Dawsonville City Councilman Chris Gaines is the newest Georgia Academy for Economic Development graduate from the 2012 Region 2 Multi-Day Training Program.
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 13 counties in north 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.
The graduation ceremony was held Nov. 7.
Created in 1993 by then-Gov. Zell Miller's Development Council, the Academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide this training in all 12 service delivery regions in Georgia.
"One of the goals for the multi-day regional academies is to encourage multi-county cooperation," said 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."
The academy's multi-day program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, included training in the basics of economic and community development, plus specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism product development, downtown development, quality planning, redevelopment and other essentials for community success.
In addition, the curriculum featured specific leadership skills such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development.
Local elected officials receive certification training credits through the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association for completion of the program. The program is certified for CEUs through the UGA Georgia Center for Continuing Education.
The next Region 2 Georgia Academy for Economic Development will begin in February 2013. For more information, call Kathy Papa at (770) 362-7078.