Land-use webinar to focus on planning for growth, prosperity and resiliency

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Community planning for growth, prosperity and resiliency will be the topic of a web-based seminar offered by Penn State Extension at noon on April 21.

Presenting the 75-minute webinar will be Kurt Bauman and Steve Zaricki, with Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, and Erik Pages, with Entreworks Consulting.

The session will focus on using the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies plan and process to innovate and guide strategic growth, Bauman noted.

“Although the Community Economic Development Strategies plan is a required plan needed for regions to access Economic Development Administration funding, the tool, when developed collaboratively and strategically, can serve as a catalyst for economic and community revitalization,” he said. “The plan can be used to isolate and mitigate challenges, identify and capitalize on strengths, and discover opportunities for strategic economic growth.”

Communities today are competing to recruit businesses and industries on a global stage, so it is important that communities consider strengths they can build on for economic growth considering growing industry clusters, and what new strategies may be needed to educate and prepare the workforce for those new jobs, Pages pointed out.

The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy — often called CEDS — contributes to effective economic development in America’s communities and regions through a locally based, regionally driven economic development planning process.

“The CEDS process is a means to engage community leaders, leverage the involvement of the private sector, and establish a strategic blueprint for regional innovation,” Pages said. “Furthermore, the CEDS plan provides the capacity-building foundation by which the public sector, working in conjunction with other economic actors — such as individuals, firms and industries — creates the environment for regional economic prosperity.”

Simply put, Pages added, a CEDS plan is a strategy-driven plan for regional economic development.

This webinar will provide an overview of the CEDS plan process and best practices, offer a region’s perspective on how best to develop and implement the plan and its strategies, and include an overview of the data and demographic tables and trends that serve as the plan’s foundation.

“Planning for Growth, Prosperity and Resiliency: Using the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) Plan and Process to Innovate and Guide Strategic Growth,” is the fourth webinar in Penn State Extension’s Winter/Spring 2021 Land-Use Webinar series that runs through May 19. The webinar series assists municipal elected and appointed officials, planners, landowners, farmers, and community organizations in being informed about land-use issues and decisions in their communities.

All webinars are recorded and available for later viewing. Topics and dates in the series include:

  • Jan. 20: “Making Quality Choices in Broadband Deployment”
  • March 17: “Making Planning More Adaptable: ‘Adaptive Planning’” 
  • March 31: “Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Potential Redevelopment Options for Retail Spaces”
  • May 19: “Community Needs Assessments that Planners Should Know About”

The cost of the webinar series is $50 for all five sessions, or $95 for all five sessions for those who want to receive AICP certification-maintenance credits from the American Planning Association. The cost also is $95 for all five sessions for professional engineers needing PDH credits. 

In addition, registered landscape architects can receive continuing-education credits for a fee of $65.

For more information, contact Peter Wulfhorst at 570-296-3400 or by email at To register for the webinars, visit the Penn State Extension website.

Last Updated April 12, 2021