We are seeing a new era of economic development where regions play a much larger role. Vibrant metropolitan areas are attracting workers from across the country and companies are following close behind. To stay competitive, economic development models have to think about improving the quality of life area-wide, not just for single municipalities.

In our region, we have the Centralina Economic Development District (EDD) to lead and coordinate economic development strategic planning and action plan implementation.

 Economic development districts are multi-jurisdictional entities designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). They’re designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and to lead regionally driven economic development. The Centralina EDD serves all nine counties–including Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union–and is staffed and housed within Centralina Regional Council.

The Role Of

Centralina Economic Development District

The Centralina EDD works to create sustainable job growth and a robust regional economy by way of innovation and collaboration. As an EDA-designated district, the Centralina EDD receives EDA funding to support local and regional economic planning initiatives. In addition to providing general EDA technical assistance, the Centralina EDD also helps local governments apply for competitive EDA project and technical assistance grants and if awarded, can deliver grant administration services.

One of the most important jobs of the Centralina EDD is developing the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Updated every five years, this strategy is a regional roadmap for economic development that defines our area’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. The strategy-driven plan engages the public, private, workforce, education and non-profit sectors in meaningful dialog about where and how we want to grow our economy. The latest version of the CEDS is called “Prosperity for All CEDS 2023 – 2028.”

The CEDS was taken a step further in 2019 and was turned into an interactive web portal that acts as a live version of the strategy, containing continuously updated economic data. The Centralina EDD manages and updates the web portal so that local governments can access accurate information when making economic decisions.

The Centralina EDD also aids and collaborates on a number of regional initiatives by contributing to the development of key economic components. Data, analysis and recommendations from the Centralina EDD were integrated into both CONNECT Our Future and the Regional Freight Mobility Plan.

EDA Funding Opportunities

Regional or local projects that adopt and align with Centralina EDD’s comprehensive economic development strategy are eligible for EDA funding opportunities. Centralina EDD can help secure EDA funding to support a variety of economic development initiatives, including

  • Public Works
  • Economic Adjustment Assistance
  • Regional Innovation Strategies
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • University Centers
  • Research Technical Assistance
  • Local and National Technical Assistance
  • Economic Development Integration

Board of Directors

The Centralina EDD Board of Directors is made up of leaders representing the region’s nine counties, municipalities, economic development organizations and workforce, education and private sector entities. The Board helps build and manage the “Prosperity for All” Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy and assists jurisdictions with the administration of EDA-funded projects. Board members also build important regional partnerships with county and city economic development entities and workforce boards. Learn More