Six Pennsylvania counties working collaboratively to inform regional strategic planning initiative
RIDGWAY – The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission has partnered with Atlas Community Studios, a firm specializing in strategic planning and place-based economic development, and Broad Ripple Strategies to create a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and Resiliency Plan.
In response to an evolved economic landscape as a result of COVID-19, North Central’s new CEDS and Resiliency Plan will address the region’s development and growth, identify economic vulnerabilities and opportunities, and strategize short-term recovery as well as long-term resiliency.
A CEDS, according to the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development, and is the result of a regionally-owned planning process designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region.
Through this process, residents of Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties will work with Atlas to highlight opportunities for individual growth and stability within a broader regional strategy.
Six communities working together, using individual strengths to respond to local and regional challenges, have a greater potential for long-term viability.
This community input and engagement process will present in several different formats, including public input sessions, an online public survey, focus groups and targeted one-on-one interviews.
“North Central is the designated Economic Development District (EDD) through EDA for the counties of Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter. As the region`s EDD, the commission is responsible for developing a CEDS designed to identify regional priorities for economic and community development,” said Rachel Wolfel.
The week of June 21, the Atlas team will visit each of the six counties and meet with community members to identify assets and understand how they can be used to inform and develop locally-grown strategies that will guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improve economic outcomes and overall quality of life throughout the region.
Public input sessions will be available for in-person participation and virtual participation, meaning there are six different opportunities for regional residents to interact in a live session. See below for a full schedule of public input sessions June 22-24.
- Jefferson County, Tues., June 22, 9 a.m., The Foundry
45 W. Main St., Reynoldsville, PA 15851
- Cameron County, Tues., June 22, 5 p.m., Emporium Borough Council Room, 421 N. Broad St., Emporium, PA 15834
- Elk County, Wed., June 23, 9 a.m., The Community Education Center, 4 Erie Ave., Suite 200, St. Marys, PA 15857
- McKean County, Wed., June 23, 5 p.m., Kane Area Community Center, 46 N. Fraley St., Kane, PA 16735
- Potter County, Thurs., June 24, 8:30 a.m., Gunzburger Building, 46 N. Fraley St., Kane, PA 16735
- Clearfield County, Thurs., June 24, 11 a.m., PSU Launchbox, 2 E. Long Ave., DuBois, PA 15801
If you are unable to make the commute or the session in your county doesn’t fit your schedule, you can share your thoughts via the available ZOOM option.
Registration for the six public input events is live and will be available until the last event on June 24. For more information about the CEDS process, locations for in-person events or to register for a public visioning, please visit the project Web site.
“Community engagement is a critical component of this process to ensure a wide variety of voices are being heard as we work to identify unique local assets, challenges and opportunities for growth,” said Brittany Bogacki.
The final deliverable for the six-county region will be an accessible, interactive Web site featuring a regionally-owned guide to economic prosperity and resilience for North Central Pennsylvania.