Intensive Economic Development Training Course

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 2019 Intensive Course will be held on July 8-12, 2019. The second week will be conducted September 9-12, 2019 at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, located at 241 South College Street in Auburn.

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

The course will be moderated by GEDI Executive Director Dr. Joe A. Sumners.

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
  • Field Trip: Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama
Agenda - Week 1: July 8-12, 2019

Check back soon for an updated agenda!


Intensive Economic Development Training Course – Week One

  • Dates: July 8-12, 2019
  • Location: The Hotel at Auburn University, Auburn, AL – Map/Directions
  • Note: The Registration Fee of $650 is for both Week One and Week Two. If registering after June 17th, the registration fee is $700. Those who enroll in Week One will automatically be enrolled in Week Two. If you are making up Week One from a prior year and have already paid for this course, please contact Leslie Hamby to be enrolled manually in order to avoid double billing at or call 334-844-4782. The Recommended Textbook is optional and can be ordered at any time for an additional $35.

Online Registration

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 contact Leslie Hamby at, or call 334-844-4782. Thank you.

Hotel Accomodations

Participants are responsible for their own accommodations. A room block is available at The Hotel at Auburn University with a special room rate of $132 per night, plus applicable taxes, for each session of the Intensive Course.

The deadline to book a room in week one is June 17, 2019, and for week two it is August 19, 2019. It is recommended that students book early as the room block usually fills up quickly.

Hotel Parking Fees:

  • Self-Parking (when available) $5.00 per vehicle for day time
  • Overnight Valet Parking $10 per vehicle

Week 1: Hotel Reservations    Week 2: Hotel Reservations

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. Students must be present for 90% of the course in order to receive a course certificate. Only illness, a family emergency, or a business emergency constitute an excused absence.

Alumni Comments

What Others Are Saying

  • "This course provides a comprehensive overview of of the economic development process for anyone involved or interested in economic development. It provides access to resources and contacts that will prove helpful to participants for years to come."
    Greg Barker, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Economic Development, Alabama Power Company
  • "Auburn’s Intensive Economic Development Training Course is the starting place – whether you’re new to the economic development profession, or coming to Alabama from another economic development community, or a newly–elected local official who needs to understand the process and the contacts. I think it’s the most valuable training in the basics and the contacts you gain are icing on the cake."
    Linda Swann, Former Assistant Secretary, Alabama Department of Commerce
  • "The Auburn Intensive Course is the essential economic development primer if you are involved in community and economic development in Alabama. I continually promote this ECDI course to the counties and communities where I work, because I want them to understand the various avenues to prosperity, and I want them to be prepared for opportunities."
    Nisa Miranda, Director, University Center for Economic Development, The University of Alabama
  • "The ECDI Intensive Course at AU is a major component of the AIDT professional development plans for myself and many of my staff. As a course faculty member, I know the interaction between participants and presenters is an incredible learning exercise."
    Ed Castile, Director, AIDT; Deputy Secretary of Commerce,Workforce Development, Alabama Department of Commerce

Other Alumni Comments

  • "Outstanding course! All material was relevant and provided by first–class faculty. I appreciate the many contacts I made."
  • "Great information, so glad all presentations will be on a Google site for us to download and refer back to. Really enjoyed the entire conference."
  • "This has been a tremendous learning opportunity…This experience has infused me with enthusiasm and a new confidence in where Alabama is headed. Thank you for providing this and for keeping it fresh and dynamic."
  • "Excellent; best program I have attended; experts on the agenda; well–planned and organized; great networking."
  • "This course was very effective in giving a strong foundation to a career in economic development. The speakers were both highly-qualified and passionate about their work, and this was reflected in their lectures."
  • "I am fairly new in my position, and this course really helped me understand the process of economic development. I wish this course was mandatory for all community leaders."
  • "This course has tremendous value for all Alabama citizens. The course material is well–chosen and targeted to the goal of economic development education."
  • "Thank you for a wonderful program; I will recommend it to others."
  • "Great class. Everyone who works in economic development needs to come to this."
  • "Course was very helpful for me as a young person just entering the profession. I especially enjoyed hearing from practitioners in direct project management, financing, marketing, and site selection. Overall, GREAT week with GREAT people!"
  • "Outstanding presenters, excellent 'take home' information participants may put to good use."
  • "I could not have gotten these resources anywhere else."
  • "The materials presented will be a valuable resource to use in the future. Very good overview and in–depth look at the various topics."
  • "Excellent. Networking was a wonderful opportunity."
  • "The course will serve as a valuable asset to my professional development."
  • "I have really enjoyed this course. It has provided me with many tools, ideas and examples that will help me in my quest to become more productive in my community."
  • "Great information all around. Very useful."

For more information about the course, please contact:

Leslie Hamby
Phone: 334-844-4782
Fax: 334-844-4709

Last Updated: March 14, 2019