Welcome Best Practices Intern Kevin Fitzgerald

New CEDAS intern to work on Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development Program

The Connecticut Economic Development Association is pleased to welcome Kevin Fitzgerald as the program intern for the newly launched Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development Program.  Kevin will assist with development, research and administration of the program.  Kevin is an incoming Master of Public Administration candidate with the University of Connecticut and a 2018 graduate from UConn in Political Science and Urban & Community Studies. While in Storrs, Kevin completed his Honors Thesis in Political Science on the use of eminent domain for economic development in the 2005 Kelo v. New London decision.  Kevin plans to focus his coursework on development and urban planning and after completing his masters Kevin looks forward to pursuing a law degree and assisting towns with economic development projects as a land use attorney. Kevin spent this past spring interning in the Town of Stonington’s Department of Planning and he looks forward to contributing to the Town of Berlin’s Kensington Village development as a member of the UConn MPA program.  In his free time Kevin likes to follow UConn and Boston sports, run, and hike.

The Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development program is sponsored by Eversource, United Illuminating, Pullman & Comley, and STV/DPM.  Collaborating partners include the Connecticut Economic Development Association, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association, and the University of Connecticut- Department of Extension.

CEDAS WELCOMES MUNICIPALITIES TO SHOWCASE ‘BEST PRACTICES’ IN LAND USE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

I’ve been so lucky to have he opportunity participate in the CEDAS and CCAPA Best Practices program over the last year or so.  Now until Sept 15, 2019 the program is accepting applications!  Read more on the CEDAS program site and in the release below.

[ROCKY HILL, CONNECTICUT July 2019] The Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) is announcing the launch of the ‘Best Practices in Land Use and Economic Development’ certification to recognize Connecticut municipalities for outstanding land use practices.

In creating this program, CEDAS partnered with sponsors Eversource, UI, CNG, SCG, Pullman & Comley, and STV/DPM to present this accreditation as a strategy for sharing information on planning policies and as a catalyst for economic development in Connecticut. Collaborating partners include the Connecticut Economic Development Association, Connecticut Economic Resource Center, the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association, and the University of Connecticut-Department of Extension.

The Best Practices program provides a tool for planners, economic developers, and community leaders to review their existing strategies for economic development and drives them to pursue creative, community specific practices for encouraging investment and smart planning. “This is a great opportunity for staff, commissioners, and elected officials in every community to improve their effectiveness in economic development by reviewing their existing strategies and understanding what they could improve.” said Garrett Sheehan, President of CEDAS.  “We’re interested in giving communities ideas and tools for making improvements that work best for them.”

The program was designed over the past two years with significant input from economic development professionals and planners.  According to Kelly Buck, CEDAS Board Member and Co-Chair of the Best Practices Committee “This program is the result of a unique collaboration including a diverse range of partners. We’ve reached out to share the idea with groups like the Connecticut Developers Forum, the Homebuilders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut, and the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association and were very interested in learning from communities presently leading the way.”

Communities who document use of established best practices will be recognized and will receive an award at the CEDAS annual meeting in October, 2019.  Applications will be evaluated by a committee of each of CEDAS’ collaborating partners. To demonstrate continuous improvement, applicants may re-submit for recertification every three years and share their successful strategies as models of ‘Best Practices’ for other Connecticut communities. The program will be revised each year to reflect input from communities.

Interested communities can download the application and read more about the program athttps://www.cedas.org/Resources/CT-Best-Practices-In-Land-Use-and-Economic-Development/.  Applications are due on September 15, 2019.  Information and questions about the program may be addressed to cedasprograms@gmail.com

The Connecticut Economic Development Association works closely with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC) to foster economic growth in the state through its support of legislation, connect planners, policymakers, and community leaders with information on development practices and strategies, and to co-sponsor events to attract businesses and investment to Connecticut. Learn more about CEDAS atwww.cedas.org.

Download the 2018 Connecticut Economic Development Survey Report!

The results of the 2018 Connecticut Economic Development Survey are complete!  Read more about the report here or or download the report as a PDF file.

The purpose of the Connecticut Local Economic Development Organization Survey is to understand who is involved in economic development activities in Connecticut and how economic development strategies are conducted at the local level over time.  This information may be used by municipalities, local elected officials, and resource providers to support economic development programs that are most effective and relevant to communities across the state.  The survey was assessed as a Qualtrics online questionnaire in February, 2018 with a response period of three weeks.  A link to access the questionnaire was disseminated through the Connecticut Economic Development Association and Connecticut Conference of Municipalities list serves as well as the Connecticut Chapter of the American Planning Association and personal distribution lists of coordinating partners. The survey included 28 questions regarding the structure and organization of economic development functions, investments made in economic development, economic development programs and strategies and how are they evaluated, and demographic information about economic development staff.  A copy of the survey tool is available upon request and as an appendix to this report.  This project was reviewed by the University of Connecticut IRB and was determined to not qualify as human subjects research under 45CFR46.102.  Significant findings are highlight in bold in the text below.

CT Trail Census Receives $206,049 Grant

CT Trail Census Receives Grant

Our Connecticut Trail Census program recently received $206,049.50 in grant funding from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Trails & Greenways Program and the Connecticut Greenways Council. UConn Extension’s Connecticut Trail Census is a statewide volunteer-based data collection and education program implemented as a pilot from 2016-2018 on 16 multi-use (bicycle, pedestrian, equestrian) trail sites across the state.

First Impressions Innovate! Wraps up a Successful Pilot

Volunteer teams of economic development staff, innovators, business and community leaders from Hartford, New Haven Stamford and New London/Groton wrapped up the pilot year of the First Impressions Innovate!  program this fall. As a part of this partnership with CTNext, UConn Extension faculty Laura Brown and Miriah Kelly provided education and facilitation among communities chosen as “Innovation Places” (New Haven, Hartford, New London-Groton) and Stamford to understand best practices in creating entrepreneurial ecosystems at the community level, establish meaningful evaluation, monitoring and assessment approaches, and engage peer learning between entrepreneurial innovation related programs and communities through the First Impressions Innovate! – a “boots on the ground” audit that allows communities to understand their entrepreneurial assets.  UConn’s work impacted over 40 community leaders involved in the program steering committees (city officials, planners and economic developers, representatives of major employers, directors of incubators and accelerators) with an investment of 13.9 million dollars (50 state funds and 50% leveraged at the community level) in place and capacity based programming in the four designated communities.  Read the Executive Summaries from each of the communities here. 

Below:  Debrief luncheons involving the teams from the First Impressions Innovate Communities.

New Webinar Series: Reuse, Recycle, Rejuvenate! Register Now!

We’re excited to announce this year’s CEDAS Academy Webinar Series: Reuse, Recycle, Rejuvenate! 

In these slim budget times, the three webinars in our series ask: how can our communities make best use of the physical infrastructure we already have?

  • March 28, 2018:  Brownfields from Start to Finish
  • July:  Reurbanization of Manufacturing
  • September: Adaptive Reuse

In each webinar you’ll hear examples from around the Nutmeg State to inspire and help you avoid pitfalls from an economic developers perspective, get a taste of best practices and community successes from other practitioners and community leaders, and access local resources relevant to your community.  

CEDAS Academy is a web-based educational learning series developed by CEDAS in partnership with the University of Connecticut-Extension Program in Community & Economic Development.

Register for the upcoming webinars here.

New Communities in the 2017 First Impressions Program

Big thanks to the communities of Enfield, Windsor, Danbury, Meriden, North Branford and Coventry for participating in the 2017 First Impressions program!  You can find an article about Danbury’s program here http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Downtown-Danbury-seeks-to-make-a-good-first-12201657.php and links to the executive summary reports here: http://communities.extension.uconn.edu/firstimpressions/community-reports/

Best Practices in Volunteer Training and Data Collection

Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 1.51.24 PMBecky Pejinsky interned with UConn Extension programs in Community & Economic Development in Fall 2015.  As a result of her work with the Connecticut Trail Census project, she produced this summary webinar of some best practices for working with volunteers, including best practices in recruitment, management, and training.  In developing content for the webinar she interviewed four leaders of successful volunteer data collection programs in Connecticut, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Here are some key tips: 1) recruit volunteers locally and use word of mouth 2) make volunteers stand out by using vests or hats 3) utilize a variety of training tools including face to face meetings that allow people to practice skills as well as on demand webinars and videos  4) have training close to the date when you start the program 5) reward volunteers and treat them like family.