Day 5: What Do I Need to Know?

What do I need to know?  A pretty broad question.  Sorry.  The intent of this blog is to offer learning opportunities.  Economic Development is a profession.  I sort of get bent out of shape when a large ED organization board hires someone with absolutely no economic development experience.  I started in a small town and worked my way up.  I wish our profession could do a better job of marketing what we do.  I know we have a tough job when my parents and my kids cant explain what I do!  I strongly encourage to join your state association and the International Economic Development Association, IEDC.  Make sure you attend the state conferences.  They are excellent for networking and normally have some good training sessions.  If you are a small organization you may not be able to afford IEDC but I would make it a priority.  The conferences can also be a bit expensive but they have a nice website with great resources.  IEDC offers a certification program too.  Im afraid I never completed my certification.  I never took the test.  No I have been in the business for so long, Im not sure it is worth the expense.  But as a young person just staring out, I would highly encourage you to complete the program.  There is also the National Development Council which offers a certification which gives you the designation of Economic Development Finance Professional, EDFP.  I did take this course and it was excellent.  There is also the Community Development Society which offers some excellent seminars.  There are regional economic development associations such as Mid America Economic Development Council or Southern Economic Development Council.  These also have very good conferences.  The point is join a professional economic development association and get involved.  I was fortunate to be President of the Professional Developers of Iowa, PDI, and the Iowa Community Development Society.  Both of these duties made me appreciate our profession and introduced me to many wonderful people.  Always take advantage of learning opportunities.  Next:  What is my product?

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