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UGA launches Georgia Certified Economic Developer program

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia is launching a certification program for Georgia economic developers, the first of its kind in the state, UGA President Jere W. Morehead announced during his 2016 State of the University address this afternoon. The Georgia Certified Economic Developer program will provide training tailored to meet the unique needs of communities throughout the state.

The Georgia-specific program is offered through the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit. The customized curriculum provides economic development professionals training on practical topics that they can immediately apply within their community to help achieve economic success.

“To expand the university’s leadership role in economic development, I am pleased to announce today that the Carl Vinson Institute of Government is launching a new state-wide certification for economic development professionals-called the Georgia Certified Economic Developer program. The new initiative features a three-year curriculum created by experts from across the state who intimately understand Georgia’s unique business landscape,” Morehead said in his speech. “From this point forward, economic development professionals will be able to stay in this state to receive training in an area so central to the vitality of Georgia’s communities. Again, we find the Vinson Institute swiftly adapting to address emerging needs of the state.”

The Georgia Certified Economic Developer program expands on an annual economic development course series that Public Service and Outreach created to help economic development professionals enhance their effectiveness. The first two courses, “Financing Economic Development and Deal Structuring” and “Business Retention and Expansion,” were heavily attended and course participants provided overwhelmingly positive feedback.

The certification program focuses on five key competency areas and allows participants to select from two specialty tracks, Industry Knowledge or Leadership Development. Courses are taught in central locations around the state with rolling course schedules that allow participants to complete certification in as little as three years.

“We saw an incredible opportunity to help provide Georgia professionals with the tools, resources and training they needed to be successful,” said Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum. “Focusing exclusively on Georgia–its laws, industry and nuances–the program provides new and seasoned professionals with the training that’s needed to stay abreast of changes within their industry.”

For more information about the program and to register, see

The Carl Vinson Institute of Government provides training, offers technical assistance and conducts applied research to help state and local governments operate efficiently and effectively and provide improved service to the public.