May 25, 2019  

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Southern Miss to Offer ‘Basic Community Economic Development’ Course

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The University of Southern Mississippi will offer an introductory course emphasizing elected officials’ role in community and economic development on Tuesday, April 24 on the Hattiesburg campus. The course is the first of its kind to be offered in this region of the state.

The “Basic Community Economic Development” course will be held from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at the Trent Lott National Center for Excellence in Economic Development and Entrepreneurship. The cost is $25 per participant and attendance will be limited to no more than 75 city and county elected officials from South Mississippi.

Partners joining the Trent Lott National Center include the Mississippi Municipal League; Mississippi Association of Supervisors; Mississippi Manufacturers Association; Gulf Coast Business Council; Mississippi Economic Council and the Mississippi Main Street Association.

“During my time at Southern Miss, several economic developers have remarked they felt local elected officials would benefit from the university offering a fundamentals of economic development program,” said Rick Duke, director of the Trent Lott National Center at Southern Miss. “With support from the Mississippi Municipal League and the Mississippi Association of Supervisors and the Gulf Coast Business Council we were able to make it happen.”

The course will take a comprehensive look at the steps that set the stage for broad job creation opportunities. Other topics include regionalism -- sharing scarce resources and accomplishing economic development activities, which is a growing trend around the country.

In addition, a panel will discuss the legal mechanisms through which public/private partnerships are developed, mechanisms many cities and towns don’t currently have in place. Speakers include an attorney from Birmingham, Ala. and a community economic developer from the City of Pascagoula.

Elected officials will also hear from experts representing organizations such as Miss. Development Authority and the Mississippi Main Street Association.

Ellisville, Miss. Mayor Tim Waldrup said the course will provide far-reaching benefits. “By combining the economic development practitioners’ insights with that of local elected officials and academia, we can better learn how to address the growth of our communities in the future,” said Waldrup.

“This course is designed to provide local officials the tools to more successfully understand and implement economic development in local communities.”

The Trent Lott National Center plans to grow to regional offerings across the state.

To register for the “Basic Community Economic Development” course, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 601.266.5418.

For more information, contact Alison Crumpton at 601.266.5833. The course will be held at the Trent Lott National Center and the parking lot located directly behind the building will be reserved for those in attendance.