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Economic Development Skills

Certified Louisiana Economic Developer

Learn best practices in economic development to grow business, jobs, and capital investment in your community!

Economic Development Training....

with emphasis on Louisiana's assets, laws, incentives, workforce.

Business Retention & Expansion


This interactive course presents the core components of a BRE program and why the concerns of local businesses need to be actively addressed. By building an understanding of business visitation techniques and survey methods, practitioners will be able to clearly gauge their community's business climate. Learn the "red flags" that may indicate a company is looking to move elsewhere, and learn how to structure an effective technical assistance program to respond to business concerns. This course helps participants understand how a BRE program relates to attraction, workforce development, small business finance, technology transfer and many other economic development activities.

Instructor:             Laith Wardi, CEcD

                              (for biography, click here)


Course Highlights:

• Establishing, maintaining and upgrading a BRE program 
• Creating effective models for business visitations and surveys 
• Customer-Relationship Management (CRM) techniques 
• Marketing a BRE program 
• Establishing an early warning system 
• Cluster and industry-focused BRE programs 
• Tracking and analyzing customer feedback and response 
• Quantitative and qualitative economic development metrics



Tentative Agenda


Day 1

8:30 - 9:00 am         Registration

9:00 - 9:15 am         Speaker introductions and session framework
                                 Speaker introductions and a brief discussion of course objectives, desired outcomes and methodology.

9:15 - 10:30 am       Main Group Exercise - Anytown, Anywhere
                                This dynamic exercise will provide the underpinning and set the framework for the topics covered over the next two days.

10:30 - 10:45 am     Break

10:45 - 11:30 am     Global factors and trends that impact business retention and expansion policies, programs, strategies and desired outcomes
                                 In this session, attendees will learn about and discuss post-recession global realities and how they have fundamentally changed                                      the private sector, economic development and business retention and expansion.

11:30 am - 1:00 pm  Lunch provided 

1:00 - 1:30 pm          Global factors and trends that impact upon business retention and expansion policies, programs, strategies and desired                                                   outcomes.                                

1:30 - 2:30 pm          Workforce development as a driver for business retention and expansion
                                 This session will examine new workforce development realities and how they will shape community building and business                                                retention and expansion programs.

2:30 - 2:45 am          Break

2:45 - 3:30 pm          Old and new stakeholder perspectives on business retention and expansion.
                                  In this session, attendees will learn about the changing face of business retention through three unique stakeholder perspectives.

3:30 - 4:00 pm          Business retention and expansion objective, outcomes and benefits.

4:00 - 4:30 pm          Business retention elements
                                  Here, attendees will learn about the four mission critical elements of any business retention and expansion program.

6:30 - 7:30 pm          Students will work together in groups on a case study in a networking and collaborative environment at a facility TBD.

Day 2

8:30 - 9:30 am          Business retention elements (continued)

9:30 - 10:00 am        One-to-one database marketing and the correlation to business retention and expansion
                                  Key principles from one-to-one database marketing for successful business retention & expansion will be examined & discussed.

10:00 - 10:15 am      Break

10:15 - 11:00 am      One-to-one database marketing and the correlation to business retention and expansion (continued)

11:00 am - Noon       Stratifying and identifying your best customers
                                  All customers are not created equal. This session will help attendees identify and understand who their best customers how to                                         utilize with for successful business retention and expansion.

Noon - 1:00 pm         Lunch provided

1:00 - 1:15 pm          Implementation scenarios
                                  Attendees will examine business retention and expansion programs in rural, urban, regional, state/provincial markets and discuss                                   their similarities and differences.

1:15 - 1:45 pm          Using business intelligence obtained through business retention and expansion
                                  Connect the dots between business retention and expansion and relevant programs, policies and strategies and learn how to                                           integrate BRE into the larger economic development picture.

1:45 - 2:00 pm          Business retention and expansion for disaster preparedness and recovery
                                  Business retention and expansion for disaster preparedness and recovery.

2:00 - 2:15 pm          Marketing and branding your business retention and expansion program
                                  You've put together your BRE program, but to connect with businesses, you first need to educate them. Marketing and branding                                       are an important part any successful business retention and expansion program.

2:15 - 2:45 pm          Using social media for business retention and expansion
                                  The use of social media is pervasive in today's world. This session will examine its relevance and uses for business retention and                                     expansion.

2:45 - 3:00 pm           Leveraging resources and final takeaways
                                   A fast-paced summary of the course and content.

3:00 - 3:15 pm           Wrap-up and certificates

About LIDEA                                         Program Sponsors

The Louisiana Industrial Development Executives Association (LIDEA) is a non-profit trade organization whose mission is to increase the effectiveness of individuals involved in the practice of economic development in Louisiana through education, public policy advocacy, and collaboration; LIDEA is the voice of the profession in Louisiana. 

LIDEA started the Certified Louisiana Economic Developer program in 2008 to help practitioners become the best in the nation at growing economies in their communities. 

Our partners include LED (Louisiana Economic Development) and Southeastern Louisiana University.  We are able to offer affordable, best in nation training due to their generous support!

We also enjoy generous support from AEP (American Electric Power) and GNO, Inc (Greater New Orleans, Inc.), who have both been supporters of helping community leaders learn economic development best practices for many years!

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