Troy University institute offers economic development courses for southeast region

Posted: Tuesday, 09 October 2012

MONTGOMERY – Troy University will work to strengthen economic development efforts in communities throughout the southeast by offering professional training to economic developers and community members via a new institute at the Montgomery Campus.

University officials today announced that TROY’s Center for International Business and Economic Development will host the Southeast Community Development Institute at its Montgomery Campus office. The new institute will be one of only five locations in the United States offering the Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) certification.

Under the auspices of the Community Development Council, TROY’s Southeast CDI will offer three one-week sessions each year that cover various aspects of community and economic development and that lead to the professional certification. The first class is scheduled for April 2013, and the CDI will primarily serve the states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.

“The CDI gives Troy University the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to applied economic and community development,” said Wiley Blankenship, Director for the Center for International Business and Economic Development.

Blankenship said that the aim of the Southeast CDI is to ultimately build and strengthen communities in Alabama and throughout the southeastern United States through the development and engagement of community members.

“TROY joins CDI campuses in Houston, Texas, Conway, Ark., Moline, Ill., and Boise, Idaho in providing education and accreditation programs in support of those who work or are interested in the community and economic development profession,” said Skip Smart, Director of Community Competitiveness for Louisiana Economic Development, who serves as chairman of the Community Development Council, the CDI’s governing body.

“On behalf of the CDC, I welcome Troy University into the program and know that they will be a truly outstanding campus,” he said.

Blankenship said CIBED Assistant Director Courtney Taylor will head up the CDI, which will offer the three “years” of study that seeks to advance the standards of competence for community development professionals and others such as public officials and community volunteers.

“Courtney Taylor has worked diligently for more than a year to make Southeast CDI a reality at Troy University and her dedication and determination will serve to facilitate a better quality of life not only for the citizens of Alabama, but throughout the southern region,” he said.

Year 1 consists of training in Community Development Principles, Community Development Simulation, Community Assessment, Asset-based Community Development, Strategic Planning, Ethics in Community Development, Multicultural Diversity and Communications.

Year 2 consists of programs in Commercial and Industrial Development, Community Development Simulation, Planning Sustainable Communities, Business Retention and Expansion, Entrepreneurial Community, International Trends, Community Finance, Site Selection and Personal Leadership Development.

Year 3 focuses on Workforce Development, Community Leadership Development, Community Development Simulation, Tourism, Organizing the Community Development Effort, Historic Preservation, Retail Development, Marketing Communities, Community Development “Musts” and Downtown Development.