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Erica Anderson
Director of Economic and Community Development

Sara Nichols
Regional Planner

Mary Roderick
Regional Planner

Jon Beck
GIS Coordinator

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)

CEDS 2020

The US Economic Development Administration supports Land of Sky Regional Council as the designated Economic Development District (EDD) for our four county region (Buncombe, Henderson, Madison & Transylvania).  As the EDD, our job is to work with regional stakeholders to develop a new CEDS every 5 years and updates to specific components annually. This is the year for a new 5-year refresh.

Launched in 2020 by Land of Sky Regional Council, the Land of Sky Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy is a 5 year plan designed to support economic and community priorities across our region.  

2000-2019 impacts include $151 million in private investment, over 4,000 jobs created or retained, and $300,000 in public investment to date around four focus areas: Competitive Advantage, Regional infrastructure, Healthy & Vibrant Communities, and Innovative People.

Land of Sky 2020 CEDS

The CEDS includes the following components with a focus on Economic Resiliency:

  1. Summary Background
  2. SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  3. Action Plan
  4. Evaluation Framework

For local and regional information, please visit our Open Data Portal.

Land of Sky Region Economic Resilience Exposure Analysis

2015 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy

What is a CEDS?
The Economic Development Administration, a bureau of the US Department of Commerce, promotes competitiveness in regions by promoting programs which enhance the economic vitality of towns & cities. They support initiatives such as the development of a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) to encourage intergovernmental and public/private sector collaboration.

For more information about EDA CEDS Guidelines visit: www.eda.gov/ceds

   Brightfield’s Solar Charging Station at LOSRC                    Burton Street Agricultural Fair

                     BurntShirt Forestry                            Solar Hot Water at Annie’s Naturally Bakery

             Broad River Terrace Apartments

How do we use our CEDS?
Through the identification of the strengths and weaknesses of our region, we identify opportunities to advance economic vitality and encourage the development of new strategies through public and private partnerships. The Land of Sky Region has a wealth of assets in our people, heritage, and environment. The CEDS identifies emerging trends and opportunities that strengthen regional assets for strong, resilient communities.

GroWNC Word Cloud
Source: GroWNC FInal Report

When Does This Happen?
The 2015 CEDS was submitted to EDA on September 30, 2015. The 2015 Land of Sky CEDS builds on the 2012 NC Tomorrow Statewide Strategy to ensure connections among local, regional, and statewide efforts. The North Carolina Association of Regional Councils led a collaborative partnership with assistance from the US Economic Development Administration, North Carolina Department of Commerce -Division of Community Development and the US Department of Housing & Urban Development to create the NC Statewide Strategy for Comprehensive Community and Economic Development: www.nctomorrow.org

2015 CEDS Priorities

The 2019 CEDS update is currently underway. The CEDS will include these components with a focus on Economic Resiliency:

  1. Summary Background
  2. SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  3. Action Plan
  4. Evaluation Framework

The meeting schedule is:

  • May 1, 1 - 3 pm -SWOT Analysis evaluation & Action Plan
  • June 4, 10 am - 12 noon - Present & Review CEDS Document components
  • June 23, 10 am - 12 noon - Final Strategy Workgroup review & Comments Due (tentative)

CEDS Workgroup Members

Name Affiliation
Terry Bellamy Madison County
Brittany Brady Henderson County Partnership
Josh Carpenter EPNDC
John Connet City of Hendersonville
Michael Dempsey Lenior-Rhyne University - Asheville
Josh Dorfman The Collider
Clark Duncan Asheville/Buncombe Chamber of Commerce
Donna Ensley Private
Forrest Gilliam Madison County
Larry Harris* Black Mountain Alderman, Burlingham & Harris, CPA
Josh Hallingse Transylvania County
Mike Hawkins* Transylvania County Commissioner
Ed Katz UNC-Asheville
Jaime Laughter Transylvania County
Tim Love Buncombe County
John Mitchell* Henderson County
Sharon Oxendine Western Women's Business Center
Autumn Radcliff Henderson County
Matt Raker Mountain BizWorks
Nathan Ramsey Mountain Area Workforce Development Board
Arthur Salido Western Carolina University
Bill Sederburg Broadband / Advanced Education
Hillary Sherman Economic Development Administration
Jonathan Snover NC Biotechnology Center
LeeAnne Tucker Area Agency on Aging
Noah Wilson Outdoor Gear Builders Alliance

CEDS Reports, Presentations & Past Documents: