Nobody wins by going it alone in economic development. But collaborating is easier said than done. States typically have a single economic development strategy. Each state has multiple regions with their own unique strategies and needs. How can they come together to benefit everyone? 

The Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) is kicking off the 2023 Policy Academy for state and regional economic development leaders seeking to improve their strategic collaboration. The focus of this Policy Academy is Aligning State and Regional Economic Development Strategies and Actions. Teams from six states have been selected to participate:

  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin

Teams will identify ways their state agencies, Economic Development Districts (EDDs) and other regional organizations can work more closely together to develop and execute economic development policies. Stronger strategic collaboration can help drive greater returns on investment, enhance economic development outcomes, and lead to higher economic performance. 

The Policy Academy begins later this month when teams come together to:

  • Craft a shared vision for strategic alignment in their state
  • Agree on shared outcomes to measure progress toward their vision
  • Analyze assets and challenges
  • Identify critical partners
  • Agree on goals and develop strategies and actions to move toward each goal

The Policy Academy is part of an overall grant awarded to CREC by the US Economic Development Administration to develop best practices in economic development integration and alignment. Other grant partners include the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation, the State International Development Organizations, and the American Manufacturing Communities Collaborative.

I am looking forward to serving as an external facilitator throughout this project. State-local collaboration is critical to successful economic development, not to mention an important element of effective incentive use. You can read more about this topic in our blog article on aligning state and local incentives.   

Portions of this article originally appeared on the State Economic Development Executives Network website under the heading for State-Local Alignment. Please note that the materials included on the SEDE Network’s State-Local Alignment webpages were prepared by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness using Federal funds under award ED21HDQ3070060 from the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Development Administration or the U.S. Department of Commerce.