Beauford said the experience was invaluable in allowing her to think outside the box while better understanding the vital role economic development plays in everyday life — in Columbus and beyond.
“It is a win-win situation with economic development providing training while companies get a tax break, Beauford explained. “Taking a stand and making things happen as a leader is one of the most important aspects of being involved in economic development. Based on information I received, I truly can say that our department at Columbus Technical College has captured it’s purpose of how to serve local communities.”
The Academy’s multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, included training in the basics of economic and community development plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, quality planning, redevelopment and other essentials for community success. The curriculum also featured specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, and collaborative leadership.
Created in 1993 by then-Governor Zell Miller’s Development Council, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all 12 service delivery regions in Georgia. Since its inception, 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.
(Information courtesy of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development press release.)