It is required by the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and current rules call for it to be updated every five years.
The Dayton region had to commit to producing an updated CEDS in order to access disaster recovery funds after the 2019 tornadoes and for COVID-19 relief funds, said Stacy Schweikhart, director of strategy and engagement for the planning commission.
Stacy Schweikhart is the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission director of strategy and engagement.
“The EDA offers significant funding opportunities to communities impacted by disasters,” she said. “To date, the region has secured nearly $10 million from the EDA for disaster recovery projects, including Dayton water treatment plant generators, Greene County sewer improvements and the Miami Conservancy District’s reconstruction of the levees around the hard-hit Old North Dayton neighborhood.”
CEDS is designed to contribute to “effective economic development in America’s communities and regions through a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process” and “serves as a means to engage community leaders, leverage the involvement of the private sector, and establish a strategic blueprint for regional collaboration,” according to the administration’s website.
Ellen Heinz, the region’s economic development representative at the EDA, said federal investment priorities include:
- Equity for underserved and rural communities.
- Building resilience to economic shocks.
- Workforce development.
- Manufacturing job creation, expansion and technology upgrades.
- Fostering “knowledge ecosystems” supporting entrepreneurs and creating well-paying jobs of the future.
- Environmentally sustainable development to address climate change.
- Building assets to support U.S. growth and exports.
The local plan will encompass those requirements, as well as identify regional goals, determine ways to streamline resources and further diversify the regional economy, officials said. Community engagement in the whole process is required and that will occur through the fall as the plan is prepared for submission to the feds.
The meeting Wednesday included quick polls for participants to respond to. Participants said the region’s most significant risk is the ability to attract and regain talent.
Top answers for what the region’s greatest success has been over the past decade are the strength of the defense sector and success at economic diversification.
Forty-three percent said the region’s strongest opportunity for strategic growth is logistics, distribution and supply chain growth.
Economic resilience was listed as the top aspiration for the region, followed closely by making the region the community of choice for young talent.
Geographic location and vibrant local communities were chosen as the region’s top assets.
The CEDS is separate from the annual Dayton Region Priority Development and Advocacy Committee process, which produces a list of community-evaluated projects seeking state and federal funding.
Visit the Dayton Development Coalition’s website for more information about the Dayton region CEDS process and to offer feedback.
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