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Released July 6, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Competition to attract projects that will boost local economies is becoming more difficult in an increasingly competitive global marketplace and is requiring new approaches by economic developers.

One of those new approaches will be the focus of this year's New South Economic Development Course, an intensive training session for economic development professionals scheduled for Sept. 26-30 at the Grand Casino in Gulfport.

The theme for this year is "Strategies and Approaches to Collaboration in a Competitive Environment." Instruction will focus on teaching participants the latest strategies for dealing with economic development issues in a constant competitive environment. The course's teachings are meant to provide a framework for participants to expand their careers while simultaneously enhancing service to the communities they represent.

Chuck Ueltschey, manager for community services for Mississippi Power Co., is serving as the course director and has been involved in development of the 2004 course. Ueltschey said that collaboration is an important concept in helping economic developers to succeed.

"Our intent this year is to incorporate the concept of a more regional, collaborative approach to economic development that has been necessitated by the competitive nature of the global marketplace," said Ueltschey. "Collaboration is all about economic developers working with each other to make more progress than working independently. This course really represents a fresh approach to economic development training."

This year the course will focus on a more regional perspective. Among the topics will be destination development, financing, environmental issues, strategic planning, and using university research as an engine for economic development.

The five days of sessions will feature more than 15 guest speakers including the following individuals:

  • David Dennis, Federal Reseserve Bank of New Orleans
  • Leland Speed, Mississippi Development Authority
  • Dr. Angeline Dvorak, The University of Southern Mississippi
  • Mike Olivier, Louisiana Department of Economic Development
  • Jeff Dahl, Beau Rivage Resort and Casino
  • Bruce Frallic, Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport
  • Barbara Travis, Mississippi World Trade Center.

The new location for the course this year will be a huge advantage for participants, says Ken Malone, chief operating officer for the Southern Miss campus in Long Beach.

"The Mississippi Gulf Coast and its burgeoning economy provide a unique setting for participants as they discuss strategies for development in their own areas. It is a great opportunity to showcase the region as an example of how some of these development strategies have been successful," said Malone.

The NSEDC is accredited by the International Economic Development Council, 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 sponsored by Mississippi Power and The University of Southern Mississippi and has been offered by the university for more than 10 years.

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 for noncredit or $550 plus tuition for academic credit. Registrations received after August 31 will be assessed a $50 late fee. For more detailed registration information, call (601) 266-6067 or (601) 266-5515.

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


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July 20, 2004 4:10 PM