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.

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. 

Public Plan Review: After we've drafted the initial CEDS update using feedback from the survey and focus groups, we'll release the strategy for public comment. 


Phase 1: Launch  

Phase 2: Public input through focus groups and survey 

Phase 3: CEDS document drafting - We're here!

Phase 4: Public input 

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

Phase 6: Implementation 

Contact Us

For more information on the CEDS public engagement process, contact Emily Reno ( or Alexander Johnson (


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