Economic Development Specialists Complete State Training Course

Forty-six economic development professionals from Tennessee and other states graduated from the seventh annual Tennessee Basic Economic Development Course (TBEDC) on Thursday in Nashville. This week-long course is one of the eight economic development courses offered by the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (CIS), and is considered the cornerstone of the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer (TCED) professional certification program. The course also is accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

Attendees learned best practices in economic and community development, new methods and programs to promote job growth and investment, and discussed emerging trends and factors that shape local and regional economics. This year’s diverse class had a range of participants that included chamber of commerce and economic and community development organization professionals, elected and appointed officials, state government agency staff, community planners, airport authority personnel, bankers, business leaders and real estate developers.

The week started off with a high-energy afternoon session that geared everyone for the week ahead. It became obvious the first day that the class participants were committed to making a change in their communities and the state as a whole. “The interest, engagement, and knowledge of the participants made this truly a unique experience,” said Erin Ketelle, TBEDC course director and TCED director.

Over the course of the week, the class heard presentations from more than 30 expert practitioners in many specialties of economic development. Participants said one of the biggest benefits of the experience, beyond the presented material, were the relationships built over the week. Case studies, group work, class discussions and after class activities gave everyone the opportunity to create a broad network across Tennessee. “We were so fortunate to have amazing nationally recognized Tennessee economic development professionals as instructors at the TBEDC,” Ketelle said.   

The week closed with the TBEDC graduation ceremony. Certificates were presented by CIS Executive Director Dr. Paul Jennings and Ketelle. Several students spoke during the ceremony to share their favorite experiences from the week.

For more information about economic development training opportunities, please contact Ketelle at or (615) 532-4926

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