Roland Dykes, III

NEWPORT—City of Newport Mayor Roland “Trey” Dykes, III, was one of 53 economic development professionals from Tennessee and five other states, including Maine, who recently completed the first ever virtual version of the Tennessee Basic Economic Development Course (TBEDC) hosted by the University of Tennessee Center for Industrial Services (CIS).

This week-long course is considered the cornerstone of the Tennessee Certified Economic Developer (TCED) professional certification program. The course also is accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

Attendees learned best practices in economic and community development, new methods and programs to promote job growth and investment, and discussed emerging trends and factors that shape local and regional economics.

This year’s diverse class had a range of participants that included chamber of commerce and economic and community development organization professionals, elected and appointed officials, state government agency staff and community planners.

“This year has been challenging for everyone, but moving TBEDC from in-person to online didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our participants,” said CIS and TCED Program Manager Kim Denton. “They were all engaged, leading to such in-depth and beneficial discussions throughout the class.”

Over the course of the week, the class heard presentations from more than 30 expert practitioners in many specialties of economic development.

The week closed with the TBEDC online graduation ceremony. UT Institute for Public Service Vice President Dr. Herb Byrd III presented completion certificates to each class member. Several students spoke during the ceremony to share their favorite experiences from the week.

For more information about economic development training opportunities, please contact Kim Denton at kim.denton@tennessee.edu or (865) 974-6621.

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