Metro Hartford Future (CEDS)
Metro Hartford, CT Region
This project was jointly led by the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), Metro Hartford Alliance, and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. With new leadership at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Metro Hartford Alliance, the time was right to rally the region behind a common vision and identify a few game-changing strategies to change the region’s trajectory. The Capitol Region Council of Governments needed to create a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), and saw the opportunity to engage the Alliance and the Foundation to leverage that process.
The Metro Hartford region was suffering from years of post-Recession stagnation. While there were many organizations and initiatives to help the region and its residents prosper, those efforts had been largely independent. The same could be said of the private sector; while the region is home to some powerhouse companies, such as Aetna, Travelers, and Stanley Black & Decker, their investments in community and economic development were not coordinated.
Fourth Economy Consulting helped to shape the organizations’ vision for inclusive economic growth by using robust data analysis and visualization that showed the region’s position on GDP growth, population growth, and racial disparities relative to peer and benchmark communities. In order to develop strategies to address those metrics, we started with a thorough review of existing plans and interviewed 35 regional leaders. From there, we convened 85 stakeholders to help us prioritize and develop initial strategies to grow the population and economy and reduce racial disparities. Those strategies were prioritized by an Advisory Board, and then further developed in close collaboration with the organizations who would be responsible for leading or supporting their implementation.
The final strategy, Metro Hartford Future, provided five detailed strategies with clear ownership and next steps, as opposed to the traditional CEDS that includes a long list of high-level investments.
Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)