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Online Training Course: Economic Development Strategic Planning

Date: August 12 - 13, 2021

Time: 11:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. ET

Location: Online


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This highly interactive course lets participants work in small teams to help understand the complexity of strategic planning and its challenges. Economic developers must build consensus among board members, stakeholders and the community as a whole, creating a unified vision for the future. Learn techniques to build consensus among stakeholders who represent different values and interests. Also, participants will learn the quantitative techniques used to better understand their community including: location quotients, shift share, input-output and cluster analyses. Explore project assessment methods for setting priorities and measuring your plan's impact.


Course Highlights:

• Stakeholder analysis, structuring participation, planning fundamentals
• Consensus building, group facilitation and conflict
• Defining geography, competitive advantage and SWOT
• Determining vision, mission, goals and objectives
• Demand-side strategies and supply-side strategies
• Identifying projects, strategy formation and implementation
• Setting realistic benchmarks and measuring success
• Exploring the use of dashboard indicators



August 12


Introduction to Planning

This session will examine the benefits of an economic development plan and will provide an overview of the various stages in the strategic planning process. The session will also outline the goals and expectations for the course and participants will be asked to share their experiences from prior strategic planning efforts.


Organizing for ED Strategic Planning

One of the most important aspects of strategic planning is the pre-planning phase. Practitioners need to know whom the plan is serving and must organize a team that will work together throughout the process. This session will discuss the values and cultures that the planning team must build upon or establish during formation. After the pre-planning phase, the practitioner must establish a sense of ownership and consensus among those participating in the process, as well as in the general community. Once a community’s goals are established, it is important to look internally at the capacity of the economic development organization (EDO) to implement the plan. The EDO may need to adjust the budget and staffing, as well as identify additional resources to implement special projects.


Consensus Building/Stakeholder Ownership

In a recent examination of successful economic development efforts, consensus- building was highlighted as a key activity for moving the planning process forward. Stakeholders must have ownership of the plan. This means that specific roles must be defined throughout the process. This session will examine various methods to engage stakeholders and keep them involved in the process. Although building consensus takes time, it is imperative if the process is to succeed.




Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategies

By establishing a clear vision with an understandable mission statement, the team can develop goals in a more effective manner. This session will discuss this widely overlooked but extremely important phase of the process. Leadership involvement, organizing for accountability and starting the prioritization of projects will be included.


Techniques for Assessing Economic Data

The strategic planning process requires a great deal of analysis to understand the forces at work in the community. This session will discuss how to gather information on the local community, including an economic assessment and an analysis of real and perceived strengths and weaknesses.


August 13


Strategic Project/Initiative Identification and Implementation

One key element to consider when creating an action plan is how to prioritize the projects that will help achieve the plan’s goals. The process for prioritizing includes determining where resources are coming from and the benefits and outcomes for each project. This critical phase of the planning process identifies the major initiatives and programs that the overall plan will address.


Analysis for ED Strategic Planning

This session will introduce methods to do an economic base analysis, including location quotients, shift-share and specialization ratios. Input-output analysis and cluster analysis will also be reviewed, as well as a discussion on how data areused, interpreted and applied to meet future needs of the community. The planning process will be influenced by the type of data collected and the conclusions drawn from the data.





Although listed as the final step to the planning process, the choice of benchmarks and ways in which to monitor progress need to be considered. At this stage, specific measurements must be set in place along with a process to measure success. This includes tapping into other resources and leveraging information already available in the community. This session will also look at how annual reports and Dashboard Indicators can be used as a tool to communicate progress toward plan goals.


Case Study Review & Discussion

Participants will be provided a case study and asked to work in groups to apply concepts learned throughout the course. Also, the facilitators will serve on a panel to answer questions and provide recommendations to address any challenges or successes associated with economic development planning. Participants will have an opportunity to discuss what has been most helpful to them throughout the workshop as well as areas that require more attention.


* Agenda subject to change

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, attendance at all sessions on day 1 (Thursday) and day 2 of the course (Friday), as well as your participation in the interactive course activities are required to earn full credit. Partial credit is not given.**



Jim Damicis
Senior Vice President
Camoin 310
Scarborough, MA


Joshua Devine, CEcD
Director of Racial Economic Equity
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
Pittsburgh, PA 


Jon Roberts
TIP Strategies
Austin, TX


  CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.




By Jul 2

Jul 3 - Jul 30

After Jul 30

IEDC Member








Full Time Student**




** Copy of current transcript required.

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Individual paying by check or purchase order: Click this button to download a form (PDF) if you are paying by check or purchase order. Form must be faxed or mailed, and accompanied by payment.

Refunds less a $75 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: prodev@iedconline.org at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $75 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.