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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

About One Coast, One Future and the CEDS

One Coast, One Future is a consortium of 14 communities in lower Fairfield County whose study funding was acquired by former Congress member Christopher Shays under the leadership of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council and The Business Council of Fairfield County in cooperation with the Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce.  Located in Coastal Fairfield County Connecticut, One Coast, One Future is a regional initiative formed in 2005. Its mission is to promote vibrant economic growth in the region by linking the social and economic advantages offered by the three urban centers and surrounding towns.

One Coast, One Future sought to spark new and renewed growth through cooperative, location-appropriate efforts. The goal was to stimulate economic growth, job creation and individual economic opportunity by linking the lower Fairfield County region's business centers in a new and stronger alliance for their mutual benefit.  Fourteen towns are included in One Coast, One Future (One Coast Region):

Bridgeport, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Monroe, New Canaan
Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Weston, Westport, and Wilton

The One Coast Consortium developed a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to identify regional projects and goals to submit to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to approve for eligibility of possible funding for identified projects. EDA describes a CEDS as follows:

A comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) was designed to bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies. The CEDS should analyze the regional economy and serve as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. A CEDS integrates a region's human and physical capital planning in the service of economic development. Integrated economic development planning provides the flexibility to adapt to global economic conditions and fully utilize the region's unique advantages to maximize economic opportunity for its residents by attracting the private investment that creates jobs for the region's residents. A CEDS must be the result of a continuing economic development planning process developed with broad-based and diverse public and private sector participation, and must set forth the goals and objectives necessary to solve the economic development problems of the region and clearly define the metrics of success.[1]

In 2010 the Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, completed and approved the South Western/Greater Bridgeport 2009 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Report.   The approval does not constitute the approval of any project mentioned in the CEDS.  However, the continuance of an acceptable and effective planning process that is approved by EDA staff each year is required to maintain eligibility for funding as outlined in EDA's regulations.  It is important to continue to define, document, maintain and improve upon the economic development planning process on an annual basis as a requirement for EDA funding.


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