What is a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)?

A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) provides a blueprint for economic and community growth. Every five (5) years a Revised CEDS is developed, on the intervening years we complete an Annual Performance Report on the progress made on the 5 Year Plan.

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document that creates the space for your region to identify its strengths and weaknesses and brings together a diverse set of partners to generate good jobs, diversify the economy, and spur economic growth.  This process engages a wide range of regional partners, including economic development organizations, community leaders and residents, tribes, the private sector, educational institutions, and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future. 

An effective CEDS allows our region to maximize its economic development potential, as well as engage with the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) and other federal partners to receive infrastructure and technical assistance grants, such as EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs. ​The CEDS is a pre-requisite for federal designation as an EDD and must be updated at least every five years. Overall, an effective CEDS planning process identifies locally-grown strategies that will guide regional economic development, encourage partnerships and collaboration, and improve economic outcomes and overall quality of life in your region.

EASTERN UP 2024 CEDS Annual Performance Report

EASTERN U.P. CEDS Annual Performance Report – 2023

Eastern UP 2022 CEDS Annual Performance Report

EASTERN UP 2021 CEDS Annual Performance Report


Check out our previous plans and updates here!


A CEDS can’t be successful without incorporating diverse voices and interests from Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac Counties. The Regional Economic Development Advisory Collaborative (REDAC) has representatives from economic and workforce development, local, state, and federal government, community organizations, adult, post-secondary and K-12 education, minority groups, transportation, private sector employers, and labor groups.

In addition to the contributions and review by the REDAC members, EUPRPDC reviewed studies and planning documents, conducted outreach sessions,  and presented to community groups, and asking EUP citizens to respond to the surveys on various critical sectors to the EUP’s economy.

CEDs Background Data & Maps

Check out General & Economic Development Information

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Regional Tourism Sector

Check out the EUP Tourism Info

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Education in the EUP

Check out the Education Development Info

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Interested in serving on the REDAC or having EUPRPDC present this initiative to your organization? Please email rbolen@eup-planning.org

Why Grow as a Region?

  • Limited resources demand unique collaborations to propel change and economic development;
  • The Eastern Upper Peninsula’s geography distinctly impacts commute and settlement patterns;
  • A small population spread out over a vast geography encourages a broader base from which to find strength in numbers;
  • People live, work, shop, and recreate in patters that traverse artificial municipal boundaries;
  • Visitors often use one community as a jumping-off point to visit attractions throughout the region;
  • The Eastern Upper Peninsula has a shared cultural heritage, which is both an identity and a source of pride;
  • In order to be attractive to new businesses, the Eastern Upper Peninsula must successfully pursue and implement measures to demonstrate vibrancy; and
  • The willingness to come together under an umbrella of regionalism has been clearly and successfully demonstrated throughout the development of Elevating the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

As described on the EDA’s website:

A CEDS is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development. A CEDS 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. It is a key component in establishing and maintaining a robust economic ecosystem by helping to build regional capacity (through hard and soft infrastructure) that contributes to individual, firm, and community success. The CEDS provides a vehicle for individuals, organizations, local governments, institutes of learning, and private industry to engage in a meaningful conversation and debate about what capacity building efforts would best serve economic development in the region.  The CEDS should take into account and, where appropriate, integrate or leverage other regional planning efforts, including the use of other available federal funds, private sector resources, and state support which can advance a region’s CEDS goals and objectives.  Regions must update their CEDS at least every five years to qualify for EDA assistance under its Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance programs.

EUPRPDC receives a planning grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) to help local units of government and other eligible entities like non-profits, tribal governments, and universities obtain federal funding to pursue projects which strengthen the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s through the creation of environments likely to yield new and retain existing private-sector employment. As the EDA-recognized Economic Development District for the counties of Chippewa, Luce, and Mackinac, EUPRPDC affects this process by preparing what is called a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy–or CEDS.

As the District Organization of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Economic Development District, EUPRPDC is responsible for developing a revised CEDS every 5 years, providing an annual performance report on the CEDS, convening the Regional Economic Development Advisory Collaborative who oversees the CEDS (and RPI) process and development, and surveying local units of government and other eligible entities to inquire as to which projects they have in the works that are appropriate for EDA-funding.

EDA’s Funding Opportunities

EDA manages a variety of Investment Programs. Below a three that EUPRPDC believes are very appropriate for projects in the Eastern Upper Peninsula.

Public Works

EDA’s Public Works program helps distressed communities revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure. This program enables communities to attract new industry; encourage business expansion; diversify local economies; and generate or retain long-term, private-sector jobs and investment through the acquisition or development of land and infrastructure improvements needed for the successful establishment or expansion of industrial or commercial enterprises.

Follow this link to learn more specifically about the types of projects EDA’s Public Works Program funds and the criteria used to judge applicant’s proposals.

Economic Adjustment Assistance

The EAA program provides a wide range of technical, planning, and public works and infrastructure assistance in regions experiencing adverse economic changes that may occur suddenly or over time. These adverse economic impacts may result from a steep decline in manufacturing employment following a plant closure, changing trade patterns, catastrophic natural disaster, a military base closure, or environmental changes and regulations.

The EAA program is EDA’s most flexible program. Under the EAA program, EDA can fund market and environmental studies, planning or construction grants, and capitalize or recapitalize revolving loan funds (RLFs) to help provide small businesses with the capital they need to grow.

Follow this link to learn more specifically about the types of projects EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance Program funds and the criteria used to judge applicant’s proposals.

Local Technical Assistance

The Local Technical Assistance program helps analyze the feasibility of potential economic development projects, such as an industrial park or a high-technology business incubator. Feasibility studies are an effective tool for determining whether the market will support a particular activity or site. Local Technical Assistance can prevent costly mistakes and misguided investments, such as costly infrastructure improvements to support obsolete industries. Targeted market feasibility studies can help communities overcome these hurdles and identify tomorrow’s higher-wage employers. Because of these feasibility studies, many communities have subsequently received funding under EDA’s Public Works or Economic Development Assistance programs, or other federal and state programs, to implement those projects.

Follow this link to learn more specifically about the types of projects EDA’s Local Technical Assistance Program funds and the criteria used to judge applicant’s proposals.

EDA’s Investment Priorities

Through its competitive grant process, EDA evaluates all project applications to determine the extent to which they:

  • Align with EDA’s investment priorities,
  • Effectively address the creation and/or retention of high-quality jobs, and
  • Document that the applicant can or will leverage other resources, both public and private, and demonstrate the applicant’s capacity to commence the proposed project promptly, to use funds quickly and effectively, and provide a clear scope of work that includes a description of specific, measurable project outputs.

EDA’s investment priorities provide an overarching framework to ensure its grant investment portfolio – ranging from planning to infrastructure construction — contributes to local efforts to build, improve, or better leverage economic assets that allow businesses to succeed and regional economies to prosper and become more resilient. Competitive grant applications will be responsive to the evaluation criteria listed under each individual funding announcement, including at least one of the following investment priorities:

  1. Equity: Economic development planning or implementation projects that advance equity across America through investments that directly benefit 1) one or more traditionally underserved populations, including but not limited to women, Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders or 2) underserved communities within geographies that have been systemically and/or systematically denied a full opportunity to participate in aspects of economic prosperity such as Tribal Lands, Persistent Poverty Counties, and rural areas with demonstrated, historical underservice. For more information on these populations and geographies see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/.
  2. Recovery & Resilience: Economic development planning or implementation projects that build economic resilience to and long-term recovery from economic shocks, like those experienced by coal and power plant communities, or other communities impacted by the decline of an important industry or a natural disaster, that may benefit from economic diversification-focused resilience.
  3. Workforce Development: Economic development planning or implementation projects that support workforce education and skills training activities directly connected to the hiring and skills needs of the business community and that result in well-paying, quality jobs.
  4. Manufacturing: Economic development planning or implementation projects that encourage job creation, business expansion, technology and capital upgrades, and productivity growth in manufacturing, including efforts that contribute to the competitiveness and growth of domestic suppliers or to the domestic production of innovative, high-value products and production technologies.
  5. Technology-Based Economic Development: Economic development planning or implementation projects that foster regional knowledge ecosystems that support entrepreneurs and startups, including the commercialization of new technologies, that are creating technology-driven businesses and high-skilled, well-paying jobs of the future.
  6. Environmentally-Sustainable Development: Economic development planning or implementation projects that help address the climate crisis including through the development and implementation of green products, processes (including green infrastructure), places, and buildings.
  7. Exports & FDI: Economic development planning or implementation projects that enhance or build community assets to support growth in US exports or increased foreign direct investment.