2017-12-07 / News

Jones is among graduates at Econ. Development Academy


Araina Reaves, Sharon Jones, and Jason Coley are the most recent graduates at the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. Araina Reaves, Sharon Jones, and Jason Coley are the most recent graduates at the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. Sharon Jones of Wilkes County, Araina Reaves of the Georgia Electric Membership Cooperation, and Jason Coley of Georgia Power are the most recent graduates of the 2017 Region 7 Multi-Day Training Program conducted by the board of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.

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.

Created in 1993, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all twelve service delivery regions in Georgia. The Board of Directors of the Academy represents 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 in all 12 regions of the state. 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 multiday 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.”

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. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development. Local elected officials may receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of this program.

The next Region 7 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in August, 2018.

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