MUNCIE, Indiana – Ball State University is creating a training program to boost the skills of regional economic development leaders in six Midwestern states.
The Indiana Communities Institute (ICI), which operates in the Miller College of Business at Ball State, has received $885,000 from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for a three-year program to develop and deliver an educational series in the six states served by the EDA’s Chicago office. These states are Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.
The program is tailored for regional planning organizations and federally designated economic development districts. Individuals earn a regional leadership certificate, demonstrating that they have completed courses and have the knowledge to accelerate and deepen their impacts in community economic development.
“Economic development is a major issue for every region in the Midwest,” said David Terrell, ICI’s executive director. “The need for this specific type of training and certification has been established through numerous discussions with our colleagues through state and national professional associations.”
He said the project will benefit the public by further educating and developing personnel working in regional organizations, particularly those designated by EDA as economic development districts.
Terrell noted these personnel work for public serving agencies offering professional services to local and regional governments to finance and develop public infrastructure and other public service programs. Training and certification will be customized in concert with these organizations to address gaps in information, training, and experience among the staff.
Starting in late 2019, participants will spend a total of 11 days learning from Ball State staff and expert practitioners in the fields of study. Courses include Local Government Finance, Organizational Leadership, Community Development, Project Management, Fiscal Management, and Administration.
To develop the project, ICI will partner with Ball State’s Sponsored Projects Administration, Center for Business and Economic Research, and Bowen Center for Public Affairs, as well as universities and professional organizations in other states.