The CEDS covers the seven counties of northeast Minnesota (Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties) and seeks a unified vision for its economic development. It aims to create more prosperous, resilient, diversified, and inclusive economies and communities across Northeast Minnesota. The CEDS is built around four cornerstones (human capital, economic competitiveness, community resources, and foundational assets) that form the foundation for economic growth in the region. Completion of an updated CEDS every five years is critical for the region’s ability to secure federal funding through agencies such as the Economic Development Administration and provides a comprehensive vision for regional cooperation on a variety of initiatives. The current CEDS was adopted in April 2022.

Northeast Minnesota CEDS 2022-2027

Economic Development District

The Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) is designated by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) as the planning organization for the Economic Development District (EDD) for Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties of Minnesota.  The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) is required by the EDA to maintain Economic Development District designation for the region and for projects to qualify for EDA assistance.  ARDC is responsible for completing a new CEDS every five years and helping develop EDA funding requests for infrastructure, technical assistance, and planning projects consistent with the CEDS.


The DevelopMN Plan is the result of a collaborative effort of the ten Economic Development Districts that make up the Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO). DevelopMN was completed in 2016.  It was developed to align strategic economic development efforts throughout Greater Minnesota, and leverage resources at all levels for a greater overall development impact. DevelopMN identified four cornerstones for strong regions and communities that are a template for the organization of the Northeast Minnesota CEDS:  Human Capital, Economic Competitiveness, Community Resources, and Foundational Assets.

DevelopMN can be downloaded at the following website:

More Information

To discuss economic development planning, EDA assistance, or to submit comments, questions, or requests for a print copy of the CEDS, contact:

Josh Bergstad
Principal Planner
221 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: 218-529-7516 (direct)
Toll-free: 1-800-232-0707 ext. 516.
Fax: 218-529-7592

ARDC’s economic development planning is supported with funds provided by the United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA).