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COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT  STRATEGY (CEDS) is the regional vision plan for the Lynchburg Region. It is a bold but achievable vision pushing our Region to think long term, work together and prosper.  The CEDS brings together hundreds of volunteers to meet challenges of the future while building on our past successes. It is a partnership with the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance and Virginia’s Region 2000 Local Government Council.

“Our vision is a prosperous, vibrant and inclusive Lynchburg Region recognized for the creativity of its workforce, the resilience of its economy, and its abundance of natural, cultural and education opportunities.”

Regional Economic Growth….What’s Happening? 

In November 2016, regional stakeholders completed the region’s five-year comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) by developing five goals and 11 initiatives deemed vital to spur the economic growth of the Lynchburg Region. The CEDS progress continues with regular meetings of the steering committee. It was decided the best plan of action to carry out the CEDS would be to develop smaller councils to execute the 11 key initiatives. Those councils have been formed and are meeting regularly. Below is an update from each:

Regional Branding and Image Council: The Regional Branding Council is a diverse group with a common interest in the branding of the region. There is representation from public and private sector partners, as well as, higher education, tourism, and public education. The council is currently reviewing best practices of branding strategies and communities that have completed rebranding campaigns, and also determining the current brand of the Lynchburg Region.

Regional Economic Development Council: The Regional Economic Development Council is comprised of all the local economic development directors within the region, the workforce development director and regional economic development professionals. This group is tasked with multiple initiatives more specific to economic development, such as a business retention strategy, site development and national marketing efforts all geared toward increasing economic activity in the region. This group meets monthly is currently developing base line measurements for the initiatives.

Transportation Council: The Transportation Council is focused on capitalizing on the 2016 Regional Connectivity Study, the Long-Range Transportation Plan, and CEDS priorities with the integration of unifying themes and metrics.

Workforce Council:  The Workforce Development Board’s Talent Solutions Team is comprised of education and business leaders, and is serving as the Workforce Initiative Council. The council is meeting monthly to formulate short and long-term workforce needs and sector specific strategies to address needs and gaps. 

Rivers & Communities Council: The Rivers and Communities Council is focused on using the region’s natural resources to our economic advantage. The group is comprised of multiple jurisdictions with an interest in river access, as well as private-sector parties that have a stake in the region’s rivers. The group is currently developing vision statements that target six themes to unlock the region’s riverfront and community connections. 

Arts & Culture Council: The Arts & Culture Council has met twice and is currently outlining immediate goals to increase the regional arts and culture awareness. The Council has narrowed their focus to six immediate strategies to improve the districts.

If you are interested in learning more about the activities of the councils contact Jamie Glass at [email protected] or Kelly Hitchcock at [email protected]. The full Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy document is available by clicking here.

View here the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and implementation Plan

The Strategy has five goals and eleven initiatives. 
GOAL I. . . projecting a positive image and cultivating our distinct identity
     Key Initiative #: Form an image and identity partnership to guide and implement a new collaborative regional branding
     and image campaign

GOAL II. . . facilitating the growth and expansion of our business community
     Key Initiative #2: Implement a collaborative, regional business retention and expansion (BRE) program

     Key Initiative #3: Implement a targeted economic development marketing and corporate recruitment program
     Key Initiative #4:
Launch a new Regional Center for Entrepreneurship that can serve as a long-term anchor and catalyst for the
     Region’sentrepreneurial ecosystem

     Key Initiative #5: Launch an economic gardening and Entrepreneur in Residence program to drive technology-based
     economic development

GOAL III. . . educating and developing a sustainable workforce
     Key Initiative #6: Form a regional talent coalition to coordinate sector-focused workforce development initiatives, address regional      skills gaps and enhance collaboration between the business community and educational institutions

     Key Initiative #7: Establish a Regional Workforce Center on the campus of Central Virginia Community College (CVCC) to deliver
     necessary workforce training

GOAL IV. . . investing in the connectivity of our Region
     Key Initiative #8: Update project priorities and implement the Region’s existing plans for transportation, broadband and other
     infrastructure provisions based on relevant takeaways from the Central Virginia Connectivity Study
     Key Initiative #9:
Develop and implement a regional site evaluation and improvement program to accelerate the preparation and
     availability of shovel-ready industrial sites in the Region

GOAL V. . . supporting the vitality of our diverse communities and downtowns
     Key Initiative #10: Advance a regional riverfront vision that seeks to “unlock” the Region’s riverfronts, better connecting and
     integrating local communities with the James, Roanoke and Staunton Rivers

     Key Initiative #11: Expand the establishment of Arts and Culture Districts throughout the Region to encourage and incentivize
     projects that improve the aesthetic, artistic and cultural appeal of the Region

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