The Central Arkansas Planning and Development District, established in 1968, is a non-profit, multi-county, multi-purpose, and multi-funded Planning and Development Organization serving Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline Counties. The District is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of each respective County Judge, the Mayor from the largest city, and a representative of the business and minority community from each of the designated counties. Every incorportated municipality within the designated counties are members of the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District.
Congress first established the Planning and Development District concept in 1965 by Public Law 89-136, known as the Public Works and Economic Development Act. The Development District Program, as a major instrument of the Economic Development Act. The Development District Program, as a major instrument of the Economic Development Administration, is designed to foster economic growth through multi-county planning and investment.
The Planning and Development Districts in Arkansas, because of the control and accountability maintained through the local governing body, are being used as a service delivery system by both the federal and state government. This is indicated at the federal level through various forms of legislation, that mandate implementation on a regional basis, such as the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
The daily activities of the District are mandated in the special terms and conditions of the respective federal and state programs that are operated by the District. The purpose of the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District is to achieve the goals and objectives of these programs by functioning as a service delivery system. This system provides citizens and local units of government with programs that are designed to generate community and economic development and growth, alleviate unemployment, and increase the overall quality of life.