County leaders graduate from Georgia Academy for Economic Development
Published 5:05 am Friday, December 9, 2011
Special to The Post-Searchlight
The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development recently announced Decatur County graduates from the 2011 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 fourteen 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.
Decatur County graduates at the Nov. 29 ceremony included: Frank Loeffler, Decatur County Board of Commissioners; Dr. Charles T. Stafford, vice chairman of the Decatur County Board of Commissioners; Joyce Barr, CEO, Partnership Housing Affordable to Society Everywhere, Inc.; Aubrey Brown, manager of regional development, CSX Railroad; Bill Palmer, manager, Bainbridge Career Center; and Ann Wells, director of continuing education, Bainbridge College.
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Created in 1993 by then-Gov. Zell Miller’s Development Council, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all 12 service delivery regions in Georgia. The Board of Directors of the Academy consists of 22 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. Georgia EMC and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support to this important program.
“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Corinne Thornton, 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.”
The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, quality planning, redevelopment 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.