WMU News

Economic developers gather on Parkview Campus

June 7, 2004

KALAMAZOO--Some of the state and region's top economic developers are at Western Michigan University's Business Technology and Research Park June 6-11 to teach the tools of their trade to up and comers.

The 10th annual Michigan Economic Development Course is being held in the Southwest Innovation Center in WMU's BTR Park, on the Parkview Campus. The program was launched by Robert G. Miller, WMU associate vice president for community outreach, who discussed the University's economic development efforts at the park. The course is sponsored by WMU's Extended University Programs, the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

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. It is aimed at entry-level development professionals and local elected officials.

"It's exciting to be holding this event in the Business Technology and Research Park for the first time," says Patricia Guenther, director of the course. "The park is an excellent example of successful town-gown economic development efforts."

Course presenters include five senior staff members of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.; Carol Lopucki, state director of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center; George Erickcek, senior regional analyst with the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research; Dan Oegema, economic development coordinator for the city of Grand Rapids; and Susan Lackey, president of the Washtenaw Development Council. Other business experts from Southwest Michigan and around the nation also will make presentations.

Topics range from "Issues in Brownfield Development" and "Small Business Creation and Entrepreneurship" to "Business Development Financing" and "Strategic Planning for Sustaining Community Development."

Classes run Sunday through Friday and the course concludes Friday afternoon with an awards ceremony.

The cost to register was $650 before May 15 or $675 after that date. Course costs include books and handouts, as well as continental breakfasts and lunches. For more information, contact Patricia Guenther at (269) 381-4000 or <pguenther@kazoochamber.com>.

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

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