CEDS plan presented

Published 12:14 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Members of the Lunenburg Chamber of Commerce got the latest development on the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) project being developed by the Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) during its meeting Thursday.

CRC Community Development Planner Cam Johnson delivered the presentation.

The CEDS program is set to allow the region greater opportunity for grant funding from the Economic Development Authority (EDA). The CRC received a grant in 2017 to develop a CEDS.

The Berkley Group, a consulting firm, The Timmons Group, an engineering firm, and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Urban and Regional Analysis, also contributed to the CEDS.

A draft of the CEDS document, which is approximately 47 pages and includes demographic information, the region’s assets and drawbacks, and goals for strengthening the region’s economic base is available electronically at the CRC website, virginiasheartland.org. Hard copies are available at the Lunenburg Courthouse, the Victoria and Kenbridge town halls and at the Victoria and Ripberger public libraries.

CRC representatives have been presenting the CEDS program at various chamber of commerce organizations in the region to gather feedback and input from area business and community leaders.

The goals of the CEDS includes increasing workforce development, broadening its industry and business to keep families and revenue in the region, and utilizing the area’s educational institutions to provide workforce development and small business training.

“It basically serves as a roadmap for sustainable economic development for the future of this region,” Johnson said about the CEDS document. “The vision of this document is to promote a powerful, connected and resilient Heartland economy by working with localities to improve the quality of life, leveraging education and to strengthen the existing infrastructure.”

Lunenburg County Planner Glenn Millican commended the county and chamber for taking note of the CEDS program, and its potentially positive impact on the region.

“This document is not something we should take lightly,” Millican said during the meeting. “Please share it with your colleagues, and your business associates. This is an opportunity. The Berkley Group has put together a very, very good document. It’s an