Sixteen Nebraskans were among the 91 economic development professionals to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course (HEDC) April 17-21, 2023, in Blue Springs, Missouri. Heartland attendees receive fundamental economic development training on topics ranging from business, retention and expansion, workforce development, real estate development, and entrepreneurship to marketing, finance, ethics, and managing economic development organizations.
“Heartland provides economic developers an opportunity to learn proven skills, techniques and best practices for use in their organizations and home communities.” says Rick Nelsen, Heartland Board member and Senior Economic Development Consultant at Nebraska Public Power District. “Our goal is to provide a solid foundation upon which each developer can build their base of knowledge and experience.”
Nebraska students represented the following organizations and communities: Black Hills Energy, Burt County Economic Development, city of Norfolk, city of Scottsbluff, city of York, Hastings Economic Development, Corporation, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Public District, NGage-Gage Area Growth Enterprise, St. Paul Development Corporation, Seward County Chamber and Development Partnership, Twin Cities Development Association, Valley County Economic Development and York County Development Corporation.
Becky Ries, Valley County Economic Development Executive Director, attended the five-day training. “As someone who has less than a year in my current role as an economic development director, the Heartland Course provided for a week full of valuable information and strategies, quality networking and a line-up of amazing, experienced speakers,” she said.
“Each community faces different challenges, and all the topics were shared in a way that could be adapted to your specific needs. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to attend,” she added.
Nelsen is joined on the Heartland Board as Nebraska’s representatives by Trevor Lee, Development Council for Buffalo County. The Heartland Economic Development Course is a partnership of the Kansas Economic Development Alliance, Professional Developers of Iowa, Missouri Economic Development Council, Nebraska Economic Developers Association, Oklahoma Economic Development Association and SD Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The course is administered by the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa.