A Curriculum that Trains
the Mind to Think

The partner universities have developed a core curriculum that specifically addresses the demands of our complex profession. AEDL relies on experienced faculty, industry practitioners, business leaders and the country’s foremost site consultants to present leading-edge strategies and techniques necessary to succeed in the evolving world of quality job creation.

Areas of Focus Include:

  • Sound leadership
  • Disruptive economic development
  • Innovation
  • Project management
  • Negotiation
  • Global challenges
  • Moneyball economic development
  • Communication/media training
  • Marketing in a social media world
  • Managing change
  • The broad execution of economic development
  • Lessons from Mega-projects
  • and more!

“A nicely structured, professional learning and networking experience to engage with like-minded economic development practitioners.”

Jay SchwedlerSumter, South Carolina Economic Development

“AEDL convenes some of the best economic development professionals from across the country to interact and learn from one another's knowledge and experience. AEDL not only equips its participants with meaningful tools to improve teamwork and working relationships but also zeros in on the critical issues that economic developers have to face in our daily work. After almost 20 years in the economic development sector, I found AEDL to be a motivating and refreshing experience!”

Jody Alan LassiterDaville-Boyle County EcD Partnership

“AEDL provides an interactive classroom learning experience from experts in economic development. Your classmates are seasoned professionals from many different community and regional settings who will share their experiences and techniques in solving some of our industry's challenging real-life situations. Networking is a valuable tool at AEDL as we learn that, even though we are from different settings, we commonly share many of the same issues and problems. Working on a team paired with different personality types teaches you to take every team member's opinion into consideration when working to solve the case study problems assigned to your team with a well-rounded answer. This is further enhanced in the open classroom setting when discussing potential answers to each case study.”

Roy BakerOpportunity Florida
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A Hands-On Learning Approach

Hands-on learning is the foundation of the Advanced Economic Development Leadership program with evolving economic and community development issues taught through an experiential, applied learning approach.

With limited lectures and no tests, AEDL immerses participants in a collaborative, team-centric approach that fosters learning through exploration, debate, exercises and team competition. The program attracts practitioners from across the U.S. bringing a wide range of thought, ideas and experiences to these sessions. Through this approach and the diversity of thought represented, participants often learn as much from interaction with fellow professionals as they do from faculty instruction.

“I had an incredibly beneficial experience going through AEDL. As someone who has been in the field for several years, it was great to review some legacy topics and learn new ones. I especially appreciated the media training and strategy discussions. I found it to be one of the more thought-provoking economic development programs.”

Subash Alias
Meet the InstructorsMeet the Instructors

Program Topics

Effective Negotiation Strategies

Dr. Rita Kosnik, TCU

Effective economic development involves negotiation and the art of persuasion. This session explores methods and techniques to enhance negotiation skills and understand how persuasion impacts discussions, presentation, relationships and proposal

Strategic Plans: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Dr. Shannon Campbell, USM

There are more strategic plans on shelves than in implementation. Bill and Shannon have facilitated strategic planning sessions in both public and private-sector organizations and now teach lessons from Advanced’ class strategic economic development plans

Leadership in the New Age of Economic Development

David Rumbarger, President/CEO, Tupelo MS EcD Foundation

An examination of the necessary leadership traits to excel it the evolving world of quality job creation

Creativity, Innovation and Job Creation

Gregg Fraley

Nationally-known speaker and author of Jack’s Notebook leads the class through the application of creativity, innovation and change in community job creation

The Critical Importance of Technology Company Incubation and Job Creation

Karl Kelly, Clemson University

An examination and discussion of two essential books: The Rainforest and Thank You for Being Late.

The Critical Importance of Technology Company Incubation and Job Creation

Lisa Kuuttila, The University of Mexico

An examination and discussion of Victor Hwang’s book, The Rainforest, and entrepreneurship strategies for America’s communities.

Restructuring the Traditional EcD Recruiting Process with Business Model Canvas

Karl Kelly, Clemson

Utilizing the Business Model Canvas to explore the traditional EcD recruiting Model to develop creative new options

Changing Job Creation Strategies: Thinking Five Years from Now

Dr. Bill Smith, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Southern Mississippi

Marketing in the evolving world of economic development. What are the take-aways we need for successfully branding, marketing and targeting prospects?

The Economic Developer’s Role in Education Excellence

Hon. Hartley Powell, Revenue Commissioner for South Carolina; Chm. ACT Advisory Committee and veteran site consultant

How do you prove to a site consultant or company decision-maker that your Community truly has the workforce necessary for the project? An examination of that key question based on class responses

The World is Indeed Flat: FDI & Int’l Trade in this Changing World

Clark Gillespy, Former SVP, Economic Development, Duke Energy

This session, with team exercises, examines global challenges in Foreign Direct Investment and issues of concern in Global Trade in the ever changing and highly politicized world.

Effective Media Communications

The Ammerman Experience