By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
West Haven was among 12 cities and towns certified by the Connecticut Economic Development Association on April 28 for exemplifying best practices in economic development and land use.
CEDAS Board President Kristen Gorski announced West Haven as one of eight municipalities certified as a 2022 Silver community, joining the neighboring towns of Guilford, Hamden, North Branford, and Woodbridge.
Three others achieved Gold certification, and one achieved Bronze status.
“I commend this year’s accreditation recipients,” Gorski said. “To become a certified community is an immense achievement, which is a tribute to each municipality’s dedication to reviewing existing strategies, determining areas where the community excels, recognizing areas of improvement and actively focusing on advancing economic vitality.”
According to Gorski, the certified municipalities participated in a “rigorous” application review process that required documentation of procedures for development projects, community engagement and consideration of economic development strategies.
The application consisted of four components: communications and marketing, coordination and collaboration, organizational capacity and strategy, and policies and programs.
“I am honored to announce that West Haven has been certified for best practices in land use and economic development,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said. “This certification would not have been possible without the hard work of city leaders, volunteers, stakeholders and residents, who have been working tirelessly on multiple development projects through the years.”
Rossi added: “Projects like the raising of Beach Street, the renovation of the Allingtown Green and the opening of New England Brewing Co. demonstrate the leadership and innovation of West Haven as a model municipality in Connecticut. I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the leaders of our community who have paved the way for this honor and to the Connecticut Economic Development Association, which has been recognizing sustainability, development, and best practices since it began the certification program in 2019.”
Gorski said CEDAS created the Best Practices Certification Program “to improve the overall quality of economic development services by creating process standards; to drive communities to pursue excellence in land use and economic development by recognizing communities with best practices; to accelerate sharing of best practices among community decision-makers; and to encourage more transparent, efficient, community-engaged economic development throughout Connecticut.”
CEDAS, based on Long Wharf Drive in New Haven, will present awards to the certified municipalities in June.
CEDAS is a not-for-profit membership organization committed to advancing the practice of economic development in Connecticut. The organization provides a forum for the economic development community, hosts educational programs, fosters sustainable economic growth and advocates to improve the state’s economy.
Details at https://www.cedas.org/.