Regional Economic Development Summit (REDS)

The strategic direction and corresponding action plan contained within a community’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (or equivalent plan) provide a critical framework for coordinated actions that advance local priorities for regional prosperity.

Often, these generate opportunities to catalyze partnerships, fill resource and capacity gaps, and train the collective focus on the steps needed to leverage investments from multiple sources and achieve maximum results. EDA Integration capacity can support local efforts to leverage and align federal, state and local project implementation resources together through Regional Economic Development Summits (REDS).

Local and regional stakeholders conduct REDS to convene and address economic development obstacles. EDI supports REDS by identifying and engaging federal agencies with relevant program resources. REDS goals include:

  • Identify Resources: Help local and regional stakeholders identify additional sources of capital investment.
  • Determine Next Steps: Establish project implementation action plans.
  • Build Coalitions: Strengthen existing relationships, broaden membership by adding new partners, and assign roles and responsibilities.
  • Resolve Conflict: Resolve differences that have prevented the community or region from realizing its full economic growth potential.

Federal Program Presentations

During each initial summit, EDA’s federal partners and other potential non-federal funders will provide important information to summit participants, including:

  • USE OF FUNDS: What form or forms of assistance does the organization offer? How can these funds be used?
  • TECHNICAL GUIDANCE: A willingness to work collaboratively on any recommendations for streamlining compatible processes, reducing or eliminating conflicting program requirements, and other methods that might effectively and efficiently accommodate the alignment of resources from multiple organizations and programs.

Project Implementation Action Team Formation

REDIs and local summit hosts and sponsors should begin thinking about and even recruiting members for Project Implementation Action Teams to advance the core economic development strategies and related projects highlighted at the summit. The host organization or other key summit organizers are likely to be effective Team Leads.

“REDS-Ready” Communities and Regions

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

  • Completed a comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS);
  • Reached consensus on economic growth objectives and related project priorities; and
  • Require more or better alignment to catalyze and/or scale project implementation.

downloadable REDS brochure (PDF) is available on the EDA website. You can also learn more about previous Summit events on the EDI in the News page.

Initiating the REDS Process

Contact your Regional Economic Development Integrator to discuss your community or region’s economic development priorities, and learn how EDI can work with you to plan a REDS process to support these.

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