Intensive Economic Development Training Course
Week 1: July 12-16, 2021 (Auburn, AL)
Week 2: September 20-23, 2021 (Auburn, AL)

A two-week course introducing participants to all phases of economic development.

The Intensive Economic Development Training Course is an annual two-week course presented by the Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI).

The course is divided into two one-week sessions and introduces participants to all phases of economic development. Program leaders and faculty have proven success in economic development practices and techniques. Instructors represent the field’s most effective practitioners from throughout the state and nation.

The first week of the Intensive Course is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and fulfills one of the prerequisites for those who wish to take the exam for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation. It provides an intensive overview of general economic development concepts and principles.

International Economic Development Council

The second week focuses on important issues and resources and is especially valuable to economic developers and community leaders practicing in Alabama.

With 35 years of experience, GEDI is the state’s leading provider of economic development education and training.

The first week of the 2021 Intensive Course will be held on July 12-16, 2021 at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, located at 241 South College Street in Auburn. The second week will be conducted September 20-23, 2021, also at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center.



Who Should Attend
  • Local, Regional, and State-Level Economic Development Professionals
  • Economic / Industrial Development Board Members
  • Chamber of Commerce Officials
  • State / Local Elected Officials
  • Community Leaders
  • County Commissioners
  • Utility Company Representatives
  • Community / Regional Planners

Course Curriculum

Session I Topics

  • Trends in Economic Development
  • Workforce Development and Training
  • Community Development Fundamentals and Success Models
  • Marketing and Business Attraction
  • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Web and Social Media Marketing Strategies
  • Strategic Planning for Economic Development
  • Real Estate Development and Reuse
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development
  • Economic Development Finance
  • Site Selection Case Study Exercise
  • Economic Development Ethics
  • Building and Managing Economic Development Organization

Session II Topics

  • The History of Economic Development in Alabama
  • Alabama Government and Economic Development
  • Economic Development from the Company’s Perspective
  • Alabama Education and Workforce Development
  • Recruiting Hyundai: The Montgomery Experience
  • Retail as an Essential Economic Development Strategy
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Rural Development Strategies
  • Alabama Programs and Resources to Support Economic Development
  • Alabama Economic Development Roundtable
Agenda - Week 1: July 12-16, 2021

*Click on the date to expand each panel to see the full agenda for that day.

8:00 - 8:30 AM

Welcome and Introductions
Jeremy Arthur, Director, Government and Economic Development Institute
David Mixson, Associate Director, Government and Economic Development Institute
Mike Swinson, Director of Economic Development, Spire
GEDI Staff Introductions
Attendee Introductions

8:30 - 9:45 AM

Introduction to Economic Development and Trends
John "Mac" Holladay, Founder and CEO, Market Street Services, Inc.

9:45 - 10:00 AM Break
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Community Development Fundamentals
David Rumbarger, President/CEO, Community Development Foundation

12:00 - 12:15 PM

Class Photo

12:15 - 1:15 PM

Welcome Lunch
Sponsored by Spire

1:15 - 2:00 PM

Fundamentals of Business Recruitment
Greg Barker, President, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

2:00 - 2:15 PM Break
2:15 - 3:30 PM

Economic Development Marketing
Steve Sewell, Executive Vice President Economic Development Partnership of Alabama

3:30 - 3:45 PM Break
3:45 - 4:45 PM

Site Selection Process and Role of the Consultant
Jay Garner, President and Founder, Garner Economics, LLC

4:45 - 5:00 PM Wrap-up
5:00 - 6:30 PM Welcome Reception
Sponsored by Alabama Municipal Electric Authority & Goodwyn Mills Cawood
8:00 - 10:00 AM

Business Retention and Expansion
Laith Wardi, CEcD – President, Executive Pulse, Inc.

10:00 - 10:15 AM Break – Sponsored By NextSite
10:15 - 11:15 AM

Workforce Development Trends
Laith Wardi, CEcD – President, Executive Pulse, Inc.

11:15 - 12:30 PM

Lunch (on your own)

12:30 - 1:45 PM

Panel: Workforce and Talent Attraction
Moderator: Amelia Stehouwer, Research Manager, GEDI

Panel Members:
Annette Funderburk, President, Ingram State Technical College
Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Waymond Jackson, CEO, ED Farm

1:45 - 2:00 PM Break - Sponsored By PowerSouth
2:00 - 3:00 PM

Case Study Project Time, GEDI Staff

3:00 - 5:00 PM

Ethics
Todd Greene, Executive Director, WorkRise

8:00 - 10:00 AM

Strategic Planning for Economic Development
Jeremy Arthur, Director, GEDI

10:00 - 10:15 AM Break – Sponsored by Chambless King Architects
10:15 - 11:30 AM

Case Study Project Time

11:30 AM - 12:45 PM Lunch (on your own)
12:45 - 2:45 PM

Economic Development Finance
Don Smith, Executive Director, St. Clair County Economic Development Council

2:45 - 3:00 PM Break – Sponsored by Southeast Gas
3:00 - 4:00 PM

Entrepreneurship and Small Business
David Mixson, Associate Director, GEDI, Auburn University

4:00 - 5:00 PM

Panel: Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Moderator: David Mixson, Associate Director, GEDI

Panel Members:
Tess Winningham, Founder, Quick Alignment
Haitham Eletrabi, Founder and President, Tennibot
Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer and Wilson Executive Consulting

8:00 - 10:00 AM

The Use of Data in Economic Development and Economic Impact Analysis
Sharon Younger, Ph.D., President and Founder, Younger Associates, LLC

10:00 - 10:15 AM Break – Sponsored by Lathan Architects
10:15 - 11:15 AM

Community Geography Site Analysis
Cole Williams, Engineering Department Leader, Goodwyn Mills Cawood

11:15 AM - 12:30 PM Lunch (on your own)
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Real Estate Development and Reuse
Deborah McGill Smith, CEcD, Industrial Real Estate Broker, Cushman & Wakefield/EGS Commercial Real Estate

2:30 - 2:45 PM Break – Sponsored by Goodwyn Mills Cawood
2:45 - 3:45 PM

Managing an Effective Economic Development Organization

3:45 - 4:00 PM Break – Sponsored by Alabama Municipal Electric Authority - AMEA
4:00 - 5:00 PM

Panel: The Role of Economic Developer
Moderator: Jeremy Arthur, Director, GEDI

Panel Members:
Jim Searcy, Executive Director, Economic Development Association of Alabama
Valarie Gray, Executive Director, Chamber County Economic Development Authority
Phillis Belcher, Executive Director, Greene County Industrial Development Authority

5:00 – 6:30 PM Reception
Sponsored by Economic Development Association of Alabama and Lathan Architects
8:00 - 8:30 AM Breakfast and Graduation Ceremony
8:30 - 9:45 AM Case Study Project Time
9:45 - 10:00 AM Break — Sponsored by Economic Development Association of Alabama - EDAA
10:00 - 11:30 AM Case Presentations
11:30 - 11:45 AM Wrap Up
Greg Barker
Greg Barker
Executive VP of Customer Services, Alabama Power Company
Phillis Belcher
Phillis Belcher
Executive Director, Greene County IDA
Tedra Cheatam
Tedra Cheatam
Director of Business Development, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University
Mo Collins
Mo Collins
New Economy Specialist
Sheldon Day
Sheldon Day
Mayor, City of Thomasville, Alabama
Phillip Dunlap
Phillip Dunlap
Economic Development Director, City of Auburn
Haitham Eletrabi
Haitham Eletrabi
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Tennibot
Jay Garner
Jay Garner
President and Founder, Garner Economics, LLC
Randy George
Randy George
Former President, Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
Waymond Jackson
Waymond Jackson
Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA)
Sandra Koblas
Sandra Koblas
Director of Human Resources, Austal USA in Mobile, AL
David Mixson
David Mixson
Associate Director, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
David Rumbarger
David Rumbarger
President/CEO, Community Development Foundation
Jennifer Ryan
Jennifer Ryan
Communications Manager, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
Jim Searcy
Jim Searcy
Executive Director, Economic Development Association of Alabama (EDAA)
Steve Sewell
Steve Sewell
Executive Vice President, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama (EDPA)
Deborah McGill Smith
Deborah McGill Smith
Vice President, Industrial Brokerage & Consulting Cushman & Wakefield/EGS Commercial Real Estate
Amelia Hall Stehouwer
Amelia Hall Stehouwer
Research Manager, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
Amy Sturdivant
Amy Sturdivant
Director of Business Recruitment, HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
Joe Sumners
Joe Sumners
Executive Director, Government & Economic Development Institute (GEDI), Auburn University
Mike Swinson
Mike Swinson
Director of Economic Development, Spire
Galen Thackston
Galen Thackston
Regional President, Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood (GMC) South
Laith Wardi
Laith Wardi
President, ExecutivePulse, Inc.
Jason Wilson
Jason Wilson
Founder and CEO, Back Forty Beer Company
Tess Winningham
Tess Winningham
CEO and Co-Founder, Alignment Simple Solutions
Sharon Younger
Sharon Younger
President and Founder, Younger Associates, LLC

Registration Fees:

  • Early Bird Fee: Week 1 only $650; Both weeks $850 - If paid on or before June 18, 2021.
  • Regular Fee: Week 1 only $700; Both Weeks $900 - If payment received after June 18, 2021.
  • NOTE: We MUST RECEIVE payment on or before June 18, 2021 or else you will need to pay the full price.
  • Final deadline to register for Week 1 is July 7, 2021.

Intensive Economic Development Training Course – Week One

  • Dates: July 12-16, 2021
  • Location: The Hotel at Auburn University, Auburn, AL – Map/Directions
  • Hotel Reservations: Summer 2021

Intensive Economic Development Training Course – Week Two

  • Dates: September 20-23, 2021
  • Location: The Hotel at Auburn University, Auburn, AL – Map/Directions
  • Hotel Reservations: Fall 2021

We recommend you reserve your room early as the hotel room block may fill up quickly.

Online Course Registration


Attendance and Participation: It is the policy of the Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI) and IEDC that the entire course must be taken in order to receive full credit and/or qualify to take the exam at the end of the class. All program attendees are encouraged to benefit fully from the course by asking questions, relating experiences and thoughts, and otherwise ensure that they understand and can apply techniques and ideas offered by the instructors.


Registration/Cancellation Rule:

Provided that space is available, receipt of the registration form, email or online enrollment constitutes registration. Written cancellations, received fifteen (15) working days prior to the beginning of the program will be honored with a partial refund of the registration fee, but will be assessed a $50 administrative charge. Due to commitments to instructors and meeting facilities, late cancellations or non-attendance will not be refunded, and full payment is required. Substitutions for registered participants may be made at any time.

If you have questions about enrollment, invoices or payments, or cancellations for the Intensive Course , please email GEDI@auburn.edu, or call 334-844-4782. Thank you.

Certificates and Attendance Policy:

Session I participants will receive a certificate of completion for the IEDC-accredited Auburn University Basic Economic Development Course. Participants who attend both Sessions I and II will receive a certificate of completion for the Intensive Economic Development Training Course. Only illness, a family emergency, or a business emergency constitute an excused absence.

Attendance and Participation: It is the policy of the Government and Economic Development Institute (GEDI) and IEDC that the entire course must be taken in order to receive full credit and/or qualify to take the exam at the end of the class. All program attendees are encouraged to benefit fully from the course by asking questions, relating experiences and thoughts, and otherwise ensure that they understand and can apply techniques and ideas offered by the instructors.

Thanks to our Partners:

Spire Gas logo

Alabama Municipal Electric Authority
EDAA - Economic Development Association of Alabama
GMC
Lathan Architects - Lathan - Bryant - Calma


Break Sponsors:

CKA Chambless King Architects
Next Site
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative - A Touchstone Energy Cooperative
Southeast Gas

For more information about the course, please contact:

Email: gedi@auburn.edu
Phone: 334-844-4782
Fax: 334-844-4709

Last Updated: July 15, 2021