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As a designated Economic Development District (EDD) by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA), the CAPDD develops a Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the six-county region. The District is composed of all the county governments and incorporated municipalities within the counties of Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski, and Saline  Counties. This CEDS plan follows the new guidelines released by the US Economic Development Administration in September of 2016 and is a strategy-driven plan developed by a diverse work group of local representatives from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.


Through its development and adoption by the region's local governments and the CAPDD Board of Directors, and approval by the EDA Austin office, the CEDS not only provides an organized structure plan for economic development of the region, but it also makes the region's local governments eligible for EDA capital improvement and infrastructure funds that help create, retain, and expand job opportunities for the citizens of Central Arkansas. 

Additionally, the Arkansas Association of Development Organizations (AADO), the statewide association of planning and economic development districts, of which CAPDD is a member, in partnership with the Association of Arkansas Counties (AAC), the Arkansas Municipal League (AML), and the University of Arkansas Little Rock Arkansas Economic Development Institute has developed a statewide CEDS to for the first time.


Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 

A strategy-driven plan developed by a diverse work group of local representatives from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.

Image by Oliver Graham


The actions steps to the priorities are listed in the Evaluation Framework.


Improving the public image of Central Arkansas will encourage economic growth, spur investment and improve the quality of life for District residents.


The region’s economic opportunities and its rich and unique quality of life encourage businesses to expand, locate or develop.


The diverse and robust economy of Central Arkansas derives from the strength of local communities and the powerful economic engine provided by the metro areas in Pulaski, Faulkner and Saline counties. This creates a resilient economy critical to long-term growth and financial stability for families.


The regional and county snapshots shown on the following pages highlight the demographic and economic statistics of the region. As the data shows, government services, health care and social assistance, and retail trade are the leading industries, with health care projected as the leading growth industry.


MAY – JUNE 2018

CEDS Strategy meetings with PDD Staff to devise the plan of action for developing the CEDS, establish CEDS Committee Members.

FEBRUARY 2019 – MARCH 2019

Distribute analysis from CEDS Subcommittee Meeting to the committee for comment/feedback.


CEDS Strategy meeting with PDD Staff and Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI) who will assist with data collection and analysis and facilitation of meetings. Distribute CEDS Survey to Committee Members.

CEDS Committee Meeting to get feedback on Action Plan Issues/Goals/Resiliency sections for comment. Prepare final CEDS document and present to CEDS Committee for comment.

First Full CEDS committee meeting discussing CEDS requirements, process for development, introduction of the CEDS Survey, and preliminary economic and demographic data overview.

APRIL – (MID) MAY 2019

Final comments/feedback received on full CEDS Final Document. Please respond in writing directly no later than May 31st regarding any changes, additions, or deletions you feel are applicable.


Collection and analysis of CEDS survey.

JUNE 2019

Submission of high resolution photos to respective areas to be included in document can be sent by Friday, June, 14, 2019.

2nd Full CEDS Committee Meeting to present final CEDS survey results and to complete SWOT analysis. Explain and review strategic target sectors, discuss Action Plan Issues/Goals/Resiliency requirements; and establish a CEDS subcommittee who will assist with creating the action plan section.

JUNE – JULY 2019

Work continues on creating website/document.

CEDS Subcommittee Meeting to decide on action plan issues/goals and begin to fill in the action plan items.

Present full CEDS document to PDD Board of Directors for adoption of the plan.

Lasting Impact


Allen Scott, Mayor of Bryant

Amy Whitehead, Director, Center for Community & Econ. Dev. Division of Outreach & Comm Engagement, UCA

Amy Willams, Business Representative

Angel Koder, Business Representative

Barry Hyde, Pulaski  County Judge

Bart Castleberry, Mayor of Conway

Benjamin Damron, Mayor of Holland

Bernie Chamberlain, Mayor of Austin

Bob Butler, Business Representative

Bob Johnson, Mayor of Jacksonville

Brooks Castleberry, Mayor of DeValls Bluff

Caleb Norris, Mayor of Maumelle

Charles Gastineau, Mayor of Ward

David Duch, Mayor of Hazen

David House, Mayor of England

Dennis Doepel, Mayor of Ulm

Diane Cunningham, Business Representative

Doug Erwin, Lonoke County Judge

Frank Scott, Jr., Mayor of Little Rock

Gary Henard, Mayor of Brinkley

Grindell Price, Business Representative

Harold E. Jones, Mayor of Bauxite

Kenneth Raynor, Mayor of Allport

James Pearson, Mayor of Keo

James Stinson, Mayor of Clarendon

Jeff Arey, Saline County Judge

Jim Baker, Faulkner County Judge

Jim Garth, Mayor of Des Arc

Joe Smith, Mayor of North Little Rock

Johnnie Mass, Business Representative

Jonathon Hawkins, Mayor of Mt. Vernon

Joyce Surratt, Business Representative

Judy Keller, Director of Community & Economic Development

Ken Kincade, Mayor of Cabot

Kent Smith, Mayor of Biscoe

Ladell Brown, Business Representative

Larry Taylor, Monroe County Judge

Leon (L.B.) Pavatt, Mayor of Damascus

Linda Collins, Mayor of Fargo

Lula Tyler, Mayor of Holly Grove

Michael Brown, Business Representative

Michael Nash, Mayor of Traskwood

Mike Kemp, Mayor of Shannon Hills

Mike Skarda, Prairie County Judge

Wesley Tyus, Mayor of Twin Groves

Paul Mitchell, Mayor of Alexander

Preston Scroggins, Mayor of Vilonia

Ralph Jones, Mayor of Coy

Randy Holland, Mayor of Holland

Ray Glover, Mayor of Carlisle

Ray McVay, Sr., Business Representative

Richard Terry, Mayor of Humnoke

Roy Carman, Mayor of Haskell

Sam Higdon, Mayor of Guy

Sammy Hartwick, Mayor of Greenbrier

Shane Ralston, Mayor of Enola

Shawntel Brown, Business Service Coordinator

Terry Mizer, Mayor of Wrightsville

Terry Robinson, Mayor of Wooster

Todd Larson, Director, NLR Economic Development

Tom Farmer, Mayor of Benton

Trae Reed, Mayor of Lonoke         

Travis Hackelton, Mayor of Roe

Virginia Young, Mayor of Sherwood

Wally Shaw, Business Representative



Rodney Larsen, Executive Director

Conya Spencer, Director of Economic Development

Shawntel Brown, Business Service Coordinator

Kira Livingston, Digital Media Coordinator



Jim Youngquist, Executive Director, Institute for Economic Advancement UALR

April Campbell, Community Development

Alison Wiley, Arkansas Economic Development Institute

Dave Rasmussen, College of Business

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