NCRPC Strategic Plan Updated for Region


A multi-year strategic planning process that included collaboration among partners and stakeholders has resulted in the completion of the most recent strategic plan for the region.

The plan is formally known as the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy, or CEDS for short. A CEDS is updated every five years and is also a prerequisite for Federal designation as an Economic Development District. The NCRPC Economic Development District includes 12 counties in North Central Kansas and 83 member cities.

A 2018 CEDS survey of individuals who live or work in the region indicate there are many positive and unique attributes in North Central Kansas on which to build. The “word cloud” image below represents responses to the following question: What makes North Central Kansas unique? More survey results are included in the 2019 CEDS.


This word cloud visually represents November 2018 survey responses to the following questions: What makes North Central Kansas unique? How can we capitalize on that?
Through the planning process, NCRPC identified five main visions critical to the success of North Central Kansas:

  • Regional Collaboration
  • Economic Prosperity through Innovation
  • Superior Physical Assets
  • Passionate Leadership from Empowered Citizens
  • Exceptional Quality of Place

The NCRPC appreciates the many partners — cities, counties, nonprofit organizations, banks, businesses, educators, current and past board members, and all leaders and citizens — who participated in this process to plan and strategize for a stronger North Central Kansas.

To learn more or to view the latest CEDS, visit

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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