Skip to main content

Fundamentals of Economic Development

The 2018 Fundamentals of Economic Development Chancellor's Certificate program has now ended after another successful year.

We plan to offer the program again in 2019. It most likely will take place in the spring, from March to May.

Look for information about registration for the 2019 program on this webpage in the early months of next year.  

Economic Development is key to regional success. This Chancellor's Certificate program, Fundamentals of Economic Development, covers economic and community development concepts and tools to attract, assess, and support development and redevelopment opportunities in our communities. Course modules, held in the heart of the Cortex Innovation Community, will lead participants through the steps necessary to develop and implement economic development plans and projects.

This program is designed for:

  • Public sector economic development commissioners and staff
  • Special taxing district commissioners and staff
  • Elected officials
  • Community Development Corporation board members and staff
  • Private sector specialists
  • Citizens and students interested in economic/ community development

For general information about what the program offers, you can find information for the 2018 program below. Please note that the dates and/or instructors for the 2019 program may be changed.

The 2018 Economic Development Chancellor's Certificate program will take place from 6-9 p.m. Thursdays, from March 1 to April 26 (no class March 29). 

When: Thursdays, March 1, to April 26 from 6-9 p.m. (Note, no class on March 29).

Where: CIC@CET, 20 S. Sarah St., St. Louis, MO 63108 (except Module 3, March 15 takes place at The Streets of St. Charles)

Registration Fee: $500 for the Entire Session or $75 for the remaining individual modules

Instructors: Course instructors are senior economic development practitioners in Missouri and Illinois, representing nonprofit, public, and private perspectives.

Partnership: Offered by the UMSL Public Policy Administration Program, the Urban Land Institute– St. Louis, and Bi-State Development.

Chancellor's Certificate: Earn a noncredit UMSL Chancellor's Certificate in Fundamentals of Economic Development by completing six of the eight modules. 

Cancellation policy

Module Descriptions:

Module 1 | March 1 | Economic Development - A Public Perspective 
Learn about the role of local government in economic development and discuss the necessary conditions to foster a successful business climate. Consider the many facets of economic development and how they relate to different sectors and stakeholders.
Instructors: Amy Hamilton, City Manager, City of Richmond Heights, Mo.; Julianne Stone, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Bi-State Development

Module 2 | March 8 | The Intersection of Community and Business 
Explore the connections between community development and economic development. Ensure that your community and economic development goals align. Discuss the importance of issues including place-making, infrastructure, and comprehensive planning for attracting residents, workers, and businesses.
Instructors: Paul Hubbman Senior Manager for Corridor Studies, East-West Gateway Council of Governments, and Matt Wetli, Principal, Development Strategies

Module 3 | March 15 | Building Your Jurisdiction's Development Plan
Create a roadmap for achieving economic development success in your community. What is the appropriate economic development strategy? Understand the options and process for realizing your economic development goals, including the regional context, prioritizing resources, public input, and strategy formulation.
Instructors: Bob Lewis, Retired Principal, Development Strategies; David Leezer, Director of Economic Development, City of St. Charles. Note: This class will take place at the Streets of St. Charles

Module 4 | March 22 | Rules of the Road - From Data Gathering to Sunshine Laws 
“No, you can’t close the meeting.” “Where do we find those data points?” “My nephew is a developer...”  Maintaining public trust is critical. Unpack the various ethics rules and data sources that can assist in ensuring that your economic development decision making is built on solid ground.
Instructors: Ruth Sergenian, Director, Economic Research and Analysis, St. Louis Regional Chamber; Wally Siewert, Director, Civic Engagement and FOCUS Impact Fellows, Focus St. Louis

Module 5 | April 5  | Where the Rubber Meets the Road - Understanding the Developer's Perspective  
The plan is in place. What’s next? Understand the basics of the development process and the numbers that make the deal work, including the language of developers and contractors and the expectations of those with whom you are doing business.
Instructor: John Langa, Vice President, Economic Development, Bi-State Development

Module 6 | April 12 | Taking Your Economic Development Plan from Paper to the Street
Understand the tools in your toolbox and how to use them to reach your community’s goals. Identify the steps and resources for implementation: creating timelines and performance measures; working with private developers; utilizing economic development incentives and bonds; and capitalizing on opportunities when they arise.
Instructors: Ted Shekell, Director of Community Development, City of O’Fallon, IL; Carl Ramey, Retired Managing Director, Public Finance, Stifel

Module 7 | April 19 | Regional Agencies and Local Economic Development  Note, this module meets in in the Jefferson Room at 2017 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis MO 63103. 
Discuss how a coordinated approach and intergovernmental collaboration can positively impact and protect economic development efforts at the local level. What is the role of large regional agencies and how do these agencies impact local economies?
Panelists: Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Director, St. Louis-Lambert International Airport; Mike Kearney, Director of Economic Development, Ameren Corporation Case Study; John Nations, President and CEO, Bi-State Development; Susan Trautman, Executive Director, Great Rivers Greenway

Module 8  | April 26  | Why St. Louis? Business Attraction - Views from the Outside 
St. Louis from a business’ perspective. What attracts businesses to St. Louis? Discuss the assets that allow the region to compete nationally as well as the work that still needs to be done on marketing St. Louis to those interested in locating here or expanding their presence.
Instructors: Steve Johnson, CEO, Missouri Partnership; and
Doug Rasmussen, Director, Site Selection & Incentives Advisory, Duff & Phelps, LLC

Cancellation policy

For those who register for the Entire Session, cancellations received five business days prior to the first date of the program will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee.

For those who register for Individual Modules, cancellations received five business days prior to the date of the module that you wish to cancel will be refunded, less a $25 processing fee.

If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute, but we ask that you notify us of this change at

Unless you cancel as per the guidelines noted above, even if you do not attend class, you will be billed for the registration fee once you register.

For those registering for the Entire Session, if payment is not received at least two days before the first class, we reserve the right to cancel your registration.

For those registering for Individual Modules, if payment is not received at least two days before the module date, we reserve the right to cancel your registration.