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Posted: June 4, 2013 6:45 p.m.

Newton leaders finish training program

submitted photo /The Covington News/

Newton County graduates at the May 9 ceremony included (standing, from left): Oxford City Manager Bob Schwartz, county Commissioner Levie Maddox and James Flowers; (sitting, from left): County Chairman Keith Ellis, Covington councilwoman Hawnethia...

Several Newton County leaders recently graduated from a multi-day training program at the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

The academy is designed to provide an opportunity for leaders to learn about the "complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional and state levels," according to a press release.

Developed in 1993, the academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide training; professionals come from Georgia EMC and Georgia Power, while the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support.

The academy’s program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, included 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 focused on leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service and collaborative leadership.

Local elected officials receive certification training credits through the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program, and the program is certified for CEUs through the UGA Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

"One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation," said 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."

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