Lewis & Clark RDC conducting important online survey to develop new regional economic, community development strategy

Lewis & Clark Regional Development Council (RDC) is conducting an online survey to help develop its new five-year Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the ten-county region it serves.

Lewis & Clark RDC is the federally designated Economic Development District (EDD) for Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, Mercer, McLean, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, and Sioux counties. Lewis & Clark RDC is part of the Lewis & Clark Development Group.

What is CEDS? 

CEDS plans are required by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The plan is intended to guide Lewis & Clark RDC’s economic development and community development work, approaches, and programs throughout the region over the next five years. Lewis & Clark RDC’s current CEDS plan was based on the planning process in 2018 and 2019. Based on the input collected from that process, the goals and strategies focus on the affordability and availability of housing, infrastructure improvements, and economic diversification. 

Survey Purpose

As part of the new CEDS development process, Lewis & Clark RDC is conducting an online survey of economic developerscity and county government officialsbusinesspersonslenders, and informed residents throughout its ten-county region.  

The survey will be available for two weeks from from July 27 through 1:00 PM (CDT) on August 3.

“We want to hear from those on the front lines of economic and community development in the region,” says LCD Group Executive Director Brent Ekstrom.

“We want to know what issues are currently most pressing and what are the roadblocks communities are encountering.”

While Ekstrom expects common themes to emerge, including seeing some carryover from the current CEDS, he will not pre-judge the results. 

“We had a once-in-a-century pandemic in the middle of this current CEDS, which impacted everyone and exacerbated existing challenges and introduced new challenges throughout the region,” adds Ekstrom. 

As part of its EDD role, and through the CARES Act, LCD Group helped lead the federal response to the pandemic in the region. LCD Group conducted six town hall forums in the fall 2021 to assess the pandemic’s impact.

“We collected a lot of valuable information in that process. Now two years removed from that process, it’ll be interesting to assess where things stand and what people are anticipating for the next five years.”

For those in Lewis & Clark RDC’s ten-county region, click here to take the EDA CEDS Survey

Learn More:  The current CEDS document is publicly available and may be downloaded here.

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