The ICI Academy offers a variety of training options including online and in-person courses of various lengths. Each session is grounded in research, relevant to policy, and proven through practice. Using hands-on educational experiences, the Indiana Communities Institute aims to help community leaders address modern planning and development challenges in pursuit of building stronger, more sustainable neighborhoods, towns, cities, counties, and regions. 

Browse our workshops and courses below. Check back often for updates or sign up for our e-newsletter.

 

Online Workshops

This workshop is back by popular demand. The thought of wealth conjures many typical images, but in the context of communities the concept goes far beyond fast cars and private planes. Every community is filled with resources related to eight different capitals. The Comprehensive Community Wealth Approach is a theoretical model that can support practical efforts to map assets, identify issues, prioritize goals, and allocate resources in support of people-first and place-based community economic development. Get to know your community’s capitals and consider how various decisions impact them now and in the future. 

  • January 11, 2022 | Live Online Session | 1 pm – 2 pm | Free 

 

Grants are an essential part of many community development efforts. Finding and pursuing them can often be overwhelming. This short, one-hour webinar will provide helpful tips to get started without an avalanche of information to bog down productive next steps.

  • February 17, 2022 | Live Online Session |10 am – 11 am | Free 

 

Economic developers are increasingly asked to consider new and creative ways to support growth and development in the communities they serve. A two-part series leads into the 2023 Indiana Economic Development Course, but these one-hour, online sessions are open to anyone involved with the diverse world of community and economic development.

  • The Power of Travel: Tourism as Community Economic Development | TBA | Live Online Session | Free
  • Making Places That Matter: Place Attachment and What it Means for Your Community Economic Development Efforts | TBA | Live Online Session  | Free

 

Change is constant in communities, whether it is realized or not. Dealing with that change can also be a constant frustration—especially when moving beyond planning and into action. Creative and adaptable solutions are required. This workshop explores change while providing tips and tools dealing with and, ultimately, embracing it through co-creation.

  • March 16, 2022 | In-Person, Fishers, IN | 9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $150 |

Data is important but knowing where to find it and how to best use and share it can be a daunting undertaking. This interactive workshop explores where to find it and how to best use it. Specifically, participants will explore the Census and related resources, experiment with technology such as GIS, and examine tools such as surveys. The all-day session on data provides a helpful equation for avoiding pitfalls and maximizing information in pursuit of comprehensive community economic development. Bring your laptop or tablet to this workshop for a ‘hands-on learning’ experience.

  • April 26, 2022 | Ball State University Alumni Center, Muncie, IN | 9:30 am – 3:30 pm | $150 

 

Offered annually for more than 35 years, our week-long Indiana Economic Development Course—the official “basic course” for the International Certified Economic Developer Certification—offers intensive training in the basic concepts, methods, and strategies of economic, industrial, business, entrepreneurial, workforce, and community development. It is a comprehensive educational experience in the theory and practice of holistic approaches to building and sustaining vibrant communities. 

  • May 16-20, 2022 | Horizon Convention Center, Muncie, IN | Five-Day Course: Monday, 9:00 am – Friday, 11:30 am | $695 (scholarships available) 

 

Every community has a story, one that is authentic and unfinished. Why it matters and how it’s told relates to concepts such as engagement, pride, and place attachment while impacting endeavors such as economic development, talent retention, and destination marketing. How to uncover community stories, but also how to translate them across mediums and to various audiences for the betterment of the entire community is both an art and a science. Participants will explore concepts and tools related to storytelling, marketing, messaging, and more.

  • September 20, 2022 | In-Person, BSU Alumni Center| $150  

 

Economic and demographic shifts continually and increasingly test communities of all sizes. To remain relevant and to thrive, community leaders must tackle challenges and pursue opportunities in a comprehensive and creative way. These ongoing changes and the need for new approaches demonstrate the value of community development. It is necessary for community leadership, both official and unofficial, to undertake the training required to build capacity and help pursue strategies that put people and places first.

Experts with decades of community development experience lead participants through seven core sessions over 2.5 days with exercises and conversations facilitated throughout. This training is designed for elected officials, community leaders, engaged citizens, and anyone who is passionate about where they live and dedicated to making it even better. 

  • November 16-18, 2022 | In-Person, Ivy Tech Community College, Muncie, IN | 2.5 Day Course:
    | $495 | Register Now

 

In consultation with partner state associations of regional councils and the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Indiana Communities Institute has developed a series of courses aimed at furthering regional leadership skills within the fields of community and economic development. Participants who complete each course will earn a Regional Leader Certificate

These courses range in length (from one hour to multiple days) and in delivery format (online, in-person, or blended). Some trainings are customized based on policies and programs in the participating state. Others are available to all regardless of geography. Funding from EDA makes each course possible for free or at a deeply discounted, at-cost rate. Any associated travel is the responsibility of each participant. 

The workshops listed below are only available to members of EDA-affiliated organizations. Participation is contingent upon meeting this requirement, which will be confirmed. Workshops are listed first by format (online or in-person) and then chronologically. Participants must register separately for each workshop.

Online Offerings

Whether just beginning a career within the broad field of community economic development or a long-time practitioner, the tools deployed during this course will help you recognize your own unique working style and evaluate your professional strengths. The expert-guided process, centered on CliftonStrengths, allows honest exploration of current and future career opportunities to ensure full talent maximization.

Pre-work required in the weeks prior to the live, online session. 

  • January 26, 2022 | Live Online Session (pre-work required) | 10 am – 2 pm | Free 
  • February 2, 2022 | Live Online Session (pre-work required) | 10 am – 2 pm | Free  

 

To successfully impact the communities and regions they serve, regional leaders must first ensure their development organizations are managing fiscal and administrative responsibilities. Experts will share practice and proven advice based in research and real-world experiences.

Pre-work required in the weeks prior to the live, online session. 

  • February 16, 2022 | Live Online Session (pre-work required) | 10 am – 1 pm | Free 
  • March 9, 2022 | Live Online Session (pre-work required) | 10 am – 1 pm | Free 

 

Managing projects in an effective and efficient way requires a certain set of skills. Participants will learn and practice various processes and strategies. Helpful tools will be provided.

Pre-work required in the weeks prior to the live, online session.

  • February 23, 2022 | Live Online Session (pre-work required) | 10 am – 1 pm | Free 
  • March 23, 2022 | Live Online Session (pre-work required) | 10 am – 1 pm | Free 

 

This one-day, online, and interactive session is designed to give community economic development organizations a home-field advantage when it comes to addressing housing issues. A trendy topic, housing policy is often considered within a limiting geographic scope and/or without proper quality of life context. Tips, tools, and guidance for how to address housing needs through a regional approach and broader-based strategy are shared. 

  • June 29, 2022 | Live Online Session | 10 am – 2 pm | Free | Registration closes June 22 or when sold out 
  • July 13, 2022 | Live Online Session | 10 am – 2 pm | Free | Registration closes July 6 or when sold out | Register Now! 

 

In-Person Offerings

Indiana Local Government Finance Part 2 is the second of two sequential trainings covering the mechanics of Indiana local government taxes and spending and how it relates to community economic development. This two-day course is designed build off of the first session and dig deeper into topics related to budgets, rates, development incentives, and more. The special discounted rate, made possible in partnership with the Economic Development Administration, includes instruction, materials, and provided meals.

Day 1 will be from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Day 2 will be from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

  • January 19-20, 2022 | Ball State University Alumni Center, Muncie, Indiana | $50 (normally $395 and made available at a discounted rate in partnership with the Economic Development Administration) 

 

Organizational leadership is an opportunity for community economic developers to explore how their organization functions within the larger ecosystem. It also examines how effective your organization is at using capital, human, and infrastructural resources while considering how organizations and individuals can have an even greater impact.

This is a hybrid workshop and includes a one-day, in-person session augmented by pre-work done online.

  • Illinois | Coming Soon| Location TBD | 9 am – 4 pm | Cost TBD (by ILARC) | Registration deadlines are at the discretion of ILARC | Registration coming soon
  • Michigan | April 6, 2022 | Lansing Community College - West Campus, Lansing MI | 9 am – 4 pm | $70 (by MAR) 

Note: The Organizational Leadership workshop for Indiana was offered in 2021. 

     

    Economic and demographic shifts continually and increasingly test communities of all sizes. To remain relevant and to thrive, community leaders must tackle challenges and pursue opportunities in a comprehensive and creative way. These ongoing changes and the need for new approaches demonstrate the value of community development. It is necessary for regional leadership to undertake the training required to build capacity and help pursue strategies that put people and places first. Experts with decades of community development experience lead participants through seven core sessions over 2.5 days with exercises and conversations facilitated throughout. 

    • Indiana | April 19-21, 2022 | Ball State Alumni Center, Muncie 
    • Illinois | TBA | Bloomington, IL (venue TBD) | Cost TBD (by ILARC) | Registration deadlines are at the discretion of ILARC
    • Michigan | June 21-23, 2022 | Lansing Community College - West Campus, Lansing, MI  | Cost TBD (by MAR) | Registration deadlines are at the discretion of MAR 

     

    This is the first of two sequential trainings covering the mechanics of local government taxes and spending and how it relates to community economic development. This two-day course is designed to give the staff in any kind of organization involved in community economic development a functional understanding of local public finance. Content is customized based on the state in which it is offered.

    Day 1 will be from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Day 2 will be from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

    • Illinois | Date TBD (between November 2022 and February 2023) | Location TBD | Cost TBD (by ILARC) | Registration coming soon
    • Michigan | Date TBD (between November 2022 and February 2023) | Location TBD | Cost TBD (by MAR) | Registration coming soon

    Note: The Local Government Finance Part 1 workshop for Indiana was offered in 2021.

     

    This is the second of two sequential trainings covering the mechanics of local government taxes and spending and how it relates to community economic development. This two-day course builds off of Local Government Finance 1 and digs deeper into topics related to budgets, rates, development incentives, and more. Each training uses customized content for your specific state.

    Day 1 will be from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm and Day 2 will be from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

    • Illinois | Date TBD (offered between November 2022 and February 2023) | Location TBD | Cost TBD (by ILARC) | Registration coming soon
    • Michigan | Date TBD (offered between November 2022 and February 2023) | Location TBD | Cost TBD (by MAR) | Registration coming soon

     

    Browse our calendar of events for a list of all upcoming offerings by the Indiana Communities Institute. 

    ICI Event Calendar

    Questions?

    For inquiries about our services and events, including the ICI Academy, please contact us