NORWALK, Conn. – The City of Norwalk has been named a 2022 Gold Level Certified Community in Best Practices in Economic Development & Land Use Planning on behalf of the Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS), a news release said. The City of Norwalk is one of three communities in the state to achieve the distinction of gold.
“This is an enormous achievement and a tribute to the dedication of our team, especially Jessica Vonashek, Chief of Economic and Community Development, and her team,” said Mayor Harry Rilling in the release. Together, we’ve put Norwalk on the map. It’s a place people want to live, raise their families, start their businesses, and plant roots. It has become a well-known gem in Connecticut, and we will continue to plan, organize, and implement exciting economic and community development projects to add to its vibrancy.”
CEDAS debuted its Best Practices Certification Program in 2019, according to its website. The idea is to “encourage best practices in municipal economic development and land use to spur continuous improvement” and to “create an open resource library of model development examples that can be used by municipalities to update their policies and practices.”
The City applied for the certification in February, the news release said.
“The CEDAS reviews each applicant’s existing economic development and community strategies to determine areas where a community may excel or need to improve and rates their overall economic vitality. The application contains four components: communications & marketing; coordination & collaboration; organizational capacity & strategy; and policies & programs,” the news release said.
CEDAS certified 12 municipalities in Economic Development and Land Use Planning across Connecticut, rating them at three levels: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Gold level winners are Cheshire, Orange and Norwalk. Silver level winners are Ellington, Guilford, Hamden, North Branford, Willington, Woodbridge, Torrington and West Haven. Berlin was named a 2022 Bronze Level certified community.
Norwalk, Torrington and West Haven are the only cities in that list.
CEDAS, a nonprofit, is “Connecticut’s premiere association for economic development professionals, providing a forum for the economic development community and sponsoring educational programs and seminars to benefit those in the field,” its website states. The 2022 Best Practices Program is sponsored by The Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce (Presenting Sponsor), Advance CT, and the City of Stamford.