Economic Development Essentials Program
In partnership with the University of Oklahoma, W.A.C.E. has presented three Economic Development Essentials programs.
"This program is designed to provide the chamber professional - CEOs or staff - with a foundation needed for chambers to assume a leadership role in strengthening their local economies," Ken Moore, president/CEO of the Edmond (OK) Chamber, said.
In addition to an overview and discussion of economic development trends, issues and best practices, major components of the 18-hour program include:
- Community Readiness and Assessment;
- Funding Economic Development Operations;
- Business Retention and Expansion;
- Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development;
- Marketing and Business Attraction;
- Building a Strong Economic Development Team; and
- Ethics in Economic Development.
Decades ago, economic development (business attraction, expansion and retention) was the main purpose of most chambers of commerce, but over the years, local government and public-private partnerships gradually took that function away from the chambers.
Today, more and more business leaders are calling for local chambers to re-engage in economic development and lead efforts in their communities to promote job creation.
W.A.C.E.'s Economic Development Essentials program has trained over 130 chamber professionals since it was first held in 2011.