The Economic Development District Region III maintains and updates the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), which is a regional strategy for directing federal funding by identifying regional goals, strategies, barriers and needs to create economic development. Our 2011 report can be downloaded here:
Overview of our new direction:
2012 -2014 Scope of Work (Idaho’s Region 3 CEDS) For the next three years we are proposing a revamp of the annual CEDS process. Our intention is for communities to utilize the CEDS as an information tool (and future database) to foster better decisions as to where communities should make investments for business and job growth. In order to achieve this objective we are revamping the annual report and continual data gathering process in the following specific areas: Phase I
- We are creating an inventory of assets (see figure 1. best practice listing) named Asset Index combining county and city under a county profile
- We will be validating the collection of assets and identifying current business clusters by Communities under a County profile
Idaho’s region 3 area consists of 10 counties and 42 cities. We believe that a county wide focus on assets will reveal each cities contribution to various business locations. Although the process describes a large amount of data gathering, the results will be consolidated to meaningful use and comprehension. Our overall intent is to reduce the volume of pages in our former reports and provide a working document that will identify current producing business entities that have the supporting assets for growth. Phase II
- We are going to create an Opportunities Index taken from current assets and business entities and identify the best candidate business clusters that align to the current assets. We will be identifying those complimentary upstream and downstream business entities that complete the defined cluster. This will focus investments & projects.
- We are removing the ever expanding project list by community and only focusing on the highest 1-2 based upon opportunity that align to business cluster development potential.
- We will develop or include an assessment tool evaluating projects that align to facilitating growth aligned to the opportunity index to ensure decisions are informed and scored toward higher economic value.
- We will be facilitating county based workshops to identify and validate the cluster opportunities and establish the alignment to local strategic plans.
The results of this revamp process should lead up to a more thorough community investment strategy and portfolio for use in job & business growth decision making moving forward. Our regional economic development efforts will be aligned to this opportunity index focus as well enabling our communities to focus toward improving competitive positions and sustainability. Phase III
- Partner with the University of Idaho or Idaho Department of Commerce to help us make this process available on a web system with a database for public consumption and tie it to gem state prospector and/or other resources where leverage can be gained as an excellent macro-economic resource tool for Economic Development Teams.