State and community leaders graduate from South Carolina economic development training programs

Five obtain S.C. Certified Economic Developer status by completing S.C. Advanced Symposium and more than 40 graduate from S.C. Economic Development Institute

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The S.C. Department of Commerce (S.C. Commerce) and S.C. Economic Developers’ Association (SCEDA) today announced that approximately 45 state and community leaders have graduated from two statewide economic development training programs. Five individuals completed the S.C. Economic Developers’ Advanced Symposium (Advanced Symposium), while more than 40 graduated from the S.C. Economic Development Institute (Institute).

“It’s difficult to overstate the importance of these educational opportunities,” said Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt. “The success South Carolina has enjoyed in recent years can, in large part, be attributed to the remarkable amount of collaboration and teamwork that has taken place across this state. Programs like the Advanced Symposium and Institute help us ensure that our team is knowledgeable, innovative and unified.”

A collaborative effort between S.C. Commerce and SCEDA, these two programs are designed to arm participants with innovative development approaches for implementation in local communities. Each program features a highly-interactive curriculum, allowing participants to obtain greater hands-on economic development learning experience.

“The Institute and Advanced Symposium allow us to showcase all the entities that come together as a team to make economic development successful within South Carolina,” said SCEDA Chairman Brian Nash. “From local development organizations, site selection firms and engineering firms to contractors, attorneys and government agencies, each member of Team South Carolina plays an important role; and, these two training programs allow us to tell their story.”

Now in its 27th year, the Institute consists of quarterly, two-day sessions for which participants traveled to various locations throughout the state. In addition to the final session, which took place in Greer, sessions were also held in North Charleston, Florence and Greenwood. During the sessions, attendees gained insight into issues relating to: leadership and communication skills; community development; business and industrial development; and, product development. On November 10, as the final session concluded in Greer, more than 40 local leaders received certificates of completion.

The Advanced Symposium, which has now graduated its 11th class, features a more rigorous, in-depth curriculum. Comprised of four, two-day sessions, this year’s program concluded on August 5 as participants presented on assigned topics covered throughout the course. Upon completing the Advanced Symposium, participants receive the S.C. Certified Economic Developer (SCCED) certification. These certifications were presented at SCEDA’s mid-year meeting on Friday, October 13 in Greenville.

For those interested in participating in future programs, acceptance into the Advanced Symposium is based on an application, which can be obtained on SCEDA’s website. Institute is open to individuals from a wide variety of organizations and entities, including city; town and county councils; local economic development practitioners; county economic development boards; county school boards; regional economic development boards; utility companies; and local and state government employees. Next year’s program includes sessions in Newberry, Lake City, Seneca and Sumter.

More information on both of these training programs can be obtained by visiting or contacting SCEDA at (803) 929-0305.

2017 South Carolina Advanced Symposium graduates, listed alphabetically by last name:

(Click on the hyperlink for a photo of the participant)

2017 South Carolina Economic Development Institute graduates, listed alphabetically by last name:

(Click on the hyperlink for a photo of the participant)

Graduates not pictured were Blake Stone of the City of Abbeville and Tony Vincent of the Berkeley Electric Cooperative. Photos of Institute graduates are courtesy of Sergio Aparicio with the City of Columbia.