Welcome to the EDA Know Your Region project. Funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and managed by the NADO Research Foundation, this research project explores regional and local approaches to economic innovation and competitiveness across the United States. The resources developed as part of the overall project curriculum, as well as the Know Your Region online clearinghouse, are intended to help local officials, economic development practitioners, community leaders and citizens assess local and regional assets, needs and visions in a global context, leading to long-term regional prosperity and sustainability.
The EDA Know Your Region Project was developed by a team of university researchers, with input from local officials, economic development practitioners and community leaders, to examine the concepts of regional economic innovation, cluster development and strategic planning in America’s distressed regions and communities. The project team developed a practical curriculum that offers a step-by-step look at how public, private, nonprofit and educational leaders can work more effectively to apply the concepts of regional innovation and economic competitiveness into their everyday work.
With constant shifts in the global and national economies, individual regions and communities must develop and revisit their comprehensive development strategies in order to remain viable. The curriculum developed through this project was designed to accomplish the following three goals relevant to practitioners dedicated to promoting local economic prosperity:
- Shrink the cognitive gap between academia and local and regional economic development practitioners, workforce development specialists, and educational planning practitioners;
- Promote economic prosperity within the historically distressed communities of rural America, by identifying linkages with urban growth centers; and
- Serve as an adaptable technical assistance and training tool for economic, workforce, and education planning efforts nationwide.
The tools developed as part of the EDA Know Your Region Project are designed to provide additional resources in order to better assist practitioners across the nation in implementing effective regional development strategies. Based on the fundamental principles of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Comprehensive Economic Develoment Strategies (CEDS) process, the curriculum is organized into the following five modules (module 4 contains an additional sub-component case study):
- One: The Collaborative Regional Economic Development Framework
- Two: Leading the Planning Effort
- Three: Detecting Regional Advantage
- Four: Formulating Strategies
- Four (a) (case study): Linking Economic and Workforce Development
- Five: Executing Your Plan