Economic Development Planning

2022-2026 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) contributes to effective economic development in our communities and regions through a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process. West Central Initiative updates the CEDS at least every five years to qualify our region for EDA assistance.

You can use the strategy as a guide to understanding the regional economy and to take action to improve it. The CEDS leverages other regional planning efforts, including the use of available federal funds, private sector resources, and state support that can advance our region’s goals and objectives. 

Read our 2017-2021 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

Be Part of the Process

Over the next several months, we'll partner with stakeholders within our service area to draft the 2022-2026 CEDS. We're seeking a wide diversity of thought, experiences, backgrounds, and expertise.

If you have a vested interest in the future of west central Minnesota’s economic competitiveness and resilience, we invite you to participate.

Si le gustaría revisar este documento podría dejar sus comentarios o preguntas mediante nuestro correo electrónico o teléfono:  218.998.1629,

Engagement Methods

Public Input Survey: We designed this survey to inform various components of the CEDS, including the SWOT Analysis, background summary, strategies, and evaluation framework. 

Focus groups: From January to March of 2021, we're conducting nine focus groups, each providing a platform for stakeholders to contribute to specific topics. To ensure a diversity of thought, focus groups are designed by invitation only. However, the focus groups have been summarized and are available for public comment:

Download the notes on all of the focus groups (PDF)


The 2022-2026 CEDS update is taking place in early 2021. See an outline below for the different phases of this process. 

Phase 1: Launch  

Phase 2: Public input through focus groups and survey 

Phase 3: CEDS document drafting  *Download the draft here*

Phase 4: Public input  Please leave feedback below

Phase 5: Revise CEDS and submit to Economic development board for approval 

Phase 6: Implementation

A printed copy of the document is also available upon request, and arriving at the region's libraries and Bookmobiles soon!