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Fuel the Growth Course Receives Accreditation from International Economic Development Council

The annual Fuel the Growth economic development course, a collaborative effort between Black Hills State University (BHSU) and Rushmore Region Alliance (RRA), has received accreditation from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). This prestigious endorsement solidifies the course’s reputation as a leading program in economic development in the country.

Fuel the Growth has been providing valuable training for economic development professionals, board members, community leaders, businesspersons, and elected officials for the past three years. Led by industry experts, the multi-day training held at the BHSU-Rapid City campus incorporates presentations, panel discussions, and case studies to cover key topics in economic development, including business retention and expansion, entrepreneurship, community and real estate development, strategic planning, organizational management, and ethics.

“The news about the IEDC’s accreditation of Fuel the Growth is very exciting,” said Dr. Jon Kilpinen, provost and vice president for academic affairs at BHSU. “This course has already helped influence lots of economic development professionals across this region, as well as the communities they serve. Adding the IEDC endorsement should only draw additional participants and extend the benefits of this program even farther. We’re also pleased to see the partnership between BHSU and Rushmore Region Association continue to grow.”

The IEDC is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Its accreditation positions Fuel the Growth as a Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC). BEDCs provide professionals with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to build a career in the economic development field and are part of the required coursework to apply for IEDC’s Certified Economic Developer Exam. The Fuel the Growth course is the only in-person IEDC-certified course available to professionals in the Black Hills region.

“The IEDC is a well-respected organization in the field of economic development, known for its high standards and expertise,” said Lori Frederick, chairperson of RRA. “Certification of the Fuel the Growth course is a signal to potential participants that the course meets rigorous quality standards and aligns with best practices in economic development. It is validation of the course’s content, relevance, and effectiveness while reaching a broader audience and increasing its impact in the field. Furthermore, being certified by the IEDC could open opportunities for collaboration, networking, and partnerships with other organizations and professionals from across the nation.”

Andrew Buks, instructor of management at BHSU, highlighted the enhanced edition of the Fuel the Growth course, saying, “This year’s iteration stands apart with its expanded format and the prestigious accreditation from IEDC. This endorsement significantly elevates the course’s status, making it an attractive option not only for economic development professionals in South Dakota but also for those in neighboring states.”

The 2024 Fuel the Growth course will be announced soon, offering professionals throughout the region the chance to enhance their skills and knowledge in economic development.

Source: Black Hills State University (Original Article)