Basic Economic Development Course Celebrates 40 Years

Over the past 40 years, more than 2,500 economic developers have taken their first career steps at Georgia Tech. The Basic Economic Development Course, presented by the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute and accredited by the International Economic Development Council, began in 1967 as the first course of its kind in the country. This year’s course will be held March 13-16 at Georgia Tech’s Global Learning and Conference Center.

“We are proud to be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Basic Economic Development Course here at Georgia Tech,” said Martha Schoonmaker, manager of professional development at the Enterprise Innovation Institute. “Georgia Tech was founded in the 1880s to promote the economic development of the state of Georgia, and that gives the Basic Course even more credibility as we continue to advance economic developers’ careers and communities nationwide.”

Nearly 100 participants will explore a number of core topics during the four-day course, including: community development; strategic planning; marketing and attraction; business retention and expansion; workforce development; organizational management; finance; real estate development and reuse; strategic planning; marketing; workforce development; creating entrepreneurs; and trends in economic development. The program is especially designed for new professionals with public and private agencies, chamber of commerce staff, public utilities personnel, local elected officials and volunteers supporting economic development.

This year’s program will also feature a special guest: Bob Cassell, director of Georgia Tech’s Basic Economic Development Course from its inception in 1967 until 1993. Cassell served as a principal research scientist at the Georgia Tech’s Economic Development Laboratory, where he authored numerous economic analyses and edited the Georgia Development News for 15 years. He has conducted seminars and workshops on community and industrial development and evaluation procedures throughout the United States.

For more information on this course and other professional development services offered by Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, contact Martha Schoonmaker (404-894-0332); E-mail: (; or visit

Enterprise Innovation Institute
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Media Relations Contact: John Toon (404-894-6986); E-mail: (

Writer: Nancy Fullbright