Community Economic Development Prepardness Index – CEDPI

The purpose of this preparedness index is to help communities analyze strengths and weaknesses before developing a plan to improve economic development opportunities in the community.  A PDF version of the Index may be downloaded at: Community Economic Development Preparedness Index PDF.  To access an online version of the tool customized for your community please contact Laurie Lindquist, or Andy Lewis,

The index is based on individual perceptions of activities and conditions in the community; over which you may or may not have some level of control. The compiled responses will provide a reflection of your community’s readiness to

  • retain existing businesses and income,
  • attract new businesses, residents, and income, and
  • expand small businesses and income within your community.

This index is based in part on the Community Economic Preparedness Index that was jointly produced in the early 1980’s by the Wisconsin Department of Development, Wisconsin State Rural Development Council, and the Center for Community Economic Development, and the University of Wisconsin Extension. It was later modified by Mary Cole Laub of Alliant Energy and Karna Hanna, Executive Director, Sauk County Economic Development Corporation (“Community Economic Development Checklist”). The current version of the CEDPI on this web site, was made possible by funding from the Northern EDGE initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

The CEDPI is a very useful tool for determining how the community can better prepare for economic development that would retain, expand, and attract opportunities for adding jobs and income in the community. It is a first step in the community economic development process, or an opportunity for a community to take a step back and determine their level of preparedness. It provides the community with an overview of where additional investments might be needed or where investments have already been made.

Three approaches could be used:

  • Distribute the paper version of the CEDPI to a group of decision makers and discuss the results in a group meeting
  • Encourage a group of decision-makers and residents to complete the CEDPI on the web using the Qualtrics Evaluation tool (Amery, Wisconsin was the first to use this approach). Any Wisconsin Extension faculty/staff member can use Qualtrics by using their net  i.d. name and password:  The CCED can you send you the appropriate survey template to edit for use in your community.
  • A combination of the two approaches above: Have some people meet to complete the index in a face-to-face environment and then supplement the collection of responses with web-based responses.

Because there are 96 questions in the new version, we would encourage you to consider the web-based version. For a few samples of what the final reports could look like, please see the reports completed for Douglas County by Fariba Pendleton.

If you have further questions about the use of this index within the state of Wisconsin, please contact Andy Lewis at the Center for Community Economic Development.

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