Roswell Inc’s business development and outreach coordinator, Debra Ewing, graduated last 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
“Going through this program helped me outline and better understand the important aspects of economic development,” Ewing said. “Cities and counties don’t experience isolated problems when it comes to economic development. One of the great things this program instilled in all of us was the value of collaboration – that when we work together, we become stronger as a region and more competitive on a national and international scale.”
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.
“One of the goals for the multi-day regional Academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation,” says Corinne Thornton, Director of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development.  “Many times, the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue.”
This year’s class participants represented a number of professional and non-professional economic development fields, including elected officials, public servants, business leaders, educators, and social service providers from ten counties in Region 3 Georgia. The Academy provided each of the graduates an opportunity to gain a unique understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional, and state levels.
Ewing joins 10 other Academy graduates from Fulton County this year: Chandra Farley, Emily Giordano, Robert Ross, Dawn Price, Robert Hughes, Sara Saxner, Lauren Price, Trudy Smith, Hattie Portis-Jones, and Bianca Howard.