Parent Page: Programs id: 31426 Active Page: Course Descriptionsid:31627

Course Descriptions

Business Retention and Expansion

Business Collaborations, Networks, and Dislocations
Growing your local economy is increasingly dependent on facilitating effective interaction among suppliers, customers, competitors and support businesses. This session discusses both sides of the equation—developing business networks and clusters and coping with losses in your economic base. The dislocation portion off the presentation will provide the do’s and don’ts of how to handle closures and layoffs of large employers.

Retention and Expansion (One Day)
The Global Economy places companies and communities at risk. Global companies hold minimal loyalty to communities, states or countries. Carrying out a Business Retention and Expansion Program is an essential element of any economic development strategy and is a key to future economic growth. This session looks in detail at how to plan, implement and measure the performance of an effective Retention and Expansion program.

Retention and Expansion Case Study
The Retention and Expansion case study is a lively, interactive session that uses a real-life example to explore Retention and Expansion best practices. You will apply information gained from the Retention and Expansion prerequisite course, your experiences and those of other participants to a challenging situation as you work as a group to find practical and workable solutions to a situation common to many locations.

Workforce Development for your Existing Business
An effective workforce development program includes the identification of your population’s skills and training needs specific to business demand. This is an introductory course focusing on the principal elements of state and local workforce development data sources and analysis that will enhance your knowledge and spur ideas on how to identify the availability of a workforce, with particular attention paid to how this can support your business retention and expansion efforts.

Community and Neighborhood Development

Building Blocks of CND 
In the United States, Community and Neighborhood Development can trace its roots back to more than a century ago.  As you start your journey to being a more effective CND professional, gain an historical perspective on prior programs and initiatives that have brought us to the state of CND today. 

Actors, Players, and Partners 
CND involves everyone at some stage in the development process. Understand the key individuals, groups, and organizations that you can expect to engage with from the idea phase right on through to financing and implementation. This includes both formal and informal partners and how to engage them, building trust and being an active listener. 

Neighborhood Planning: Fundamentals 
The path to the successful implementation of any CND initiative starts with careful planning. Revisit and practice some of the fundamental steps to a hyperlocal, small area planning process that will provide the framework for making future decisions and leveraging additional resources. Refine your knowledge of and use of various strategies that will transform your ideas into success stories. 

Asset Mapping Your Neighborhood 
To effectively redevelop your neighborhood, you need to fully understand its assets and liabilities. Learn how to inventory and map the physical, market, cultural and social assets of your community to determine how to best capitalize on its strengths and use this information to develop a stronger market position and increased economic vitality. 

Financial Tools and Resources 
Federal and state governments provide several financial tools that help to stimulate and close the gaps that make community and neighborhood development successful. Learn how to leverage your investment to attract other people’s money into your projects. 

Credit Analysis

Financial Analysis and Deal Structuring – Two Days

During a two day “boot camp” for economic developers, participant will discover the principles, precepts and concepts of analyzing a company’s financials as a tool to determine financing needs and gaps. Once a gap is identified class participants will work interactively to structure financing deals that assist the company grow while addressing the risks perceived by lenders, investors and the entrepreneurs themselves. Teams will work together using federal tools to fill the gap and provide financial stability for the company's future. Class participants will leave with a toolkit of financing worksheets and techniques to use when they return home and assist a local company facing a financial crisis.

Understanding Financial Statements

Financial statement analysis involves reviewing and analyzing an organization’s financial statements to evaluate risks, performance, financial health, future prospects and, ultimately, make better economic decisions. These statements include the income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows and a statement of changes in equity. 

Financial statement analysis is a powerful tool for a variety of internal and external users of financial statements, each having different objectives in learning about the financial circumstances of the entity under review. Examples include equity investors making investment decisions or creditors analyzing lending risk.


Organizing and Financing Entrepreneurship Companies
This session will focus on the process that entrepreneurs use to plan for, establish and finance new companies. It will cover the main avenues that entrepreneurs can access capital, along with various programs that are available. Attendees will be able to inventory the capital resources in their regional marketplace and develop strategies to address gaps in those resources. 

Entrepreneurship Economic Development
This session will provide an overview of entrepreneurship trends and the potential economic impact of small and mid-sized companies in the coming decade. Practitioners will learn about—and how to support—micro-enterprise, small business, innovator and venture company creation and growth. The session will showcase key resources and services entrepreneurs need to succeed and explain the role of regional collaboration in a healthy ecosystem.

Technology Transfer and Innovation

Technology transfer is the process of commercializing intellectual property (IP). This session will delve deeper into tech transfer—who is conducting research, how innovations become protected and available for commercialization, and the nuts and bolts of licensing and spinoff agreements. Emerging best practices in university and EDO collaborations around spin off and licensing activity will be shared.

Emerging Trends in Serving Entrepreneurs

Across the country, best practices are emerging in the delivery of capital, technical assistance, networks and community capacity in support of entrepreneurial development at all stages. This session will look at many of those models, including Economic Gardening, Incubation, PopUps and Accelerators, Concierges, Mentoring, Contests and CoWorking space and showcase how these models can be integrated into an entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Entrepreneurship Lab

In this course, students will apply all of the information they learned in the entrepreneurship sessions, as well as their own experiences, to craft an entrepreneurial support plan for a fictitious community.

Managing an Economic Development Organization

Establishing and Sustaining a Regional ED Organization
Companies in a site-search mode prefer dealing with regional organizations before looking at individual communities and sites. In response, more regional economic development organizations are being created. Learn both what goes into creating such an organization and, more importantly, how to make it effective over the long run.

Managing and Evaluating an Effective ED Office
In order to properly manage an economic development program, a strategic plan has to be developed. After this document is in place, how do we measure success? What performance measures matter, and why? Who is responsible for doing this measurement, and what do the indicators mean? What can we do with this information once we have collected it? How do other organizations measure success? This course attempts to give practical answers to these questions for your economic development organization.

Understanding People
Success in economic development requires good "people skills." This course provides an understanding of how a widely used personality-typing tool can be used to create better self-awareness and a greater insight into the behavior patterns of others. Participants will focus on understanding and appreciating the differences among people and on identifying strengths and potential weaknesses of both individuals and groups. Particular attention is paid to how personality differences can be used to build effective teams.

Leadership Capacity Building for the EDO
There are two principles of leadership—first, leadership is about relationships, and second, leadership is about change, and focusing the energy of the group on change and/or improvement. Successful management of relationships as individual leaders and with volunteer boards is key to the life of an economic development organization. Whether you are with a public, private or a public-private partnership type of economic development organization, this course will outline strategies and concepts applicable to improving interaction with not only a board of directors, but also elected officials who sometimes perform an analogous role to that of a corporate board.

Economic Development Ethics
The economic development profession is evolving, and as it matures, establishing codes of conduct become paramount to the long-term viability of the profession. This course will provide an overview of ethical behavior, making ethical decisions, promoting an ethical culture and ethics in marketing and communications. Discussion will encourage active participation, and "real life” case studies will be used to help demonstrate a course of action in those scenarios.

Introduction to the Certification Process
This course is required by the International Economic Development Council prior to submitting an application to sit for the Certified Economic Developers exam. This short "what you need to know" workshop covers an overview of the exam process, from application to the oral examination. You will learn the tools, techniques and tips for preparing for the exam.


Design of Electronic and Printed Marketing Materials
ED marketing has become increasingly dependent on reaching customers through their computers, but driving them to your website still requires effective printed and electronic initial contacts. This session explores how to make sure your electronic content and printed marketing materials get you the best return for your marketing dollar.

Effective Prospect Management
This course is designed to provide economic developers with practical techniques for effectively positioning your community to capture the interest of business prospects and hosting those prospects once they agree to visit.

Market Segmentation and Target Industry Studies
Does your marketing approach use the shotgun or rifle approach? Most budget-sensitive marketing programs attempt to focus their efforts on a limited number of realistic, high-value targets. This session focuses on techniques for identifying the targets that are the best fit for the characteristics of your community and sets the stage for tailoring your marketing to these segments. This capstone marketing course brings together marketing and research theory in practices and engages the participant in applying them to real market conditions.

Measurement and Evaluation of Marketing Programs
This course discusses the rationale and nature of measurement and evaluation of marketing programs. It examines and explains trends in program evaluation and outlines practical approaches to establishing effective marketing program metrics and evaluation procedures. Finally, it reviews how overall program goals and objectives can be used to drive performance metrics and specific marketing program tactics and activities.

Advanced Technology Applications for the Economic Development Office
Technology has a vital role to play in targeted marketing and research. This course details the various research sources available in print, through subscriptions, and on the internet. Included are how to find information on companies, how to keep up with activities of those companies, as well as how to identify companies likely to undertake a move or relocation. Sources for demographic data to help your community present the facts about your location are reviewed. This course contains many references to data sources and provides a whole host of tools you can use right away.w

Real Estate Development and Reuse

Every economic development project is linked in some way to a community's infrastructure. In some cases, infrastructure is the deal maker or deal breaker. Economic developers are often responsible for creating a business park, spec building or business incubator. Meeting these responsibilities requires that we are familiar with critical elements of infrastructure. This class is an introduction to the ownership, regulation, terms, definitions and units of measure used in a variety of development infrastructure.

Land and Building Recycling for Economic Development
Brownfields and vacant buildings in urban, suburban and rural areas can be blights or development opportunities. This course describes ways to understand and overcome social, environmental, legal and technical obstacles to find appropriate ways to develop contaminated properties.

Land Development Lab
A hands-on case study of the master-planning of a mixed-use business park. The technique discussed has application to most other types of real estate development.

Selected Principles and Practices of Real Estate Development
The real estate business is complex and multifaceted, but closely related to economic development. This class provides important background in three areas where the economic developer frequently interacts with the real estate business: 1) the terminology of real estate, real estate law and appraisals; 2) the development of speculative buildings; and 3) the preparation and evaluation of RFQs and RFPs to help you find the development experts you may need to help make your real estate development successful.

Understanding the Land Development Process
This class discusses important concepts and techniques related to land development, particularly the development of land for economic development purposes. While the techniques of developing a business or industrial park will be discussed, the same process of market analysis and land planning pertains to most every type of land development. This session is a prerequisite for the Land Development Lab.

Introduction to Transportation and Logistics

It is becoming increasingly more apparent that Economic Developers must possess an understanding of the transportation industry. In a struggling economy, it is incumbent upon the Economic Developer to find efficient and effective ways in which businesses can successfully operate. In addition, promoting a transportation and logistics infrastructure that utilizes cost-saving strategies is a critical component of recruitment and business retention and expansion.

Strategic Planning

Advanced Strategic Planning Theories and Research Techniques
Strategic planning principles and practices can be applied to a myriad of problems and situations encountered by economic developers. This course will offer training in how to use strategic planning in three important application areas: 1) internal strategic plan for your organization; 2) external strategic plan for your geographic area; and 3) strategic plan to guide a large-scale development project, such as a downtown development project, a major tourism project or a high-tech business park. You will learn how to use strategic planning to conceptualize the project and turn that concept into an action-oriented plan that gets results.

Asset Mapping Your Downtown Business District
To effectively redevelop your downtown business district, you need to fully understand its assets and liabilities. Learn how to inventory and map the physical, market, cultural and social assets of your downtown to determine how to best capitalize on its strengths and use this information to develop a stronger market position and increased economic vitality.

Smart Growth Principles for Strategic Planning
"Smart Growth" – Is it just the latest buzzword or here to stay? This session provides an overview of key aspects of the Smart Growth movement and how the economic development profession can—and should—make it a useful tool by incorporating it into our normal strategic planning efforts. 

Strategic Planning Lab
Learn how to structure a strategic planning process for your community or organization that will match your community’s characteristics and your organization’s resources with realistic goals and help leverage the political support you need. This workshop uses case studies and practical examples to give you a concise blueprint on how strategic planning can help you do your job.

Strategic Planning Practices and Principles
The course provides a basic introduction to strategic planning in an economic development environment and builds on the strategic planning session taught in the Basic Courses (BEDCs) or IEDC’s Introduction to Economic Development. It provides a foundation for other strategic planning coursework offered by OU EDI or IEDC. From this course, you will learn how to design, organize and conduct a successful strategic planning process for your organization or area.

Economic Development in the 21stCentury  
Author Daniel Pink states, "We need to teach the future, not our past." No template, model, or standard operating procedure can guide us in this journey to the next major shift in the economy. The global economy has changed, in fundamental ways, the current practice of economic development. What we used to do in practice and process is no longer working. This course will provide a glimpse into the characteristics of the new economy and our shifting roles as economic developers. Participants will discuss the emerging trends and the implications in economic development through a mind-mapping exercise.

Workforce Development

Understanding the Workforce System, Key Players and the Economic Developer’s Role
Over several decades the national workforce system has undergone several significant changes. Delivery of workforce services has been transferred to local and regional programs, and employers have been given a much larger role in the design and implementation of programs through their involvement in local and regional workforce boards. This session will look at the history of the workforce system, its goals and objectives, and its core programs. We will look at the key players in the workforce system, including workforce agencies, education, industry organizations and community programs. We will also look at the critical role of the economic developer and efforts to align workforce and economic development activities.

Understanding Your Workforce and Your Employers Needs
Effective economic development relies on a clear understanding of the characteristics and capabilities of the local and regional workforce, and potential future workforce, and on a clear understanding of the needs of the businesses and employers in the community and region. This session will look at sources of labor market information data and tools including federal (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, O*NET, etc.), state and proprietary sources. We will look at employers’ job profiles, business surveys and other sources of employer talent needs analysis. We will also look at changes in the skill sets required by emerging industries and occupations.

Workforce Development Strategies
Workforce development priorities are based on the identified needs of current and perspective employers in relation to the skills and capabilities of the region’s current workforce. Addressing the existing skills gap will require training and education, talent attraction and retention, employer-employee match making and a fresh look at demographic groups who can become a significant source of new talent, such as the veteran population, single parents, ex-offenders, persons with disabilities and other underserved populations. Strategies may include work-based learning, apprenticeships and entrepreneurship training. Strategies may also include youth leadership, career and technical education, and STEM education. This session will provide examples of successful workforce development programs from knowledgeable workforce and economic development professionals and will allow time for discussion and Q and A about ways to improve and enhance workforce development locally and nationally. 

Bonus Short Courses


This course will identify the major types of incentives used in economic development, describe their effectiveness, and why they are important to the businesses using them. The course will also explore future trends in the development and use of local and state incentive programs. Policies guiding the use of incentives will be discussed, with an emphasis on how to determine whether areas receive an adequate return on investment in using incentives. Finally, you will be taught some of the major approaches to assessing the impact and effectiveness of incentive programs.

Effective International Business Development Strategies

This class offers practical guidance to economic development practitioners on both the cultural do’s and don'ts of working with various foreign business cultures, though primarily Asian and European in scope. The class will be engaged in role playing and group participation. The class provides the fundamentals of organizing a trade mission that serves to inspire business people, generate business and galvanize markets, as well as real world advice on the best methods to accomplish investment efforts both domestically and abroad.

Politics in Economic Development 

Politics. Most of the time we hate it, but know it is part of the world in which economic development must function. Learn practical skills on how to survive (and hopefully thrive) in the political environment.

CEcD Exam Prep Course


The person taking this course should expect to: 

  • Enhance her/his skills in the taking of short answer, essay and oral sections of the CecD exam 
  • Develop the important skill of learning how to answer any potential exam questions
  • Work hard before, during and even after the course


  • Core competencies vital to earning certification are addressed
  • Learning and understanding the CEcD requirements
  • Planning to meet the requirements
  • Understanding the grader
  • Preparing for the exams
  • Taking the exams


Class time is reserved for activities that are best done in a face-to-face setting with a strong emphasis placed upon each section of the exam: multiple choice/short answer, essay and oral.

  • Expect to engage in course discussions, write, present and receive feedback on your work
  • Participants will experience all three components of the CEcD exam, including a mock oral examination with a proctor and three-member grader panel.