Economic Growth

Located roughly halfway between the two major economic centers of New York City and Boston and at the crossroads of two interstate highways, the Metro Hartford Region is positioned to compete in an inter-regional, interstate and international economy. Achieving truly sustainable economic growth and prosperity within the region will rest largely on leveraging geographic, infrastructural, financial and human capital assets while aggressively addressing the many factors that have diminished the region’s competitiveness. Recent large scale federal investments in transportation infrastructure (including important new passenger rail service through the New Haven/Hartford/Springfield corridor, CTRail, and the creation of Connecticut’s first bus rapid transit system, CTfastrak), integrated planning efforts to create more sustainable communities, and strategic brownfields redevelopment, have collectively created some needed momentum for positive change. Additional efforts are underway to: make the region a center for entrepreneurship; forge strategic relationships between employers, schools and municipalities to create a talent pipeline to replace our aging workforce; harness transit-oriented development opportunities to help drive economic growth while attracting and retaining young professionals; and ultimately ensure that every resident has access to compete in the global economy.

This section includes a broad array of economic growth resources, strategic plans and best practice examples.

Reports / Plans


  • Station Area Progress Reports Released


    On the heals of CTfastrak‘s launch in central Connecticut late last month, CRCOG has released Station Area Progress Reports for the twenty CTfastrak and CTrail/Hartford Line Station Areas. Produced at the request of the NHHS Rail/CTfastrak Corridor Advisory Committee and CTDOT, the Progress Reports provide:

    1. A brief description of each Station Area
    2. A snapshot of actual development completed or underway in the station areas, as well as other in-progress activities to prepare for and support transit-oriented development
    3. Next steps

    Quarterly updates are planned to track progress on comprehensive planning, zoning, transportation and complete streets, infrastructure, brownfields, land assembly, economic analysis and development.

    Click here to access a compendium of the Progress Reports.

  • Knowledge Corridor Talent and Workforce Study

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    CRCOG and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC), through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and as part of the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor project, developed this report to identify a strategy for dealing with some of the challenges facing the Knowledge Corridor: stagnant population growth, an aging population, and urban cores which are characterized by high poverty and unemployment. CRCOG and PVPC concluded that talent matters for economic development, and the Pioneer Valley’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) identified talent development and retention as a priority. The research for this report was done by the UMass Donahue Institute, which conducted stakeholder interviews and led five focus group meetings to identify regional priorities and promising programs and strategies.

    Click here to access the full report.

  • Moving the Region Forward: A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the Metro Hartford Region


    Produced by the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc., this report identifies four main initiatives where the metro Hartford region must focus its economic development efforts: a Cluster Initiative that calls for fostering and growing industry clusters with a strong presence in the region; a Workforce Initiative focused on improving the workforce today while educating, training and recruiting the pipeline for tomorrow; an Infrastructure Initiative, designed to support infrastructure investments tied to business and job growth; and a Downtown Hartford Initiative, that rests on transforming downtown Hartford into a dynamic urban environment that is the epicenter of culture, entertainment and innovation. Specific goals and action steps are delineated for each initiative.

    Click here to access the full report.

  • Making it Happen: Opportunities and Strategies for Transit Oriented Development in the Knowledge Corridor


    Commissioned by the Capitol Region Council of Governments and the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission on behalf of the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor Consortium, this study was intended to help public and private parties capitalize on major federal and state infrastructure investment through identifying market-based TOD opportunities that exist around the planned NHHS and Vermonter Rail, and CTfastrak BRT systems. The study presents these opportunities within a corridor context, while incorporating national, regional and local analysis of demographic, economic and real estate market conditions. The Executive Summary outlines six key findings, specific state investment and anchor institution strategies and a TOD typology that describes the context for new development at each station area location. More information on this HUD-funded project can be found on the Sustainable Knowledge Corridor website.

    Click here to access the Executive Summary.

    Click here to access the full report.

  • 2014 Survey of Connecticut Manufacturing Workforce Needs


    CBIA, working in partnership with the Connecticut Community Colleges College of Technology’s Regional Center for Next Generation Manufacturing and UIL Holdings Corporation, surveyed the state’s manufacturers about their hiring expectations and workforce challenges. The findings highlight expected growth in the state’s manufacturing sector, a considerable number of projected full-time hires over the next few years, and the need for a pipeline of well-qualified workers to meet that demand. Statistics covering strategies for filling vacancies, specific jobs in demand, required core competencies and existing skills deficiencies, educational attainment levels and the importance of credentials are included in the 2014 report.

    Click here to access the survey results.

  • Metro Hartford Progress Points 2015


    Developed by a group of key regional stakeholders, Metro Hartford Progress Points is a periodic ‘check-up’ to build greater understanding about issues facing the Greater Hartford community. The second edition of Progress Points takes a deeper look at key issues impacting our communities and how they are connected. The report asks how we can build on our strengths and fully utilize the assets that the region has to provide access to opportunity for all. Using key indicators to identify opportunities for action, the 2015 report focuses on the following regional priorities:

    – Access to Better Schools
    – Access to Better Jobs
    – Access to Stronger Neighborhoods

    Click here to access the full report.

  • Regional and Corridor Level Best Practices Library

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    The Center for Transit-Oriented Development (CTOD) has compiled a catalog of best practices publications, including case studies, plans, and research from various groups and agencies, which relate to TOD implementation and fostering employment opportunities in areas concentrated around transit systems. The documents in this library not only detail successes and challenges, but they also provide perspectives on the lessons learned for future planning.

    CTOD has organized the library around three primary themes:

    1. An Introduction to Transit-Oriented Development
    2. Regional & Corridor Planning and Case Studies
    3. Employment & Economic Development

    Click here to access the resource compendium.

  • 2015 Age-Friendly: Inspiring Communities Report


    AARP International looked at efforts in the United States and worldwide to identify projects and programs that are worth sharing and, when possible, replicating. The 2015 Age-Friendly: Inspiring Communities Report presents a collection of age-friendly “good practices” and features 16 communities. The report is organized according to which of the World Health Organization’s “8 Domains of Age-Friendliness” (referred to in the U.S. as the “8 Domains of Livability”) the work most represents. However, since the efforts underway in each community touch upon needs in multiple domains, sub-domains are identified as well. Individually and together, the case studies show the inspiring work now underway to meet the needs of older adults. Creating great places for people of all ages enables older residents to participate in community life.

    Click here to access the report and to review the Civic Participation and Employment section (Domain 6).

  • Downtown Revitalization Guide


    (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization is a new guide from Smart Growth America for local elected officials who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development. The guide lays out in straightforward language seven main steps to take, and it’s designed to be used by any community, no matter where you are in the revitalization process.

    Click here to access the report.



  • Sustainable Land Use Model Regulations


    CRCOG’s innovative booklet of Sustainable Land Use Model Regulations equips towns with model regulatory language covering ten specific topic areas, including Compact, Mixed-Use Development Patterns (with a focus on infill development and off-street parking, inclusionary workforce housing and mixed-use transit oriented development). The project, funded by a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant, also included the creation of renderings to help communities visualize the physical impact of implementing the regulations. The visualizations were created for urban, suburban and rural communities at both a bird’s eye and street-level view. Click here to access: specific regulations by topic, the complete compendium of regulations, the accompanying visualizations and a video about the project.



  • Connecticut Business & Industry Association


    The Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) is the largest, most representative business organization in the state. Its members include businesses of all sizes from nearly all industries in Connecticut. They are the leading voice at the State Capitol and before regulatory agencies for policies that promote economic growth, a fiscally responsible state government, and a dynamic business climate. CBIA is dedicated to improving Connecticut’s economic competitiveness through the CT20x17 campaign, which is aimed at moving Connecticut into the top 20 states for business by 2017. Learn more at

  • Get Into Energy CT

    Website Energy Button_150x120

    Get Into Energy CT is the website of the Connecticut Energy Workforce Development Consortium (CTEWDC), a public-private partnership of representatives from energy-related businesses, government, and academia. Get Into Energy CT is a resource for: energy companies developing and expanding their talent pool; students and jobseekers exploring energy careers, scholarships, and training; and teachers seeking to broaden students’ understanding of concepts and career pathways in energy and green technology. Their mission is to meet the evolving workforce needs of Connecticut’s traditional and alternative energy suppliers and energy-efficiency companies.

  • Connecticut Economic Resource Center


    The Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) is a nonprofit corporation and public-private partnership that provides economic development services consistent with state strategies, leveraging Connecticut’s unique advantages as a premier business location. CERC SiteFinder® is Connecticut’s local source for free commercial real estate and demographic data to help businesses analyze a potential investment. CERC also sponsors the Connecticut’s Business Response Center, an on-line portal that provides quick and easy access to the business information needed to start, expand or relocate a business in the great state of Connecticut. The site also includes information about licensing, additional resources to help grow your business, and a comprehensive database of business programs and services.

  • The Connecticut Economic Development Association


    The Connecticut Economic Development Association (CEDAS) is a not-for-profit membership organization committed to advancing the practice and process of economic development in Connecticut. The Association provides a forum and support for Connecticut’s economic development community by providing opportunities for educational and professional development; networking with members at meetings that focus on projects located in our communities; and a lunch and learn webinar series (CEDAS Academy). CEDAS also partnered with others to provide a free two-hour workshop covering the fundamentals of municipal economic development, awards professional development scholarships, and provides public policy updates. You can learn more about CEDAS by visiting their website at:

  • Capital Workforce Partners Offers Employment Assistance


    Capital Workforce Partners is the Workforce Investment Board covering the CRCOG region in north central Connecticut and is all about finding “Jobs for People and People for Jobs.” They promote and invest in youth and future workforce solutions. They identify and support the development of sustainable career paths for adult workers. And, they assist employers in targeted industries, helping them grow and remain competitive. Visit their website for additional information or click here to access their latest Annual Report.

Funding Sources


  • Lincoln Financial Foundation Offering Grants


    The Lincoln Financial Foundation believes that strong and vibrant communities can ensure a high quality of life for individuals and families. The Foundation’s Economic and Workforce Development grants support adult education, job skills training and opportunities to enhance the workforce with the overarching intent of economic development for the area. Specifically:

    1. Economic development programs promote job creation and a trained workforce for in-demand occupations.
    2. Economic development programs provide opportunities to create and grow local businesses.
    3. Adult programs provide advancement through GED, financial literacy, English as a second language, entrepreneurial thinking and skills to lead a productive life.

    Grant requests under this category will be accepted until September 16, 2015. Visit the Foundation’s website for more information, including grant guidelines, and to access their on-line application.

  • 1772 Foundation Offering Grants


    The 1772 Foundation has announced that funding in the form of 1:1 matching grants of up to $15,000 will be made available for the following historic preservation projects: exterior painting; finishes and surface restoration; fire detection, lightning protection and security systems; porch, roof and window repair/restoration; structural foundation and sill repair/replacement; and chimney and masonry repointing.

    To demonstrate the sustainability of historic sites, applicants may be required to submit a cyclical maintenance plan, condition assessment, restoration plan or stewardship plan that has been prepared or updated within the last five years. If an appropriate plan does not exist, the Foundation will consider providing support for development of a plan on a case-by-case basis.

    All organizations who wish to be considered should send a one-page letter of inquiry to: and use 1772 Foundation in the subject line. The letter should include: the amount of your request, the purpose of the grant including the name and address of the historic resource for which project funding will be used, the matching funds you have or plan to have, the time frame for project completion and ownership status (own or lease) for the site. Also, please attach a current photo which best shows site condition, no more than 1.5MB, and provide web address for the site/organization.

    Letters of inquiry will be accepted until May 1, 2015. Invited applications will be due June 5, 2015. Not all letters of inquiry will result in invitations to submit full applications. To be eligible to apply, organizations must have a 501c3 IRS designation. Funding will not be provided for schools or churches.

    Clicker here to access the Foundation’s website and download the grant announcement and application.

  • The Center for a New American Dream Accepting Applications

    American Dream logo

    The Center for a New American Dream is now accepting applications (through May 31, 2015) for its 2015 Get2gether Neighborhood Challenge Grant. New Dream will help teams raise funds for a project to improve their neighborhoods and will match funds raised by each selected team up to $2,000. The proposed project must be focused on building a local economy, greening your community, or be linked to a sharing system. It should be replicable in other areas around the country and must be completed before March 31, 2016. Click here to learn more about the program, past project winners and to link to the online application.

In the News


  • 2018 CRCOG Regional Sustainability Award Winner

    WL 2018 AwardThe Town of Windsor Locks was a recipient of the 2018 CRCOG Regional Sustainability Award for its long-term Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) planning, strategic assessment and implementation efforts that have collectively sparked the rebirth of its downtown commercial district. Windsor Locks lost its Main Street in the early 1960s due to some development missteps which devastated the Main Street commercial district. Since 2007, the Town has worked with its community to begin planning and redeveloping their Main Street. Key ingredients of this in-progress transformation have included: relocating the Hartford Line commuter rail station to downtown; creating the State’s first Tax Increment Financing District; building an extensive TOD toolkit; securing substantial grant support; investing in complete street improvements; redeveloping an abandoned mill to increase affordable and workforce housing; and commissioning a feasibility study around the development of a year-round public market.

    Click here to access the town’s foundational TOD and Main Street studies.

    Click here  to access the Town’s Downtown Tax Increment Financing District Draft Master Plan.

  • 2018 CRCOG Regional Sustainability Award Winner

    Avon 2018 AwardThe Town of Avon was awarded a 2018 CRCOG Regional Sustainability Award for its novel and progressive regulatory solution to tie sound economic infill development with the implementation of proven sustainability measures. This new model regulation has already been put to good use to address a problem property within the town and provides an extensive menu of eligible sustainability tools covering energy, stormwater, water conservation, site design, land use, and agricultural preservation. While the town prescribed clear measures of sustainability, it also crafted the regulations to be dynamic and open to new technological advances, adding flexibility to the regulatory process.

    The town developed these regulations to be scalable to rural, suburban, or urban situations and believes they can serve as a model for surrounding communities within the region. In fact, Avon was featured at a national conference hosted by the Congress for the New Urbanism for their innovative regulatory approach.

    Click here to access excerpts of that presentation, including the new regulations.

Implementation Projects