Regional Planning

CEDS Regional Plan

What is CEDS

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is a locally-based, regionally-driven economic development planning process and document that engages community leaders, private sector partners, and other stakeholders in planning for our region’s future. A new CEDS planning process is completed every five years.

NEOEDD’s Board of Directors adopted the 2023-2028 CEDS on September 15, 2023. The CEDS was developed with the assistance of the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement at the University of Oregon. We engaged with numerous partners in both virtual and in-person meetings, interviews and also conducted community surveys to gain insight into economic and social conditions. This planning effort resulted in the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Document and four appendices. The strategic priorities are: Workforce Development, Workforce Housing, Business Development and Infrastructure. The projects identified in the CEDS will require collaborative effort to develop and implement. 

Appendix A contains additional projects, many of which are ongoing projects of regional partners and are critical for the region but do not require additional collaborative effort to develop and implement. Other projects in Appendix A are still in the idea stage and may advance to active projects during the CEDS implementation time frame.

Appendix B delves into the current economic conditions of the region and includes demographic and industry data.

Appendix C contains Economic Resilience Assessments for Baker, Union and Wallowa counties.

 Appendix D describes the CEDS development and engagement activities and contains survey data.

How does NEOEDD use the CEDS?

  • Build on the strengths of our region, as well as identify gaps in resources or expertise that need to be addressed
  • Facilitate regional collaboration, and grow and support new industry clusters
  • Attract federal, state and private funds and technical assistance 
  • Make our region more resilient and better positioned to plan for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters and economic shocks

How can the community use the CEDS?

Ask that your priority public or non-profit projects be included in the CEDS. This can demonstrate to funders and partners that your project(s) are contributing to achieving the region’s economic and community development goals and help you access funding resources.

Community and Economic Resilience and COVID Recovery

How did COVID impact the region?

The economic and social impacts from COVID varied throughout the region, and some businesses, especially those related to tourism and recreation, real estate and residential construction experienced growth during the pandemic. The large number and variety of COVID relief programs for businesses and employers (including nonprofit organizations) overwhelmed and confused both people seeking assistance and those trying to connect people with resources. Both social and health impacts disproportionately affected people of color, people with lower incomes, and people with inadequate access to technology and other basic resources. The region saw a dramatic influx of people seeking outdoor and rural recreational opportunities, as well as people relocating due to remote work opportunities and early retirement.

Why did NEOEDD conduct a community needs assessment?

NEOEDD set out to understand the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic via a Community Needs Assessment. The Assessment included 70 interviews with various community leaders and organizations to help us understand both unique and shared impacts and opportunities and to reassess pre-existing challenges, needs and opportunities.

How the Community Needs Assessment influenced NEOEDD’s focus?

The Community Needs Assessment is guiding our recovery and resiliency efforts and will inform the planning process for the 2023-2028 CEDS. Following are the recommendations for regional recovery and resiliency opportunities that emerged from the assessment. Please contact us if you would like to learn more or participate in the following opportunities.


Status – NEOEDD is collaborating on actions in these areas of recovery:

  • Provide in-person and online access to business development resources including topics such as: shifting to online sales, planning for new markets, creating attractive and competitive workplaces, enhanced social media marketing, financing, and emergency preparedness planning.
  • Collaborate with partners to provide networking, referrals and co-working facilities.
  • Collaborate with partners statewide to ensure business development and financial resources are designed to meet the needs of small rural businesses.
  • Provide loans, Individual Development Accounts, and promote use of community capital (individual investments in businesses whether public or private)
  • Collaborate in Sectoral Business Support/Development – Sustainable tourism product development and planning, childcare, community food system development, arts and cultural organizations and businesses.

Status – NEOEDD is collaborating on actions in these areas of recovery:

  • Continue to support and participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), LGBTQI+ specific, and healthy relationships training.
  • Provide business development programs specifically targeted to demographic groups that are underrepresented.
  • Participate in a cohort of Equitable Lending Leaders to assess and improve NEOEDD lending practices
  • Develop partnerships with community-based organizations to improve outreach to minority populations and their access to the Individual Development Account program

Status – NEOEDD is seeking stakeholders and partners to collaborate in implementing these opportunities:  

  • Explore new methods to map and share information on economic and community support entities.
  • Provide culture-/language-specific materials to underserved and underrepresented communities.
  • Hold ‘community conversations’ roundtables to get to know other community members, build trust, and to safely discuss polarizing topics, strategic plans, and assessments.
  • Work with underrepresented and underserved groups to determine what seamless inclusion and equity looks like and initiate changes.

Status – NEOEDD is collaborating with regional partners to improve childcare resources:

  • Support childcare business development
  • Participate in regional assessment and update of the  Early Childhood Sector plan

Status – NEOEDD is seeking guidance from stakeholders and partners on specific projects to engage in: 

  • Learn about current and proposed initiatives/projects and how to expand or replicate them.
  • Share information on findings and offer public engagement opportunities to help determine actions to implement.

Status – NEOEDD is collaborating on actions in these areas of recovery:

  • Convene broadband providers and community partners to verify underserved areas and ways to improve service at an affordable cost, including applying for federal and state funding. 
  • Promote the Internet speed test/survey to help map and identify gaps in Internet access and assist decision making.
  • NEOEDD is organizing periodic meetings of the Union-Wallowa Broadband Action Team.

Status – NEOEDD is collaborating on actions in these areas of recovery, and is seeking guidance from stakeholders and partners on specific projects to engage in: 

  • Conduct outreach to communities to update information on infrastructure needs and priorities.

Status – NEOEDD is collaborating on actions in these areas of recovery:

  • Collaborate with groups seeking to improve the regional food system in Baker, Union and Wallowa counties.
  • Collaborate with the Oregon Community Food Systems Network (OCFSN), a statewide network of nonprofit organizations and allies dedicated to strengthening local and regional food systems to deliver better economic, social, health and environmental outcomes across the state.

Project Submission Form: Baker, Union, and Wallowa Counties

Please use this form to submit projects for potential inclusion in the Northeast Oregon Economic Development District’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). Once projects are included, you can use the CEDS to demonstrate that your project has been listed in a regional plan. Projects should have a positive impact on economic or community development.

To be included in the CEDS, projects must have a public or non-profit sponsor. Private projects should not be submitted and will not be included in the CEDS.

You may submit multiple projects by returning to this page. The space for providing answers will expand. Please rank the projects that you are submitting, with 1 being your first priority, 2 your second priority, and so on.

The NEOEDD board will consider new project additions at their quarterly meetings.