Preparing for Economic Development

“Before you can visualize the future, you need an accurate and honest picture of the present. Tomorrow’s design must be based on today’s reality.” – Professor Andy Lewis

1. The Community Organizational Assessment Tool (COAT) helps analyze any group, but is particularly helpful for determining the status, strengths, and weaknesses of a community’s board. This analysis should be completed before the board begins making decisions about economic development. 



2. First Impressions is a “secret shopper” program in which two or more communities visit each other unannounced and, following an available guide book, report on their visitors’ or newcomers’ perspectives on the community. This analysis shows the community how others view it and can be done before, after, or at the same time as the CEDPI, below.


3. The Community Economic Development Preparedness Index (CEDPI) helps a community determine its strengths and weaknesses surrounding economic development, as well as indicating where investments are sufficient and where more may be needed. This analysis shows the community how it views itself can be done before, after, or at the same time as First Impressions, above. 





4. Quality of Life Indicators are statistical measurements that can provide a community with a neutral status report of everything that makes it unique, vibrant, and desirable. Aspects ranging from the number of hospitals nearby to the quality of the roads to the number of students who participate in arts courses at the local schools are considered and are highly customizable to your community. 

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