Community Economic Development (CED) could be defined as community driven efforts to improve the quality of life and the prosperity of the community as a whole. Generally, CED initiatives take into consideration three factors: economic impact, social impact and environmental impact. Initiatives are assessed based on these three factors to assure improvements in one area do not cause hardship in another - a comprehensive review of development.
This process can only be achieved through local initiative. Community needs and opportunities are determined by individual and collective input, which reflect local attitudes and values that are of focus and interest to everyone. Community involvement is sparked when community members recognize a need or opportunity and proceed to take action to address the situation, using appropriate and available resources.
The Rural Municipality of Woodlands has provided Community Economic Development (CED) services since 1999. By creating the position of the Community Economic Development Officer, the Municipality has provided resource assistance for CED initiatives.
The Community Economic Development Officer's role is to assist community members and organizations in business or organizational planning, project development and research and funding identification. The CED Officer is the liaison between Council and a variety of the community organizations. Examples of projects that the Community Economic Development Officer has provided resource support include recreation grant applications, individual business planning and community based training opportunities. Any business assistance is provided in a confidential manner. The Community Economic Development Officer also attends tradeshows and events on behalf of the community to promote local business and tourism attractions.