By Krista Klaus
Tina Chace, Director of Business Development for the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council (LSEDC), was one of 88 economic development professionals to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course (HEDC) on April 22-26, 2019.
Attendees of the intensive economic development course received fundamental training on business retention and expansion (BRE), workforce development, real estate, and entrepreneurship, as well as marketing, finance, ethics and management of economic development organizations.
“The HEDC intensive course was an invaluable opportunity to learn the industry’s best practices from some of the most respected economic developers out there,” Chace said. “The program also encouraged us to build long-term relationships with our peers throughout the region, and I look forward to collaborating with other organizations in the KC metro on issues and projects in the future.”
Attendees stayed at Adams Pointe Conference Center in Blue Springs and spent an afternoon learning about Lee’s Summit’s successful educational ecosystem and entrepreneurial environment. The day included a tour of Summit Technology Academy (STA), a panel discussion hosted by The Bridge Space in Downtown Lee’s Summit, and a self-guided walking tour of Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street (DLSMS).
LSEDC President Rick McDowell welcomed Heartland attendees to STA and kicked off the walking tour by providing general demographic information and a history of Lee’s Summit and Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street.
“LSEDC is always grateful for the opportunity to showcase two of Lee’s Summit’s greatest community assets to HEDC attendees,” McDowell said. “Lee’s Summit has built an educational ecosystem that serves as a national workforce model for K-12 and higher-educational collaborations, and our award-winning historic Downtown is the envy of communities throughout the region and the Midwest.”
The 2019 HEDC class included representatives from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and South Dakota 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 experience a variety of presentations, best practices and networking opportunities that they can apply back in their own organizations and communities,” said HEDC Board Chair Allen Kunkle, CEcD. “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, Professional Developers of Iowa, Missouri Economic Development Council, Nebraska Economic Developers’ Association, South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development, and the Oklahoma Professional Economic Development Association.