What is a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy?

The strategic blueprint, known as a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. A CEDS is the result of a regionally-owned planning process designed to guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. It provides a coordinating mechanism for individuals, organizations, local governments, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about the economic direction of their region.

EDA requires that EDDs maintain a CEDS, and that it be updated every five years to maintain federal designation as an Economic Development District. In February 2019, ACOG awarded a contract to TIP Strategies to update the CEDS and it was published in September 2019.

What is ACOG’s role?

Numerous Councils of Governments (COGs) and/or development organizations (DOs) across the nation enjoy rich partnerships with the U. S. Economic Development Administration. Not all partnerships look or operate the same. Responsibilities differ along with scopes of work depending on a variety of things including a COG’s history with economic development; staff expertise; local “geopolitics” and rural versus urban geography; the presence or lack of presence of a robust chamber of commerce and/or certified economic development officers or economic developers.

Among Oklahoma’s 11 Councils of Government, 10 have enjoyed formal partnerships with EDA for many years and in some cases for decades. ACOG’s entry into the economic development arena was primarily inspired by EDA’s desire to have a formal economic development presence at all 11 COGs, and especially at ACOG, the only COG lacking an EDA program because we are located in and represent the interests of the state’s large economic region.

Central Oklahoma boasts an impressive cadre of economic development professionals with advanced skills and experience. In addition, most cities and towns in the region have active chambers of commerce and all of ACOG’s largest member cities house economic development functions and/or are members of local economic development partnerships such as the Greater Oklahoma City Economic Development Partnership and the Eastern Oklahoma County Partnership. Together, these stakeholders work daily to increase job growth, incomes, tax base, economic well-being and quality of life of Central Oklahomans.

ACOG Responsibilities

ACOG, being new to the arena, fills a different need. Our responsibilities include:

  • Serving as a Conduit: ACOG houses the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Oklahoma; the region’s Bicycle-Pedestrian Program; the Regional Transit Authority Task Force; 9-1-1 ACOG; Central Oklahoma Clean Cities and the Garber-Wellington Aquifer Association. We are also working to bolster our Community Development program, which today includes the Rural Economic Action Plan, a grant program funded through the state; a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and coordination of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). Every month, hundreds of people, primarily city staff and local, elected officials, meet at ACOG to discuss regional needs, challenges and resources, etc. As a sub-state agency, ACOG provides for these needs in a variety of ways including management and distribution of local, state and federal funds that serve the common good. We distill information and advance collaboration. We provide platforms for regional idea, initiatives and resource-sharing.
  • Monitoring and Evaluatingthe region’s economic development project activities
  • Updating andPreserving the CEDS; Reporting on CEDS progress
  • Coordinating and Implementingthe grant application process for viable programs and projects
  • Providing technical support, financial and administrative reporting
  • Record-keeping including membership information
  • Coordinating meetings of CEDS advisory committee
  • Developing a disaster resilience component for ACOG CEDS
  • Assisting members with the development of local economic development strategies

Staff Contacts

Matthew Weaver, CPDM

Community & Economic Development Manager

Margaret Reynolds

Administrative Assistant

CEDS Final Report

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