CEDS Plan Nov 30th 2015 DRAFT.pdf

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Process Overview
The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
Process: Community-Based Economic Development Planning
Over the past ten months organizations and individuals in Central
Washington have been developing a Comprehensive Economic
Development Strategy. This CEDS will help Kittitas and Yakima Counties in
Central Washington focus their energies on economic diversification. The
CEDS identifies issues, needs and critical priorities that impact the region’s
ability to advance the local economy. The need for a CEDS is not driven
solely by a desire for federal Economic Development Administration (EDA)
funding. Rather, this strategy and the process formed to complete it,
serves as a platform for future economic development planning in the
To drive and shape the planning process, Yakima and Kittitas County Commissioners appointed
a special CEDS steering committee. This group has met frequently during the CEDS process and
has been instrumental in developing the plan and encouraging public involvement. The CEDS
committee is comprised of:
Jim Anderson, Kittitas County Chamber of

Luz Gutierrez, Las Milpas, LLC

Jean Brown, Yakima County Development Assn.

Larry Mattson, Yakima Valley Conference of

Karen Cunningham, Yakima Nation

Mario Martinez, Mayor, City of Mabton

Rand Elliot, Yakima County Commissioner

Obie O’Brien, Kittitas County Commissioner

Jesse Farias, Mayor, City of Wapato

Dr. Bill Provaznick, CWU Institute for Innovation
and Entrepreneurship

David Gonzales, South Central Workforce Council

The steering committee was appointed
in May 2012 and initially helped Dr. Roy
Savoian from Central Washington
University develop an economic and
demographic portrait of the region. The group then developed a list of SWOT (Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) for Yakima and Kittitas Counties that became the basis for
public forums and discussions.
During the fall the CEDS committee organized six public forums to share information about the
planning process and generate input regarding the region’s SWOT. Forum participants were
also asked to identify strategies that could help diversify the regional economy. One of these