Notice: ARDC is releasing a request for proposals for a public engagement facilitator to assist with the development of the Northeast Minnesota Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) planning process taking place across Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties. The Public Engagement Facilitator will be responsible for convening and conducting a broad-based engagement process across ARDC’s service region reaching a large number of communities (geographic and demographic), conducting a business roundtable in coordination with APEX, and dialoguing with tribal communities.

The full RFP is available by clicking here. Responses are due on Friday, October 23 by 4:30. Any questions should be directed to Josh at or 218-529-7516.

The CEDS process outline is available by clicking here. More information about the CEDS is available here:

Northeast Minnesota Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2017 – 2022

ARDC adopted the Northeast Minnesota Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy 2017-2022 on January 19, 2017.

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).