WMU News

WMU playing host to economic development course

June 3, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Veteran economic developers from across the state will join forces at Western Michigan University the week of June 9-14 to teach some two dozens beginners the basics of their craft.

The eighth annual Michigan Basic Economic Development Course, to be held at WMU's Fetzer Center, is attracting professionals from around Michigan and the nation. 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 program is one of only 19 in the nation accredited by the International 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.

"Western Michigan University has become a major partner in economic development efforts around the state, so it makes perfect sense that a course like this be hosted on campus," says Patricia Guenther, director of the course and interim director of the University's Office of Business Development Services. "The course is being taught by some of the state's leading economic developers, and they'll be instructing some of the people who will be tomorrow's leaders in this important field."

Course presenters include Kathleen Blake and John Czarnecki of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.; Carol Lopucki, state director of the Michigan Small Business Administration; George Erickcek, senior regional analyst with the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; Tom Ticknor, an economic development consultant with Ticknor and Associates; and Susan Lackey, president of the Washtenaw Development Council; and with other business experts from Southwest Michigan and around the nation.

Topics range from "Community Development: Theory and Practice" and "Marketing Your Community" to "Smart Growth and Infill" 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 was $550 before May 1 or $600 after that date and 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 (269) 387-2714 or <patricia.guenther@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400