WMU News

WMU to host economic development course

May 9, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- Economic developers from around the nation will gather at Western Michigan University the week of June 3-8 for a course certified by the American Economic Development Council.

The seventh annual Michigan Economic Development Course to be held at WMU's Fetzer Center is attracting professionals from as far away as Missouri and Arkansas. Sponsored by the Office of Business Development Services in WMU's Haworth College of Business, the course is aimed at entry-level development professionals and local elected officials.

The MEDC is one of only 20 programs in the nation accredited by the American Economic Development Council. The 30-hour course enables participants to qualify for that organization's Economic Development Institute, and is the first step for professionals who hope to acquire the designation of Certified Economic Developer.

"We're honored that the AEDC has again certified WMU to host this course," says Patricia Guenther, director of the course and interim director of the University's Office of Business Development Services. "The selection criteria are rigorous, and accredited universities must show a strong commitment to university-business partnerships and have the resources to enhance economic development in their region."

Course presenters include Barbara Gordon of the city of Kalamazoo, Dan Ogema from the city of Grand Rapids, George Erickcek of the W.E. Upjohn Institute and James Hettinger of Battle Creek Unlimited, along with other business experts from Southwest Michigan and around the nation.

Topics range from "Community Development in Theory and Practice" and "Small Business Creation and Entrepreneurship" to "Business Development Financing" and "Issues in Brownfield Development."

Registration begins at 3 p.m. Sunday, followed by an orientation at 4 p.m. and the course's first session at 5:15 p.m. Classes run Monday through Friday, with Wednesday afternoon reserved for recreational activities, including fishing, golf or shopping. The course concludes Friday afternoon with an awards ceremony.

The cost to register is $500, which includes books and handouts as well as continental breakfasts and lunches. Registration is limited and space is filling quickly. For more information, contact WMU's Office of Business Development Services at (616) 387-2714 or Jill Shoemaker at <jill.shoemaker@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
616 387-8400