March 28, 2018 – Lindsay Whitson, Senior Planner at Bi-State Regional Commission, presented a draft of the 2018 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Progress Report, highlighting a few economic trends seen in the Quad Cities. She also provided a list of the strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats and emphasized the importance of each community’s economic-related projects.
The CEDS is the result of a locally-based, regionally-driven planning process designed to enhance the economic growth of the Bi-State Region. Components of the CEDS Progress Report include a detailed overview of the people, economy, and sense of place of the Bi-State Region; a description of the strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats; and a list of performance measures to access the progress toward the region’s goals.
One trend discussed was the unemployment rate in the Bi-State Region. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Securities and the Iowa Workforce Development, the unemployment has continued to decrease since 2012. Although it may be decreasing by a minimal percent, it appears to be trending similarly to the rate of the United States.
In addition, strengths, challenges, opportunities, and threats were identified. New strengths include the I-74 project beginning construction and the economic development planning efforts taken on by the Mercer County Better Together initiatives. The six-laning of I-80 and its bridge replacement, and the retirement of small business owners have evolved as new challenges in the region.