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Posted: May 20, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Locals graduate from Ga. ED Academy

submitted photo /The Covington News/

Newton County graduates at the May 8 ceremony included: Dave Bernd, Serra Phillips, and James Johnson pictured with Pat Merritt (Georgia EMC) and Rope Roberts (Georgia Power Company).

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 Region 5 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.

Dave Bernd, Serra Phillips and James Johnson were Newton County’s three graduates.

Created in 1993, 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 represent 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, planning, and other essentials for community success.

The next Region 5 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in February 2015. For more information on this, please contact Kathy Papa at 770-362-7078 or by email at Kathy.papa@dca.ga.gov.

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