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Released July 28, 2003


HATTIESBURG - Change is inevitable. But preparation is the master of change. That is the message behind this year's New South Economic Development Course (NSEDC), an intensive training session for economic development professionals scheduled for Sept. 28-Oct. 3 at Hattiesburg's Lake Terrace Convention Center.

The NSEDC is coordinated by The University of Southern Mississippi's Center for International and Continuing Education.

The theme for this year is "Dealing with Change." Instruction will focus on teaching participants the latest strategies for dealing with economic development issues in a constantly shifting environment. The course's teachings are meant to provide a framework for participants to expand their careers while at the same time enhancing service to the communities they represent.

Dr. Angeline Dvorak, Southern Miss vice president for Research and Economic Development, and Jimmy Heidel, director of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, will co-direct the course.

Dvorak said that learning to deal with change is one of the keys to success for today's economic development professionals and their communities.

"Change is the constant," Dvorak said. "The communities, regions and states that learn to manage change, and in fact embrace change, will be the most prosperous. "Economic developers are the rainmakers and visionaries, but also the facilitators, educators and worker bees. They must be multitasking quick studies."

That is not likely to change anytime in the near future as the world economic developers deal with is in a constant state of flux.

"Economic developers live in a dynamic reality as traditional city and county lines blur with the prospects of major industry, as well as high-tech startups," Dvorak said.

Gray Swoope, president of Hattieburg's Area Development Partnership, is one of those dealing with the ever-changing world of economic development. Swoope said that learning to deal with change is crucial.

"Never before has change occurred at such a rapid pace in so many economic arenas," Swoope said. "Our economy is more diverse than it has ever been. The new global environment has not only opened up new doors, but drastically changed the pace at which we work.

"Economic developers must now anticipate change and be prepared to quickly adapt to change by finding new, innovative ways to deal with the challenges our economy poses. Speed and diversity are keys to success."

The NSEDC is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), the largest membership organization serving the economic development profession. The IEDC's mission is to provide leadership and excellence in economic development and to build strong sustainable communities.

The NSEDC is considered equal to the IEDC's Introduction to Economic Development Course and may be applied toward requirements to sit for the Certified Economic Developer Exam.

Registrants who complete the course qualify for admission to the Economic Development Institute and to the IEDC Professional Development Series.

The course is being sponsored by The Mississippi Development Authority, The Mississippi Economic Development Council, The Southeast Mississippi Economic Development Network, The Area Development Partnership of Forrest County, Louisiana Generating LLC, Entergy Corporation and Mississippi Power Company.

In addition to full- and part-time economic and community developers, the NSEDC's instruction will be of benefit to planners, real estate developers, elected officials, utility and transportation personnel and business leaders interested in improving their communities and states.

The fee for participating in the NSEDC is $550, and registrations received after Sept. 12 will be assessed a $50 late fee. For more detailed registration information, call (601) 266-4186.



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August 18, 2003 4:35 PM