NEWS: Federal partners announce dates and locations for economic development and resilience workshop

September 30, 2015

CLARKSDALE, Miss. – A series of 32 technical assistance trainings to help mayors, county executives, other elected officials, and economic developers strengthen local economic development and build resilient communities will kick off in October, DRA Federal Co-Chairman Chris Masingill announced today.

"We know that natural and economic crises will strike whether we are prepared or not,” Chairman Masingill said. “These trainings will help educate our local leadership on how to better plan for proactive economic development and post-disaster business recovery, and we look forward to working with these leaders to build economically competitive and resilient communities.”

The training series Leading Economically Competitive and Resilient Communities—announced last month at the Katrina 10 commemoration events—will help empower community leaders to strengthen their local economies and prepare for natural and economic disasters through proactive disaster risk management, business and industry recovery, and collaboration among emergency management entities.

The Delta Regional Authority is partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration to present the workshops and will be utilizing the International Economic Development Council for curriculum and content development.

“Strengthening the resiliency of American communities and regions is a top priority for President Obama and is an important component of the Commerce Department’s strategic plan,” said Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “The U.S. Economic Development Administration is pleased to partner with the DRA and the IEDC to provide this critical hands-on training to strengthen disaster resiliency planning in our communities and regions.”

Each workshop will consist of a two-day training that covers either course Module A: addressing economic development targeted at local elected officials, or Module B: training elected officials and economic developers in disaster and economic resilience.

“We’re so pleased that the DRA has initiated this important training project. It is so important to the effectiveness of economic development efforts that elected leaders understand the positive difference they can make,” said Jeffrey Finkle, President and CEO of IEDC.  “In addition to the key concepts and trends in economic development, we will be discussing inspiring case studies of elected leaders who have made an impact on economic development in their communities.”

Elected officials and economic developers interested in attending the workshops must register online at and can participate in either or both of the training courses for each workshop. These intensive boot-camp courses will help prepare local elected officials, community leaders, and economic development practitioners to support economic development and disaster resilience activities and planning in their communities.

The following trainings for 2015 are confirmed:

Arkansas Jonesboro     October 15-16
  Pine Bluff October 29-30
Mississippi    Greenwood November 9-10
Louisiana Pineville November 12-13
Illinois Harrisburg December 7-8
Missouri Malden December 10-11

The remaining workshops for 2016 will be announced in the coming weeks. Interested participants can attend trainings for either or both of each course module.

About the Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. Through the past thirteen investment cycles of the DRA’s States Economic Development Assistance Program, DRA investments have leveraged $2.7 billion in other public and private investment into projects that are helping to create and retain 42,000 jobs, train 13,000 for a 21st century workforce, and provide more than 82,000 families access to clean water and sewer services. To learn more about the DRA, visit

Contact: Spencer Lucker
(202) 744-3558