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Center for Regional Economic Development

Community Economic Planning

The Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED) recognizes the diverse and unique needs of Southeastern Oklahoma. The CRED is here to assist communities develop self-sustaining, long-term economic, and community growth. Rural communities do have the ability to compete in this new environment, but their success depends on their ability to develop strategic plans and the advancement of economic development knowledge in their community. We are here to prepare rural communities to be economic development ready.

Planning is the key to realizing community goals to assure all the stakeholders’ goals are met.

We believe every community can achieve self-sufficiency through comprehensive strategic plans developed and implemented at a grass-roots level. The CRED stresses local leadership and decision making, supported by partnerships among private, public and non-profit entities.

Community Assessment and Action Resource Team (CAART)

The Community Assessment and Action Resource Team (CAART) assists communities in developing a strategic action plan by helping communities identify priorities, set goals and objectives and determine an action plan that help growth, diversification and economic stability. CRED has developed unique market tools to assist rural communities in defining their economic advantages. This has been a successful tool for the southern Oklahoma counties. The process includes market segmentation tools, market research for strategic planning, organizational development and coaching, and methods of developing human infrastructure to maximize a community’s competitive advantage. The level of research and data collected is providing a base for other communities. CAART is a grant funded program by the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education.

Community Assessment and Action Resource Team (CAART) Successes

  • Facilitated and completed Caddo (OK) Strategic Visioning Process with a written plan for the Town Restoration Association of Caddo to submit for Century Community certification
  • Completed visioning and preliminary assessment for Tishomingo (OK)
  • Facilitated town planning sessions for City of Healdton (OK)
  • Worked with Colbert (OK); Community survey has been completed and results have been presented to the community at a Town Hall meeting. Meetings were being held to develop their strategic plan to qualify to become a Certified Century Community. Also assisted City of Colbert staff with writing grants and providing other assistance.
  • Assisted Kingston (OK) through the Strategic Visioning Process in preparation to submit application to become a Certified Century Community