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Officials complete economic development training
Regional program offered annually
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Forsyth County News


The next Region Two Academy for Economic Development will begin in August. For more information, contact Kathy Papa at (770) 362-7078 or email

Four people from Forsyth County recently graduated from an economic development training program.

Offered through the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, the multi-day training program included participants from 11 counties in northeast Georgia.

Those attending from Forsyth included County Commissioners Cindy Jones Mills and Brian Tam, as well as businessmen Brian Bolick and Brad Lurie.

The academy provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the complexities of economic and community development on the local, regional and state levels.

Corinne Thornton, director, said in a statement that one of the goals is to “encourage multi-county cooperation.”

“Many times the participants discover the issues facing their community are the same as those facing other communities in their region, and can then combine limited resources to address the issue,” she said.

Created in 1993, the academy assembles a cross section of economic development professionals and resources to provide training in 12 service delivery regions throughout the state.

Since its organization, the academy has provided training for thousands of professional and nonprofessional economic developers around the state. Since 1998, the academy has been offered annually.

Georgia Electric Membership Corporation and Georgia Power provide facilitators for the program, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs provides staff support.

The program, taught one day a month over a four-month period, includes training in the basics of economic and community development.

In addition, there are specialized segments on business recruitment and retention, tourism products and downtown development and other essentials for community success.

The curriculum also features specific leadership skills, such as consensus building, ethics in public service, collaborative leadership and other segments needed for effective community leadership in economic development.