In 1962, the Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) began as an independent, not-for-profit association of local economic development commissions known as the Connecticut Association of Municipal Development Commissions (CAMDC). At the time CAMDC was formed, economic development was just beginning to emerge as a profession within the state. There were no full-time economic development professionals working for towns and cities. The state of Connecticut Development Commission was the only agency within the state with full-time economic development professionals. John Lang served as CAMDC’s first executive secretary and held that position for seven years.
During the late 1960s and '70s, many of Connecticut’s towns and cities elected to establish municipal economic development departments and to hire full- and part-time staff. In the '80s, the economic development profession grew to include utility companies, development corporations, banks, local, regional and statewide non-profit corporations, chambers of commerce and consultants. CAMDC continued to serve as the volunteer organization representing this growing economic development profession. By the 1990s, the CAMDC Board of Directors opted to change the name of the organization to the Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) to more accurately reflect the growth and diversity of its membership.
Today, CEDAS is the 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. Quarterly meetings give members the opportunity to tour successful economic development projects statewide. Scholarship opportunities allow members the opportunity to attend out-of-state conferences and to learn from professionals in other states. CEDAS also works closely with the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and CERC (the Connecticut Economic Resource Center) to foster sustained economic growth within the state through its support of legislation, exchange of information and its co-sponsorship of economic development events.
We salute CEDAS as the heart of the economic development profession within the state of Connecticut for the past 50 years.