Four earn certification from ECU Economic Development Academy
Wrapping up its second year of continued education and professional training, ECU’s Economic Development Academy saw four members become North Carolina certified economic developers. The certification gives recipients a competitive advantage to boost their local economies and bring prosperity to their communities.
The certification program is offered through a partnership between ECU’s Research, Economic Development and Engagement and the North Carolina Economic Development Association (NCEDA). The program’s curriculum, designed to focus on challenges and opportunities that face North Carolina communities, provides knowledge concerning the practice of economic development.
To earn the certification, recipients must have taken an initial UNC School of Government course, completed six courses available through ECU, and fulfilled a capstone project. Members are nationally reviewed before receiving approval for certification.
2022 certification recipients are:
- Kara Brown, business development manager, Lincoln Economic Development Association
- Nathaniel Dick, business development manager, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC)
- David Frescatore, vice president of energy services, EnergyUnited
- Elizabeth Underwood, workforce development manager, Lake Norman Economic Development
The newly certified developers were recognized during the annual NCEDA conference on June 15 in Wrightsville Beach.
ECU’s director of community engagement Merrill Flood said, “East Carolina University is focused on the economic vitality of communities within eastern North Carolina and the state of North Carolina. Service is in our DNA. Providing continued education and development of economic opportunity in these communities is a key engagement enterprise of ECU. We are pleased to work with the North Carolina Economic Development Association and other partners by offering continued professional development and education through the NC Certified Economic Development course.”
In total, 84 contact hours are required to earn the certification, including courses in data and analytics, innovation and entrepreneurship, retention and expansion, and legal framework. The program is offered to North Carolina economic development personnel, elected officials, business leaders and others interested in the field.
Economic development leaders wanting to participate in the academy can register through ECU’s Continuing Professional Education (CPE) website.