Course Detail: NCCEDLEGAL - Legal Framework for Economic Development in North Carolina

Course Description:

Successful economic developers have, at the minimum, a basic understanding the legal framework for realistically operating within the laws set by cities, counties, and the state. This course will include discussion of key areas of knowledge including: 

  • Available Economic Incentives
  • General Corporate and Commercial Proficiency
  • Relocation Process
  • Real Estate Acquisition and Development
  • Financing, Environmental Compliance and Permitting
  • Tax Matters, Joint Venture Arrangements
  • Intellectual Property, Labor and Employment Matters
  • Zoning, Licensing, And Other Local and State Regulatory Issues
  • Negotiate Incentive, Financing and Relocation Packages
  • One North Carolina Fund, Job Development Investment Grant


Ernest C. Pearson

Ernie Pearson believes that experience, hard work and creative approaches lead to the best results for clients faced with new challenges and opportunities. Throughout his career, he has depended upon these foundations in building what has been rated by third party sources as one of the most successful economic development practices in the country. Best Lawyers in America listed Ernie as one of only 28 lawyers in the country in the category of Economic Development in 2013 has been listed in this category every year since. Southern Business and Development magazine has chosen him for several years as one of the top economic development lawyers in 18 southern states.  

David Efird

David Efird brings senior-level experience to companies seeking to relocate to or expand operations in the Southeast, including site selection and negotiating with the state and local officials on economic development incentives. He is the former General Counsel of the North Carolina Department of Commerce where he served as a lead negotiator on major economic development projects for the state. During his time there, Dave worked closely with corporations, local governments and state agencies to develop and close incentive deals that brought thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment to North Carolina. Prior to joining Commerce in 2015, he supported the department as Assistant Attorney General and Special Deputy Attorney General in the state Department of Justice, handling both transactional and litigation matters.  

Charles Hayes

ECU Senior Fellow in Residence

Charles earned international acclaim as president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership for two decades until retiring from the position in June 2016. During his tenure, the partnership received a number of awards from international and national economic development agencies and was widely known for cutting-edge initiatives, including the Triple Helix approach to innovation and economic development.  Before moving to the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, Charles served in a number of positions including director of a local economic development agency, county manager, business owner and community college instructor.

North Carolina Certified Economic Developer Program

The ECU Economic Development Academy offers the North Carolina Certified Economic Developer Program for economic development personnel, elected officials, business leader and others interested in the field of economic development.
Offered in partnership with Academic Outreach, Continuing and Distance Education, the program provides practical knowledge concerning the practice of economic development in the State of North Carolina.

Certification requirements include completion of seven (7) courses and a capstone project: 

  • Data & Analytics for Economic Developers in North Carolina (10 hours)
  • Organization, Operation, and Strategy for Economic Developers in North Carolina (10 hours)
  • Legal Framework for Economic Developers in North Carolina (10 hours)
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship in North Carolina (10 hours)
  • Retention and Expansion in North Carolina (10 hours)
  • Attraction in North Carolina (10 hours)
  • IEDC Basic Course offered by the UNC School of Government (24 hours)

While successfully completing the course of study will lead to the North Carolina Certified Economic Developer designation, selected courses may be taken as desired without formal matriculation in the certification program.

Available Sessions - Click on Date/Location