Intensive Economic Development Training Course
Week 1: July 11-15, 2022 (Auburn, AL)
Week 2: September 12-15, 2022 (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 2022 Intensive Course will be held at The Hotel at Auburn University & Dixon Conference Center, located at 241 South College Street in Auburn. The first week of the 2022 Intensive Course will be held July 11-15, 2022 and the second week will be conducted September 12-15, 2022.



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 11-15, 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, GEDI
Mike Swinson, Director of Economic Development, Spire

8:30 - 10:00 AM

Introduction to Economic Development and Trends
Megan Lucas, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance

10:00 - 10:15 AM Break
10:15 - 11:15 AM

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

11:15 - 11:30 AM Class Photo
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Welcome Lunch and Site Selection Case Study – Sponsored by Spire

12:30 - 2:30 PM

Community Development Fundamentals
Megan Lucas, CEO & Chief Economic Development Officer, Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance

2:30 - 2:45 PM Break
2:45 - 3:45 PM

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

3:45 - 4:00 PM Break
4:00 - 5:00 PM

Site Selection Process and Role of the Consultant
Jay A. Garner, CEcD, CC, President and Founder, Garner Economics, LLC

5:00 - 6:30 PM Welcoming Reception — Sponsored by AMEA and Goodwyn Mills Caywood
8:00 - 10:00 AM

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

10:00 - 10:15 AM Break
10:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Strategic Planning for Economic Development
Jeremy Arthur, Director, GEDI

12:15 - 1:30 PM Lunch on your own
1:30 - 1:45 PM

CEcD Overview
Amelia Hall Stehouwer, Research Manager, GEDI

  Break — Sponsored by PowerSouth
1:45 – 3:00 PM

Case Study Project Time

3:00 – 5:00 PM

Ethics
Todd Greene, CEcD, Executive Director, WorkRise

8:00 - 9:15 AM

Overview of Workforce Development
Todd Greene, CEcD, Executive Director, WorkRise

9:15 - 9:30 AM Break
9:30 - 10:30 AM

Panel: Workforce and Talent Attraction
Moderator: Todd Greene, CEcD, Executive Director, WorkRise
Panel Members:
Estes Hughes, Vice President, Innovation & Talent, Economic Development Partnership of Alabama
Michelle Hurdle, Director of Workforce and Economic Development, Airbus Americas, Inc.
Donny Jones, CEO, The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and Executive Director, West Alabama Works, Inc.

10:30 - 10:45 AM Break
10:45 - 12:00 PM

The Use of Data in Economic Development
Sharon Younger, PhD, President and Founder, Younger Associates, LLC

12:00 - 1:15 PM Lunch On Your Own
1:15 – 2:00 PM

Economic Impact Analysis
Sharon Younger, PhD, President and Founder, Younger Associates, LLC

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

Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development
David Mixson, Associate Director, GEDI

3:15 - 4:15 PM

Panel: Entrepreneurship and Small Business
Moderator: David Mixson, Associate Director, GEDI
Panel Members:
Boyd Stephens, Founder, Netelysis (and Community Steward)
Tessa Winningham, Founder, Quick Alignment
Jason Wilson, Founder & CEO, Coldwater Mountain Brewpub

4:15 - 5:00 PM Case Study Project Time
8:00 - 9:45 AM

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

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

Community Geography and Site Analysis
Jim Teel, Regional Vice President, Goodwyn Mills Cawood

10:45 – 11:15 AM

Community Geography and Site Application
Jana Cordell Cox, Business Development Coordinator, Lathan Associates Architects, P.C.

11:15 - 11:45 AM

Case Study Project Time

11:45 AM - 1:00 PM

Lunch on Your Own

1:00 - 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
2:45 - 3:45 PM

Managing an Effective Economic Development Organization
Phillip Dunlap, Economic Development Director, City of Auburn

3:45 - 4:00 PM Break
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
Valerie Gray, Executive Director, Chambers County Development Authority
Connie Bainbridge, Manager, Economic & Community Development, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative

5:00 - 6:30 PM

Reception — Sponsored by EDAA and Lathan Architects

7:15 - 8:15 AM

Graduation Breakfast

8:15 - 9:15 AM

Case Study Project Time

9:15 - 9:30 AM Break
9:30 - 11:30 AM

Case Presentations and Wrap Up
Site Selection Team, Alabama Department of Commerce

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 8, 2022.
  • Regular Fee: Week 1 only $700; Both Weeks $900 - If payment received after June 8, 2022.
  • NOTE: We MUST RECEIVE payment on or before June 8, 2022 or else you will need to pay the regular, non-discounted price.
  • Final deadline to register for Week 1 is July 6, 2022.
  • Week 2 only fee: $700.
  • Final deadline to register for Week 2 is September 2, 2022.

Intensive Economic Development Training Course – Week One

  • Dates: July 11-15, 2022
  • Location: The Hotel at Auburn University, Auburn, AL – Map/Directions
  • Hotel Reservations:
    • Room Rate: $139
    • Deadline to reserve rooms: June 8, 2022
    • Book a Room

Intensive Economic Development Training Course – Week Two

  • Dates: September 12-15, 2022
  • Location: The Hotel at Auburn University, Auburn, AL – Map/Directions
  • Hotel Reservations:
    • Room Rate: $139
    • Deadline to reserve rooms: August 10, 2022
    • Book a Room

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
Alabama Power
EDAA - Economic Development Association of Alabama
Lathan Architects - Lathan - Bryant - Calma


Break Sponsors:

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

For more information about the course, please contact:

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

Last Updated: April 18, 2022