Community Economic Development Preparedness Index

How prepared is your community to identify and manage economic growth and development? Do you know your community’s strengths and weaknesses? Would other community members agree that they are, indeed, strengths and weaknesses?

Our Community Economic Development Preparedness Index can help you analyze your community’s strengths and weaknesses, assets and shortcomings, and overall sense of community before you develop a plan to improve economic development opportunities. It also provides the community with an overview of where additional investments might be needed and indicates where investments have already been made.

The Community Economic Development Preparedness Index is based on individuals’ perceptions of activities and conditions in a community. Collectively, the responses collected from community members will indicate whether your community is ready to retain, expand, and attract people and businesses and help identify community and economic development priorities and opportunities.

Before You Begin

Once you decide to complete a Community Economic Development Preparedness Index in your community, you should consider who should complete the survey and in which format(s). Consider the following approaches:

  • Distribute either a paper version or, thanks to the popularity of smartphones, tablets, and laptops, the online version of the Index to a small group of decision-makers or a task force and discuss the results in a group meeting.
  • Encourage residents community-wide to complete the Index online.
  • Combine 1 and 2 above: have both community members and decision-makers complete the Index. Decision-makers or economic development professionals may have a better grasp on the community’s status regarding technical issues, whereas community members may not; this, however, can indicate areas for improved communication regarding existing economic development efforts.

Get Started

The Community Economic Development Preparedness Index is available as a PDF that can be printed and distributed, but compilation with this method of completion can be time-consuming, especially considering that there are over 100 questions.

Next Steps

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 was made possible by funding from the Northern EDGE initiative with funding from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.

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