On September 18th, 2002, Southeast Conference was designated as a federal Economic Development District (EDD) by the Economic Development Administration (EDA).
Berney Richert, head of the Alaska EDA office expressed his congratulations. "This designation is recognition that Southeast Conference is a superior economic planning and development organization."
To attain federal designation as an EDD, Southeast Conference was required to develop a regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). The purpose of the CEDS process is to help create jobs, foster more stable and diversified economies, and improve living conditions. It provides a mechanism for coordinating the efforts of individuals, organizations, local governments, and private industry concerned with economic development.
In 2000, Southeast Conference and Central Council Tlingit Haida Tribes of Alaska established a CEDS committee with representatives of various communities, Tribes, Native Corporations, non-profit organizations, professions, and industries to provide additional background information and to assist with the development of the goals, objectives and strategies. The document was completed in June 2001. The result was a publication that gives a comprehensive overview of Southeast Alaska economic history, current developments, and future opportunities. Also included is a list of projects each Southeast Alaska community hopes to accomplish to improve the economic health of that community. The Southeast Alaska CEDS has been held up nationally by EDA as an excellent example of a CEDS document.
The Southeast Alaska Economic Development District is one of 4 Districts authorized by the EDA in Alaska and 382 in throughout United States.