Staff Reports



The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development announces the local graduates from the 2009 Region 10 Multi-Day Training Program. Class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers, from 14 counties in Southwest Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.

Created in 1993 by then-Governor Zell Miller’s Development Council, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia. The Board of Directors of the Academy consists of 21 members representing public and private economic development organizations and agencies from across Georgia. Since its organization, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Saralyn Stafford, executive director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. “Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”

Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this program.

The Academy’s multi-day program, taught in four days over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business development, tourism product development, downtown development, quality planning, redevelopment, education and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development. Local elected officials receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program, and the program is certified for 3.15 CEUs through the UGA Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

The next Region 10 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in August 2010. For more information on this, please contact Saralyn Stafford at 229-393-3690.

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