).
In May 2001, and every year thereafter, the CEDS plan was approved by EDA, enabling planning and construction assistance and funding to be available for the 40-town CEDS area. TRORC continues to work with the CEDS Board and its working (Steering) committee on the identification of goals, objectives and needs for the area. One task of the Steering Committee has been to integrate the CEDS planning process with the overall regional planning programs of the regional planning commissions. In 2002, the Town of Randolph received funding to assist in the development of a business incubator project under the direction of Vermont Technical College. This project, coupled with a related downtown office construction project, improved the Randolph area economy. A grant of $830,000 was received due to our region's eligibility attained through the development of our CEDS.
In 2009, TRORC was awarded a $235,000 economic development grant from EDA to ensure that the CEDS document is current, meets the needs of the area, and is conducted with extensive public participation. In addition, these grant funds will be used by TRORC and its economic development partners to support the region's businesses in minimizing economic dislocations resulting in from natural or man-made disasters. In 2008, towns within the TRORC area were impacted by severe flooding and Congress appropriated funding to EDA to assist businesses in disaster recovery efforts by conducting proper planning in advance of disasters. TRORC sought this nationally competitive funding to meet with the region's businesses and conduct "business continuity planning."
Work on the development and refinement of the CEDS involves hundreds of hours of research and evaluation of the Region's economic strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. To enable full participation of all economic sectors and interests, special effort is being taken to solicit the participation of organizations and individuals not typically involved in long-range economic planning.
In addition, the East Central Vermont CEDS Region applied to EDA for designation as an Economic Development District. By receiving designation as an Economic Development District, regional planning and economic development leaders can secure the resources necessary to develop new businesses in our state and encourage the growth of existing businesses appropriate to this Region. This federal recognition will enhance our Region's credibility on these issues.
Download the adopted 2011 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy