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Regional Economic Diversification Summits (REDS)

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At the beginning of FY 2017, EDA began promoting its Regional Economic Diversification Summits (REDS) process to local and regional economic development partners across the country. To date, EDA has helped organize and facilitate REDS events in over 25 communities, both rural and urban, across a number of different states, including Pennsylvania, Oregon, North Carolina, Utah, Ohio, and Colorado.

EDA continues to promote and facilitate additional REDS events on an ongoing basis. Through its REDS process, EDA works directly with local and regional stakeholders to leverage Federal program support for locally-identified economic development strategies and priorities. These events are also well-suited for purposes of catalyzing strategic investments in areas of priority attention for the Federal government, including:

  • Opportunity Zones
  • Disaster Areas

Read on for more information describing the following aspects of EDA’s REDS process:

What

Each REDS event is intended to catalyze project implementation. The primary goal is for each REDS to facilitate the:

  • Identification of Potential Project Financing and Other Resources
  • Establishment of Project Implementation Action Plans; and
  • Assignment of Initial Roles and Responsibilities (Inter-Governmental and Cross-Sector)

Where

EDA promotes and facilitates REDS events in communities and regions where stakeholders have:

  • Completed an economic development strategic plan;
  • Reached consensus on economic growth objectives and related project priorities; BUT
  • Lack the necessary resources to commence with project implementation at the speed or scale required for maximum impact.

Who

Each REDS is organized, sponsored, and hosted by local and/or regional stakeholders. EDA’s main contribution? Identifying and engaging the participation of Federal colleagues whose agencies administer program resources that align with the applicable strategies and priorities.

When

The specific timing and location of a REDS is left to the discretion of local and regional sponsors. What is important, however, is that REDS occur at the right stage in the strategic planning cycle. The most effective time and place in which to hold a REDS is in communities that have completed the strategic planning process and are now poised to commence project implementation.

Why

Coordinating the logistics of planning and convening a REDS may be time intensive, but the potential benefits will likely far outweigh the front-end cost of time and money. Each Summit serves as a vehicle for…

  • TEAM BUILDING! Each Summit is an opportunity for local and regional stakeholders to both strengthen existing relationships and to broaden the membership of existing coalitions by adding new economic diversification and community development partners.
  • MORE MONEY! Each Summit agenda is designed to help local and regional stakeholders identify additional sources of potential capital investment, both Federal and non-Federal.
  • CONFLICT RESOLUTION! Each Summit can also serve as a forum for the resolution of differences between individuals and organizations that have prevented the community or region from realizing its full measure of potential economic growth.

Is Your Community or Region REDS-Ready?

Contact your state’s Regional Economic Development Integrator to learn how EDA and its Economic Development Integration team can work with you to support economic diversification in your community and region.

Atlanta Regional Office: Gloria Huang, GHuang@eda.gov
Austin Regional Office: Rick Sebenoler, RSebenoler@eda.gov
Chicago Regional Office: William Warren, WWarren@eda.gov
Denver Regional Office: Zac Graves, ZGraves@eda.gov
Philadelphia Regional Office: Matthew Suchodolski, MSuchodolski@eda.gov
Seattle Regional Office: Frances Sakaguchi, FSakaguchi@eda.gov

NOTE: Participation in a REDS event does not in any way indicate that any of the participants have been pre-approved or pre-selected to be considered for or to receive any type of Federal award.

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