What is a CEDS?

As its name implies, a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) lays out a regional plan for economic development. Its ultimate goal is to help our area have a stronger, more diverse regional economy. While the CEDS’ most critical function is to provide a regional economic development framework, it also serves as a required vehicle through which some federal agencies (especially the EDA) evaluate requests for grant assistance. As our CEDS plan is now officially approved by the federal government our area is now eligible to apply for federal economic development grants.

Staff annually works with the CEDS Strategy Committee, beginning in December, to update the Plan.

CEDS Vision & Goals

In 2015, the Rockford MSA will be a world-class, sustainable community with an entrepreneurial culture and a diverse economic base outperforming peer MSAs in job creation and retention, capital investment, and personal income growth. Prosperity and a high quality of life will result from investments in alternative energy, infrastructure, information technologies, quality healthcare, a strong talent base, educational achievement, and enhancement of cultural and natural amenities and industries.

To make this vision a reality, the region is pursuing the following goals:

  • Create a regional comprehensive economic development plan and marketing strategy emphasizing collaboration within the Rockford MSA.
  • Foster efficient business development, expansion, diversification, job growth, and entrepreneurial activity throughout the region.
  • Ensure the future availability of a skilled and flexible workforce prepared to meet the needs of both existing and emerging industries and technologies.
  • Meet the full range of business’ infrastructure needs with emphasis on transportation, utilities and communications.
  • Redeploy existing commercial and industrial underused properties, and protect natural amenities and resources for economic development purposes.
  • Obtain a higher quality of life by supporting and enhancing the region’s sense of community identity, community health, cultural and recreational amenities, and creative industries.

Top Priorities for Economic Well-Being

The following projects have been identified as top projects that strategically fit the Region’s and grant program’s funding goals, and are technically ready to implement.

Health Care
Economic Adjustment Grant
Regional Sustainability Indicators Program
Local Food and Retail Small Business Development
Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Programs
Incubator Facility
Expansion of the Ag-Tech Initiative and NUEDC Center
Northern Stateline Regional Energy Training Initiative
Rockford Promise

Regional Targeted Industries for 2010-2014:

Aerospace Production
Alternative Energy
Chemical Manufacturing
Customer Service Centers
Food Processing
Industrial Machine Manufacturing
Metals Manufacturing
On & Off Road Vehicle
Professional Business Services
Rail-Related Manufacturing