mage of a group of people sitting in front of computers at a table and text 'New courses coming in 2023. GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute. Educating and engaging elected officials, economic development professionals and other community leaders about key issues in economic and community development.'

GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute
Economic and Community Development Training Program for Alabama

The GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute educates and engages elected officials, Economic Development board members, and other community leaders about key issues in economic and community development.

Courses can be taken on a stand alone basis, but the focus will be to have students earn an GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Certificate* to obtain a well-rounded education. Classes will utilize economic development practitioner experts as instructors and panelists so elected officials and other program participants learn about local resources and issues and build relationships with key local/regional economic development leaders.

  • *To earn a GEDI/EDAA Leadership Certificate, participants must complete 4 courses & attend at least one summer or winter GEDI/EDAA Conference.
  • Courses can be taken on a stand alone basis, but participants are encouraged to take multiple courses to earn the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Certificate.
  • Classes will utilize regional economic development practitioners as instructors and panelists and will be offered in locations around the state.
  • Continuing Education Requirements: two GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute courses every two years.
  • Re-certification credit: Students who have already earned their GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute certificate can attend these courses for re-certification credit as long as they have not previously attended the same course.

2023 GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Course Topics

Courses held online unless otherwise noted

As part of the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute, we are offering the following courses. See below for the dates and locations.

Essentials of Economic Development
February 16, 2023 - online
  • Overview of the economic development process
  • Essential principles and lessons in economic development
  • A "behind-the-scenes" look at economic development from proven professionals
Tourism as an Essential Economic Development Strategy
March 2, 2023 - online
  • Tourism as an economic development strategy
  • How to build a strong local/regional tourism program
  • Identifying, building upon, and marketing local tourism assets
Addressing Barriers to Workforce Participation
May 17, 2023 - online
  • Challenges and opportunities for workforce participation in Alabama
  • Preparing K-12 students to participate in Alabama's workforce
  • Addressing various barriers to workforce participation (From childcare provision to higher ed)
Real Estate Development and Reuse
June 13, 2023 - online
  • Lessons in real estate development and reuse from proven economic development, private sector, and development practitioner experts
  • Brownfield redevelopment
Neighborhood Development Strategies
September 20, 2023 - Online
  • Community and neighborhood development overview and principles
  • Economic development lessons from successful local neighborhood development efforts
Business Retention and Expansion (BR&E)
October 11, 2023 - online
  • What does a successful BR&E program look like
  • How can EDOs build a successful BR&E program
  • Lessons from experienced Alabama BR&E practitioners
Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
November 9, 2023 - Hybrid (Online & in Opelika, AL)
  • Entrepreneurship and small business development as economic development
  • Alabama resources to grow small businesses and entrepreneurship
  • Incubators and accelerators
  • Community entrepreneurship
Upcoming EDAA Conferences:

This conference is not an Auburn University coordinated event, but attendance at an EDAA winter or summer conference is a requirement for completion of the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Program. Attendees must register at www.edaa.org. A separate conference fee applies which is paid directly to EDAA.

  • 2023 EDAA Winter Conference: January 30 – February 1, 2023
    Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa
    201 Tallapoosa Street
    Montgomery, AL
  • 2023 EDAA Summer Conference: July 30 - August 2, 2023
    The Grand Hotel Resort & Spa
    1 Grand Boulevard
    Point Clear, AL
  • 2024 EDAA Winter Conference
    January 29 - January 31, 2024
    Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa
    201 Tallapoosa Street
    Montgomery, AL
  • 2024 EDAA Summer Conference: July 21 - July 24, 2024
    The Grand Hotel Resort & Spa
    1 Grand Boulevard
    Point Clear, AL

**Re-certification credit: Students who have already earned their GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute certificate can attend the Intensive Economic Development Training Course for re-certification credit as long as they have not previously attended.

*NOTE: Please be aware that there have been some changes to our online registration process and you will be prompted to enter a user name and password when registering online as a RETURNING USER. If you have taken previous GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute classes and need to be given your user name and password, or need any assistance registering, please call GEDI TRAINING at 334-844-4782 or email at gedi@auburn.edu. If you have not taken classes with us before and this is your first time registering, you will need to create an account. Contact our office to handle new account creations by phone to expedite your enrollment.

Tuition for each course is $125.00 per person after January 1, 2023.

Call 334-844-4782 for more information.

Please be aware that there have been some changes to our online registration process and you will be prompted to enter or create a user name and password when registering online. If you have taken previous GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute classes and need to be given your user name and password, or need any assistance registering, please call 334-844-4782 or email gedi@auburn.edu. If you have not taken classes with us before and this is your first time registering, you will need to create an account.


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.

A partnership between EDAA and GEDI to educate and engage elected officials, economic development board members, and other community leaders about key topics in economic and community development. Courses can be taken on a stand alone basis, but the focus will be to have students earn an GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute Certificate of Completion to obtain a well-rounded education. Classes will utilize economic development practitioner experts as instructors and panelists so elected officials and other program participants learn about local resources and issues and build relationships with key local/regional economic development leaders.

The program will educate and energize our leaders and elected officials so that they can play key roles in making their communities better places to work and live.

Participation in the GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute will broaden your knowledge and understanding of the economic development process; foster understanding of and teamwork between all parties involved with economic development; add to your credibility and effectiveness; give your community a competitive advantage to attract and retain business and industry and thus help to create stronger communities and economies.

Several courses will be offered each year and the EDAA Conference is held twice a year. To earn their certificate students must take 4 GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute courses and attend at least one summer or winter EDAA Conference.

Students have 3 years after enrollment to earn their certificate. Several courses will be offered each year and the EDAA Conference is held twice a year, so you should be able to complete the program in a timely fashion depending on your schedule and availability to attend classes.

Courses will be offered in an online format with possible options for in-person attendance when indicated through course registration and the EDAA Conference is held twice a year.

While it is strongly recommended that students complete Essentials of Economic Development first, it is not required that the courses be completed in any specific order.

Tuition for each course is $125.00 per person unless otherwise noted on the registration page.

In order to be re-certified students must complete two GEDI/EDAA Leadership Institute courses every two years. Students may re-take a course they have already completed at any time, but they will not receive re-certification credit for a course completed previously.

Absolutely! If you have a group of people who all want to train together, we will work with you to offer classes tailored to your schedule at times and locations that are convenient for you. Some minimum enrollment numbers and fees may apply and you may also be eligible for a group discount, so please contact GEDI at 334-844-4782 to discuss your options and schedule training.

For hybrid course offerings, we require a minimum of 15 participants for the in-person format to be offered. In instances where the minimum participant number is not met; the course will be offered entirely online and registrants will be notified.

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.

For more information or for group discounts please contact:

Last Updated: January 27, 2023