Our business development, retail, and events specialist, Kimberly Allred, graduated this month from the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, a four-month program through the State of Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs.

Created in 1993, the Academy provides training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, planning, and other essentials for community success. In addition, the curriculum features specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development

“The Department of Community Affairs does an outstanding job curating both engaging and insightful content for the Georgia Academy for Economic Development while also providing an opportunity for communities to showcase what they are doing on the forefront of economic development,” Allred said. “I am honored to be a graduate of this great program and look forward to applying what I learned about the field of economic and community development alongside other local leaders in our region.” 

Since its inception, the Academy has provided training for thousands of professional and non-professional economic developers around the state, and since 1998 the Academy has been offered annually in all twelve regions of the state.

This year’s class participants represented various professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from Region 3 of Georgia. The Academy provided graduates the opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.