Benton County Economic Development Director, Jo Ann Lane, Vernon County Economic Development Director, Ben Vickers, and Cedar County Economic Development Director, Nick Allison, all of Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission were three of 170 economic development professionals to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course (HEDC) in April.  Heartland attendees receive fundamental economic development training on topics ranging from business retention and expansion, workforce development, real estate, and entrepreneurship to marketing, finance, ethics, and managing economic development organizations. 

The 2021 HEDC online class included representatives from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Colorado, Minnesota, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico. Attendees were trained by nationally recognized faculty from within the profession of economic development. HEDC is coordinated by the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa and is accredited by the International Economic Development Council. 

“Heartland students learn about a variety of best practices that they can apply back in their own organizations and communities,” says Allen Kunkle, CEcD, HEDC Board Chair.  “Heartland provides a solid foundation upon which each developer can build their base of knowledge and experience.”       

The Heartland Economic Development Course is a partnership of the Kansas Economic Development Alliance, Missouri Economic Development Council, Nebraska Economic Developers’ Association, Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Association, Professional Developers of Iowa, and the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

Attendance at the Heartland Economic Development Course better prepares economic development professionals to serve their communities. It is the beginning of a lifetime of learning in the field of economic development.

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