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Trent Lott National Center

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, and the first step in pursuing professional certification.

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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 (recieve 4 CMO credits);
  • 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 21 - 23, 2020, in Hattiesburg, MS at The University of Southern Mississippi Trent Lott National Center


The four-day course is $650 or can be taken for graduate credit through the Southern Miss Master of Science in Economic Development program. Early-bird registration is $600 if registered and paid before July 15. 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 tasha.mayFREEMississippi for more information regarding scholarships or visit the scholarship page to apply.


  • 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. Elected officials must attend every session and sign-in to receive CMO credits. 


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 tasha.mayFREEMississippi.


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


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 $124 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 True South Economic Development Group and entering the True South group code of TRU. Reservations must be made by September 8 to receive the special course rate.

Visit the Hotel Indigo website to learn more about the hotel and local attractions. Also, visit the Visit Hattiesburg website to learn more about the area.



iedc logo

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.


Contact Us

Trent Lott National Center
Hattiesburg Campus
2nd Floor

Physical Address
6197 Hwy 49
Hattiesburg, MS 39401

Mailing Address
118 College Drive #5191
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Campus Map