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The 2016 draft annual update of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is now available for public review and comment. The CEDS is a working document, used by private and public sectors, aimed at helping expand private-public partnerships. A hard copy of the draft is available at West Florida Regional Planning Council, 4081 E. Olive Rd., Suite A, in Pensacola or online. Comments may be submitted to Caitlin Cerame or call (850) 332-7976 Ext., 203, until September 2, 2016.

Because the northwest Florida region was designated an Economic Development District (EDD), WFRPC is required to conduct a major update of the CEDS every five years and provide minor annual updates on all other years. The 2015 update is conducted by the CEDS Committee, which reviews the CEDS, provides status updates for strategic projects, programs, and activities, and revision to the Goals and Objectives as needed. The CEDS Committee, comprised of diverse public and private sector representatives, brings representatives together to develop an economic roadmap to diversify and strengthen regional economies. A CEDS analyzes the regional economy and serves as a guide for establishing regional goals and objectives, developing and implementing a regional plan of action, and identifying investment priorities and funding sources. This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) required the document to address economic resilience, which was incorporated throughout the CEDS by establishing goals and objectives for emergency preparedness and action steps for industry diversification.

The current CEDS (2013-18) uses the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Six Pillars of Florida’s Future Economy framework. All ten regional planning councils in Florida developed their CEDS using this framework, resulting in a united effort to advance the state as a global competitor for jobs and new industry.

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