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Posted: June 6, 2010 12:30 a.m.

County leaders graduate from econ. academy

The Board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development recently announced Newton County graduates from the 2010 Region Five 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 12 counties in Northeast 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.

 Newton County graduates at the May 6 ceremony included Mayor Kim Carter, City of Covington; Ray Cheek, Key Accounts Representative, Snapping Shoals EMC; Kathy Morgan, Chairman of Newton County Board of Commissioners; Mayor Jerry Roseberry, City of Oxford; and Commissioner Nancy Schulz, Newton County Board of Commissioners.

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 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.

“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” said 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 important program.

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, and the program is certified for 3.25 CEUs through the UGA Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

The next Region Five Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in February 2011. For more information on this, contact Malisa Thompson at (404) 326-1048 or by email at malisa.thompson@dca.ga.gov.

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