College of Business and Center for Economic Research partner with Bossier Chamber to host Community Development Institute

Dec 14, 2023 | Business, General News, Partnerships

Louisiana Tech University’s College of Business is joining forces with the Bossier Chamber of Commerce and Louisiana Economic Development to offer the newest site of the Community Development Institute, a national program aimed at training community leaders and economic development professionals.

This will be the only site in the state of Louisiana and will serve as a satellite site of CDI Central at the University of Central Arkansas in 2024. All sessions in Bossier City will be held at the Louisiana Tech Academic Success Center located in the National Cyber Research Park.

“This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our communities across Louisiana and region, and perfectly aligns with the College’s vision to be a catalyst for economic development and growth in the region and beyond,” said Dr. Chris Martin, dean of the College of Business. “We are honored to partner with the Bossier Chamber and CDI to offer this professional development opportunity and look forward to welcoming the first cohort to Bossier in February.”

CDI trains leaders to strengthen their local economies and build communities. Participants are taught to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring communities, organizations, and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.

“Continued training in community and economic development for our local and regional stakeholders is a crucial ingredient to our success in an ever-changing environment,” said Don Pierson, Secretary of Louisiana Economic Development. “Hosting this accredited training in an area of the state that is made up of many rural communities will help to provide guidance to local leaders and encourage their thoughtful engagement in growth opportunities. We look forward to working with the Bossier Chamber and Louisiana Tech to offer this certification in Louisiana.”

Ideal participants include elected officials, city planners and employees, chamber directors, community and economic developers, nonprofit leaders, bankers, state employees and others dedicated to making the community a better place to live, work, play, and learn.

“Personally, I have attended four years of Community Development Institute at the University of Central Arkansas and have brought a lot of those practices back to incorporate into our work at the Bossier Chamber,” said Lisa Johnson, President/CEO of the Bossier Chamber. “I could not be more excited to bring this training to our community.”

The complete CDI experience is a three-session program, with one week of training per session. Unlike other CDI sites, the Bossier City site will have participants complete all three sessions within one year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development. After attending all three sessions, participants are then eligible to take the Professional Community and Economic Developer exam to earn that certification.

“I am really excited to be a part of this program to increase professional development access to our economic development officers within Louisiana,” said Dr. Patrick Scott, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Research. “CDI is a nationally recognized program for economic development training, and this is the first time we have brought the training piece to Louisiana. The partnership between the Louisiana Tech College of Business, the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, and CDI represents a crucial step in economic development for the region. Affordable and accessible professional development training is an important component to the long-term aspirations of our economic development professionals. This means more of them stay in the region, which only serves the community better.”