Regional Project Prioritization List

UPDATE: The 2024 Regional Project Prioritization List has been released. Please see the list here: 2024 RPP List (Revised May 2024)

Regional Project Prioritization (RPP) lists are developed by Regional Development Corporations (RDCs) to identify projects of priority and importance in the region using input from Regional Planning Commissions, municipalities, partners, and communities. Input is gathered through wide engagement via newsletters, public meetings, and convenings. Please review the following text or attached presentation for more details.

How to Submit a Project:


Regional Project Prioritization Form: Regional Priority Projects-Project Form- Final

Goal: To produce a list of high priority economic and community development projects that meet certain eligibility requirements (see below). The regional lists are considered living, dynamic documents that are continually updated and edited. The lists will be used by regional and local organizations to understand the funding needs of the region and allow regional economic and community development staff help match federal and state funding announcements to projects.

The regional lists express the highest priority projects for each region and the top ten projects from each region will be included in a consolidated statewide list submitted annually by December 15 by the RDC fiscal agent to the Agency of Commerce. Regions may submit a revised list through the RDC fiscal agent by May 15 each year. The RDC fiscal agent will revise the consolidated statewide list and re-submit to the Agency of Commerce by May 31. The Agency of Commerce will share the Statewide List with other agencies and funders, to be used by state and federal funders when making funding decisions.

Process: The Regional Priority Project process consists of three major steps to be implemented on an annual basis (see process detail below):

  1. Regional solicitation and input.
  2. Regional scoring and prioritization.
  3. Consolidation of top ten regional projects into a statewide priority list to be submitted to the Agency of Commerce.

Eligibility and Scoring Criteria: Projects should address the following criteria to be included on the Regional Priority Project list.  These are the criteria that will be used to score and prioritize each project. Scoring and prioritization is conducted on a continuum for each criterion regarding the degree to which the project meets each criterion. For example, a project that is truly “shovel-ready” (no obstacles to implement except the funding gap) will score higher than one that requires permitting or the project managers do not have site control.  A second example is a project that creates 20 new, high-paying jobs will score higher than a project that retains a few jobs. Projects that meet the criteria to a higher degree will score higher and be placed in a higher priority. Because the lists are living and dynamic, projects can be added to the list each year and move up in priority as the project is more fully developed and more fully meets criteria. Projects should, at a minimum be able to address the following on the Project Information Form:

Project Purpose and Benefits to the Region: The project should build capacity in the region for improved economic and community development. Projects that advance economic and community development, that will advance the goals and objectives of CEDS and regional plans, and address the most pressing needs of the region, will score highest.

Project Timeline, Milestones, and Status:  The project should be prepared to get underway if funded, including factors such as site control, engineering and design, permitting, and funding identification and commitment. Project should also have identified milestones and measurable outcomes.  Projects that are considered “shovel-ready;” that is, the project is underway, ready to implement or close to ready, and identifies milestones and outcomes, will score highest.

Project Principal Experience:  The project should involve an entity that has successfully executed similar projects, managed federal or state grants, and/or successfully developed similar business models, or involve a partnership or collaboration that provides adequate experience. Projects showing experienced project managers or a collaboration/partnership that provides experience, will score highest.

Project Support and Regional Need: The project should address and advance local and regional economic and community development goals and objectives, as identified by a CEDS and/or the regional plan or other studies and reports and have community support and engagement. The project should not be redundant or duplicate ongoing projects or programs in the region unless there remains a need, such as with housing or childcare; rather, projects should fill a need in the region. Projects that address a regional goal as expressed in the regional plan and are not duplicative, will score highest.

Project Cost, Identified and Committed Funding/Financing, and a Funding Gap: The project should have a budget developed that includes total project cost, identified sources and uses, and a clearly identified funding gap. The project description should state the funding sources the project is pursuing, the status of those funding/financing sources and, if not secured, identify when the sources are expected to be committed. Also, identify the type of resource (cash, grant, loan, sponsor in-kind, third party in-kind, etc.) and describe which resources can serve as a match, noting that, for example, some grant sources do not allow matching federal funding with other federal funds.  Projects that include a budget, all funding information, have an identified gap that may be addressed by available state and federal resources, and have firm funding commitments and a match, will score highest.

Job Creation and Retention: The project should create or retain jobs. The project description should estimate the number of permanent and temporary jobs to be retained and/or created, including the period of time over which the jobs will be created. Projects that retain jobs and/or create new jobs, will score higher.