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CEDS workshop underway

Area stakeholders with great ideas about strengthening the area economy are invited to participate in a workshop Thursday, Sept. 27, at the Southside Virginia Community College’s Workforce Development Center at 200 Daniel Road in Keysville.

Melody Foster

The recently-formed regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), developed by the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC), is seeking input from area stakeholders during the workshop from 9-11 a.m. to share their thoughts, ideas and suggestions for regional economic growth and development.

What is CEDS?

“CEDS is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document,” documentation from the CRC cited. “The purpose of a CEDS is to bring together public and private sectors in building a roadmap with a strategy-driven focus to diversify and strengthen the region’s economy.”

The CRC received a grant in fall of 2017 to develop a regional CEDS program. The CEDS program would allow the CRC to receive more grant funding from federal organizations. The regional CEDS committee is made up of members of local government, business owners, chamber of commerce members, and representatives of higher education institutes.

CEDS covers the region of Prince Edward, Amelia, Buckingham, Lunenburg and Charlotte counties. Its kickoff meeting was in April.

Meetings include presentations about aspects of economic development and holding small group workshops to hear ideas about economic development. Activities that take place during the meeting are steps that the CEDS and Berkley Group consultant are using in order to collect information and meet federal standards to receive grant funding.

The organization started holding meetings with a consultant from The Berkley Group in July to develop a comprehensive economic development program and establish a set of specific goals.

“We’re hoping to have very good attendance,” Melody Foster, CRC Executive Director, said about the Sept. 27 workshop.