Professional Development Committee

At a glance:

  • Promote and support the practice of professional development – that is, the advancement of skills, expertise, and knowledge to succeed in the economic development profession.
  • Facilitate support for GEDA members preparing for professional certification.
  • Promote and administer the GEDA professional development grant program.

A key part of GEDA’s mission is to support the continual professional development of our members. One of the key ways we do this is through our professional development grant program which involves an annual competitive application process coordinated by this committee. GEDA’s professional development grant program is the largest of its kind among state associations.

Are you working to gain the skills and knowledge to be among the best in the economic development profession in serving those you serve? Apply for a grant from GEDA to help you move forward in your professional development journey and meet your goals!

This committee also connects GEDA members with opportunities to help them prepare for professional certifications such as the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) designation by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC).

About the Professional Development Grants
Each year, GEDA offers more than $15,000 in professional development grant funds. With the exception of the Penn Worden Grant, all grants are available to GEDA members only. The exact number of grants in each category may vary based upon the number of applications and available funds each year, subject to GEDA Board approval. Following are other parameters: 
  • Grants are offered during three rounds during the calendar year. Funding for each grant will be available in each round until funds are expended or the program(s) supported by the grant have taken place.

  • Applications must be received by midnight on the posted deadline in order to be reviewed by the committee.

  • Application submittals should include the completed application (all sections) and two letters of recommendation. Applications submitted by the deadline without the letters of recommendation will not be reviewed by the committee.

  • Applicants who decide to apply for more than one grant during a given calendar year may use the same letters of support during said year. (Letters of support from previous calendar years to the year seeking the grant should not be submitted.)

  • Applicants should apply for only one grant per round.

  • If awarded a grant, an applicant may be awarded up to one grant per calendar year.

  • Awarded grant funds should be used for future events only.  Grant funds will be provided on a cost reimbursement basis for expenses incurred up to the amount of the available grant.  (Awardees will be provided an expense form to submit to GEDA for cost reimbursement requests.)

  • Applications can be accessed in digital form by clicking on the program name on the list of grants. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications by email to the contact provided in the application.



 GEDA 2014 Grant Opportunities:

Program/Event Date(s) Grants Application Deadline
Basic Economic Development Course - Atlanta March 11-14, 2014 Three (3) at $1000 Jan 31
IEDC Course Various Two (2) at $600 Jan 31, Mar 31, Aug 1
CEcD Exam Various Two (2) at $1000 Jan 31, Mar 31, Aug 1
GEDA Spring Workshop  May 14-16, 2014 Three (3) at $600 Jan 31, Mar 31
GEDA Annual Conference September 17-19, 2014 (Hyatt Savannah) Four (4) at $600 Feb 1, Mar 31, Aug 2
Community Development Institute  Various One (1) at $1000 Jan 31, Mar 31, Aug 1
Economic Development Institute (EDI)  Various One (1) at $1000 Jan 31, Mar 31, Aug 1
Penn Worden Grant*  Various $2000 available funds Jan 31, Mar 31, Aug 1
International Missions Grant  Various Two (2) at $1000 Jan 31, Mar 31, Aug 1

*APPLICATIONS* for all awards and grants can be found by clicking on the program name or through the linked page at the bottom of this page.

*Funds from the Penn Worden Grant may be used by GEDA members toward any accredited economic development program OR by non-GEDA members representing a community not already represented in GEDA toward the cost of one-year’s membership within GEDA.

See below for a schedule of courses and events known by GEDA to support the economic development profession.

For more information, contact Committee Chair Justin Strickland.

2014 Action Plan

Goal 1: Promote and support the practice of economic development.

  1. Create a GEDA Professional Development Calendar to include known and relevant offerings for economic development professionals
  2. Promote professional certifications in economic development (CEcD, EDFP)
  3. Continue support for CEcD preparation (prep course planning, support for study groups, mentor program)
Goal 2: Promote and administer GEDA professional development grant program.
  1. Develop marketing plan with timeline and tasks
  2. Update web site and flyers with grant information
  3. Promote grant recipients in varied forms of communication (web site, newsletter, announcements, flyers, etc.)
  4. Survey recipients, collect and feature testimonials from grant recipients

Goal 3: Promote regional & state unity

  1. Encourage meetings at Regional Commissions in July
  2. Develop “Do’s & Don’ts of Economic Development” (partner with Marketing & Communications Committee)
  3. Work towards garnering training support from institutes of   higher education

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