Course Detail: NCCEDORG - Organization, Operation, and Strategy for Economic Developers in North Carolina

Course Description:

This course establishes a fast track not only to understand, but to implement and practice the key tenets of economic development. Excelling at Organization, Operations, and Strategy can position your community to achieve its best future. The three primary organizational structures of an economic development program will be identified, explained, and discussed. The importance of establishing effective and efficient operations and creating a strategy with measurable deliverables will be stressed. These key components get to the heart of what makes economic development work in your community.

Learning Objectives: 

  • To be knowledgeable regarding the 3 primary methods that an economic development organization may be structured and to explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • To understand the importance of both efficiency and effectiveness, the difference, and how to accomplish both in theoperations of an economic development organization.
  • To recognize the importance of establishing a strategic direction with measurable outcomes in an economic development organization and to understand the strategic tools used to drive the planningprocess.


R. Daniel "Dan" Parks

Dan Parks is the Senior Strategist for the Hayes Group with more than 30 years of experience consulting with economic development organizations, higher education, governmental agencies, the banking industry, the corporate sector and small to midsize companies. He has served in several executive roles at N.C. State University, including senior director for the Office of Outreach and Engagement, and before that was an entrepreneur in the banking/software industry, operating and selling two companies. Dan is coauthor of the book, Your Entrepreneur EDGE?, and is a former adjunct faculty member in the Love School of Business at Elon University.  

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