True South Basic Economic Development Course


This is an introductory course exposing participants to the fundamentals and practice of creating jobs, increasing wealth, improving the tax base and enhancing a community’s quality-of-life, the first step in pursuing professional certification.


The True South Basic Economic Development Course is designed for community leaders and stakeholders who participate in the process of community economic development.

Typical conference attendees include:

  • chamber of commerce, economic, and community development organization professionals; 
  • elected and appointed officials;
  • government agency staff;
  • community planners;
  • utility personnel;
  • bankers;
  • business leaders;
  • real estate brokers and developers;
  • community volunteers and;
  • students enrolled in the Masters of Economic Development program. 


September 17 - 20, 2018, in Hattiesburg, MS at The University of Southern Mississippi Trent Lott National Center



The 2018 True South agenda includes a keynote address from senior site selection consultant, John Longshore with Global Location Strategies in Greenville, South Carolina. To view the full list of speakers and topics, click on the agenda link below.   

2018 True South Agenda


Early registration is $600 before July 14 and then increases to $650


can be taken for graduate credit through the Southern Miss Master of Science in Economic Development Program.

The registration fee covers course materials, instruction, selected meals and refreshment breaks. It does not cover hotel and other travel expenses. 

Scholarships are available. Contact for more information regarding scholarships or click on the link to the right.


A block of rooms has been reserved for True South participants at the new Hotel Indigo, 103 South 30th Avenue, Hattiesburg, MS 39401 at a special course rate of $139 nightly plus tax. The hotel does not serve breakfast. However, several local restaurants are within walking distance. Participants should make their own reservations by visiting the reservation link at Hotel Indigo and entering the True South group code of TSG. Reservations must be made by September 1 to receive the special course rate.

Visit the Hotel Indigo website to learn more about the hotel and local attractions.  


  • Managing an Economic Development Organization
  • Ethics in Economic Development
  • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Workforce Development
  • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development
  • Marketing and Attraction
  • Strategic Planning
  • Real Estate Development
  • Economic Development Finance
  • Community Development


Participants are required to be present at all classes offered in order to receive credit for the course.


Cancellations and refund requests must be made in writing to the True South Planning Committee. Requests must be received by August 31 to receive full refund less a $25 processing fee. Requests received September 1 or after will not receive a refund. Substitutions are allowed. 

For course cancellation assistance, please contact Tasha May at 601-266-5507 or email at


The attire for the True South Basic Economic Development Course is business casual. You may want to bring a light coat or sweater as rooms may get cold



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The course is accredited by the International Economic Development Council. It fulfills one of the prerequisites for those who wish to take the examinations for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation.