The 21-town Northwest Connecticut region has a new Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The new 2018 CEDS lays out priority action steps that will be taken over the next five years to grow economic opportunity in our towns.  To see a summary of the CEDS initiatives or download a copy of the full report, visit

The new CEDS is the result of a nine-month strategic planning process led by the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation which included economic data and trends analysis, stakeholder meetings, and a regional economic development summit.

Jocelyn Ayer, Community & Economic Development Director of the Northwest Hills Council of Governments facilitated the planning process.  According to Ayer, “It was an interesting and dynamic process, meeting with stakeholders to decide on realistic, priority actions we could take to increase economic opportunity in Northwest Connecticut. We look forward to working together with our towns, Chamber, NWCT EDC, and other regional partners to actively pursue these initiatives with the support of the regional community.”

Ayer will be launching the new CEDS at events across the region including June 25th at the Norfolk Hub in Norfolk, CT; July 14th at the Judy Black Memorial Park Farmers Market, Washington, CT; and July 27th at Five Points Gallery, Torrington, CT. For more information on these events, visit

The five core focus areas of the CEDS are 1) working to build a world class fiber-optic network and enhanced mobile network; 2) attracting young workers to fill available jobs and visitors to the region through tourism, arts, and culture initiatives including a new regional community website at; 3) fostering rural innovation and entrepreneurship in the region through a new Rural Lab initiative; 4) supporting the region’s farmers through the NWCT Regional Food Hub; and 5) promoting the region’s strong advanced manufacturing and healthcare sectors by attracting and training the workforce they need.

The CEDS was developed in partnership with Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce and the Northwest Hills Council of Governments and funded in part by the U.S. Economic Development Administration.