Dates: June 1-2, 2017

Location: Little Rock, AR

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Skilled workers are the backbone of a productive and efficient economy, and a critical decision point in today's business location decisions. This versatile course explains the essential relationship between economic and workforce development through case studies, practical examples, and current research. Course participants will learn what programs currently leverage federal, state/provincial, and local financial resources to support workforce development. Learn about what you can do through collaborative programs to build the workforce pipeline and upgrade the skills of your community's existing workforce. Other topics will include: the emerging demand-driven model in workforce development, sector strategies for targeted industry clusters, K-12 development and integration, occupational analysis, talent attraction, and more.


Course Highlights:

• The core components of the workforce development system and its essential role in economic development
• Understanding occupational data analysis
• Assessing qualifications, skills and abilities of current workforce
• Recruitment and retention of a skilled labor force
• The role of higher education in workforce and economic development
• New alliances, new models, federal funding and best practices in regional & local initiatives



  • ThursdayJune 1
  • FridayJune 2
8:30 AM


9:15 AM

Introduction: Why Workforce? Why now?

This session will focus on the connection between workforce and economic development and their relationship to regional competitiveness and wealth creation. Getting the workforce component right is one of the most important aspects in a globally competitive world and an economy increasingly driven by knowledge and innovation. Workforce is the primary concern of businesses when looking to re/locate in any area and increasingly more important than some traditional ED factors. Discussions will include why workforce development is important for economic developers as well as how workforce development is related to business retention, attraction and entrepreneurship activities - the three-legged stool of economic development.

10:45 AM

Understanding the Workforce System

This session introduces the attendees to the workforce system and how economic developers can apply it to their benefit. The workforce system and its ability to evolve and adapt to the emerging trends will also be a factor in the regional competitiveness of communities.

12:15 PM

Lunch on your own

1:30 PM

The Role of the Economic Developer in the Workforce System - Talent Recruitment and Retention

• How economic developers can be actively engaged in talent recruitment and retention?
• How can we build relationships and partnerships within the community of the creative class?

3:00 PM

The Role of the Economic Developer in the Workforce System - Challenges and Opportunities to Alignment

Traditionally economic developers and workforce developers approach the same issues from different perspectives. Sometimes it is as if we speak different language, live in different geographies and follow different clocks. The challenge is creating common ground for increased effectiveness. This session will discuss the role of the economic developer in the workforce development system.

• What's the role of the ED practitioner in the workforce system?
• Where do workforce and economic development activities align?
• What are the opportunities for collaboration between economic and workforce development?
• What are the challenges and obstacles to collaboration?

4:00 PM

Interactive Workforce Development Discussion

9:00 AM

Integrating Workforce Development into Economic Development and Innovation Strategies

Traditionally workforce development and economic development strategies have operated in silos, with economic development strategies focusing on targeting businesses and industries, and workforce strategies focusing on human development. This session will explore the merger of these two fields and will outline strategies directed at different types of workers that can aid in spurring local and regional innovation.

10:45 AM

Accessing Workforce Resources to meet Economic Development Goals

In this session, participants will learn how to navigate the workforce system to access resources for economic development purposes. This session will provide an overview of workforce data and statistics that will help economic development professionals understand measure and impact their community's workforce readiness.

12:00 PM

Lunch on your own

1:15 PM

Understanding Occupational Analysis

Clusters have evolved into a complex facet of economic development. Cluster development is now becoming an integral strategy in the ongoing merger of workforce and economic development. This session will explore cutting edge cluster strategies used in addressing the workforce challenges as part of an economic development agenda.

3:15 PM

New Alliances, New Models: Best Practices in State and Local Initiatives

This session provides an overview of best practices between economic development and workforce development programs. Attendees will learn how economic development strategies can integrate workforce development as an important component. Examples include:

• Organizational approaches to integrating workforce and economic development such as merging workforce and economic development departments or creating a new organization that addresses workforce and economic development issues under one roof
• Economic development departments working directly with an educational institution(s) to meet workforce development needs/goals

4:15 PM

Conclusions, Wrap-up and Certificates

* Agenda subject to change

**PLEASE NOTE: In order to receive full IEDC certification credit for this course and a certificate indicating course completion, participants must attend the entire course and stay through the final session on the last day. Please make travel plans accordingly.**


Diane Lupke, CEcD FM
President & CEO
Lupke & Associates

Ms. Diane Lupke, CEcD, FM is President of Lupke & Associates, Inc., Consultants in Community Economic Development. Lupke & Associates, Inc. is a consulting firm specializing in market-based solutions for communities in economic transition. Since its founding in 1990, Ms. Lupke, her Associations, and Staff have helped more than 100 communities to identify niche opportunities, build consensus, and transform lagging economies with “new economy” methods. Ms. Lupke is an authority on the use of enterprise zones and other special tools for development, and she has twenty-five years experience in designing and implementing development strategies. Lupke & Associates has earned distinction for its work with distressed communities that face particular challenges: urban neighborhoods, struggling downtowns, and isolated rural economies. Ms. Lupke has been an active member of IEDC and its predecessor organization CUED since the mid-1980s and has served on the Board of Directors of both organizations. Ms. Lupke holds a BA from Earlham College and the MPA degree from Indiana University. She is on the Board of Advisors for the Local Policy Journal based in the United Kingdom and co-author of the OECD publication “Entrepreneurship: A Catalyst for Urban Regeneration”.

John Metcalf
Workforce Systems Associates

Residing in Charlotte, North Carolina, John P. Metcalf has been involved in solving workforce development challenges for 17 years. First, as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board where he served as the Vice-chair; then as a senior partner with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce; and now as President Workforce Systems Associates. Before his involvement with solving community workforce challenges, John spent 30 years at AT&T in a broad range of sales, marketing, and executive leadership positions allowing him to bring a business focus to workforce and community planning.

Mr. Metcalf has served Charlotte-Mecklenburg and North Carolina in a variety of volunteer positions centering on workforce, economic and education initiatives. In addition to his tenure with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Workforce Development Board, he served as Chair of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School to Career Partnership; served as board member of the Academy of Finance Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools; board member of the Charlotte World Affairs Council; and board member of the NC Education Partnership; in addition he recently served on the Governor's 2010 Career Ready Commission and helped prepare the release of the Commission's "A Crisis of Relevance Report".

John also recently served on the White House led Community and Regional Resilience Initiative where the focus was on building a community's capacity to build communities of choice and withstand and recover from natural and economic impacts.

Vernon Gerth, CEcD
Assistant City Administrator, Community & Economic Development
City of Franklin, TN

Vernon J. Gerth joined the City of Franklin in January 2007 as the City’s first Assistant City Administrator for Community and Economic Development. His primary responsibilities include managerial oversight of the Planning & Sustainability, Engineering, Building & Neighborhood Services, Streets, and Parks Departments. The City of Franklin is the recipient of several national accolades that include: One of the Best Cities for Startups – Businessweek, Best Places to Live – Money Magazine, and Top 10 Community for Job Growth – CNN/Money Magazine.

Vernon’s passion for public service spans 27 years and has also served the cities of Kenosha, Wisconsin and VernonHills, Illinois. Prior to pursuing a career in public service, Vernon was employed as a project manager for a commercial building contractor. He received his BA and MBA from Concordia University–Wisconsin and is a Certified Economic Development Professional (CEcD) and Credentialed Manager (CM) through the International Economic Development Council and International City/County Management Association, respectively.




CEcD logo

This course meets the professional development requirements for the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. CEcDs earn recertification credits for participation.




Little Rock Marriott
3 Statehouse Plaza
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (877) 759-6290

IEDC Room Rate: $159 single/double
Group Rate Cutoff: Wednesday, May 10, 2017





By April 21

April 22 - May 19

*After May 19

IEDC Member








Full Time Student**




*Walk-in registrations will be accepted. Full payment must be made on-site in order to attend the course.

**Copy of current transcript required.

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Refunds less a $60 cancellation fee will be issued for all cancellations received in writing to fax: (202) 223-4745 or email: at least 10 business days prior to the course - please allow 3-4 weeks. All registrations regardless of payment status are subject to the $60 cancellation fee. No refunds or credit transfers to a future course will be issued for cancellations received within 10 business days of the course. Telephone cancellations are not accepted. Attendee substitutions for a course may be made at any time prior to the course.