Community Economic Development Program Management

Every local government has a unique landscape with regard to Community Economic Development. It is important for clients to have skilled representatives working on their behalf with the knowledge and experience to navigate the political, social, civic and commercial issues that can stall a project.

The Contracts and Grants team has assembled a collective of experts to provide additoianl support for, or step in to help clients manage, projects from start to finish.

The Community Economic Development-Program Management (CED-PM) offers a “boots on the ground” approach to ensure projects get the traction they need to ensure a smooth transition.

Contracts and Grants provides the following support:

Vetting – Determining buy-in by the citizens and other stakeholders

Business Development – Coordinating meetings with the appropriate people, agencies, committees and elected officials to determine feasibility

Strategic Plan – Making recommendations based on information gathered in Phases I and II

Zoning and Licenses – Coordinating all efforts related to the application and issuance of all zoning and requirements.

Grassroots Coordination – Educating and coordinating dialogue and meetings among the grassroots community

Small Business Participation Management – Ensuring clients are compliant with all small business participation ordinances and regulations.


The Challenge

The Contracts and Grants team has experience in jurisdictions all over the world. Georgia is unique because it has multiple Metropolitan Service Areas (MSAs). There are about a dozen Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO’s) state-wide.

Because most projects impact multiple jurisdictions, it is imperative clients know (or learn) how to navigate the intergovernmental procedures of each jurisdiction that could influence the outcome of the project.

In the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), there are 20 county MPO jurisdictions within a 50-mile radius with a total approaching 4.7 million people.

There are five bordering states within just a few hours’ drive from the Atlanta Metropolitan Area:

  • Tennessee
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Florida
  • Alabama

So, citizens of several counties, cities, and even state(s) can be impacted by a project. Understanding how to work across agencies, and even across state lines is crucial to ultimate success of your project.

Most projects will also include key stakeholders who are not local to the Atlanta area and who may not understand how to conduct business locally. As such, the following may occur:

  • Inadvertent or unintended circumvention
  • Non-compliance of local initiatives and ordinances
  • Exclusion

The Solution

The Contracts and Grants team has assembled a team of Subject Matter Experts in the area of Community Economic Development. Experts include and varied selection of influencers from different sectors of the business world, from former chairmen to arena owners and owners of professional sports franchises.

The partership between Alexander At’Ta Associates and Contracts and Grants LLC, have the distinct advantage of decades of experience coupled with an intimate understanding of how local, county, state and federal government agencies function.

About Richard Oden

Richard Oden was elected in 2009 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Rockdale County Government where he served until 2016.

He led the county daily operation as CEO with an annual budget of $139 million, where the county achieved many first-time awards and honors.

Under Oden’s leadership Rockdale County was recognized for its success in fiscal management for performance, innovation, effectiveness, efficiency, transparency and accountability.

In 2016, Oden was recognized as Georgia’s Top Commissioner of the Year and awarded the prestigious Emory Green Leadership Award by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG).  

He was nominated, and unanimously selected, to serve as an ACCG Board of Manager then chosen to serve a two-year term as one of two members representing ACCG and 159 Georgia counties on the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board as a National Board of Director.

In 2009 Ricahrd Oden began actively serving on several Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) committees where he sat as Chairman of the Community Resource Community (CRC) from 2010 to 2016, and served on the Transportation and Air Quality (TAQC), Budget Audit and Review (BARC), and the Executive Policy Committee and the Governance Committee respectively.

Oden led the ARC Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Steering and Working Teams as a convener, resulting in the creation of an Unified Regional Economic Development Strategy for Metro Atlanta Chamber and other Local Chambers of Commerce, Businesses, the Academic Communities and other key stakeholders.

Mr. Oden has a keen understanding of local government.


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Contracts and Grants, LLC is a multi-service firm that provides contract and grant support for corporations and agencies looking to do business with the government. The firm has secured over $12. 2 billion in contracts and grants negotiations and awards since 2011.

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