2016 EDA National Conference Report

Representatives from Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute descended upon Washington DC for the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 2016 National Conference, April 7th – 8th.  After an opening keynote by Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, Jay Williams, panel sessions that followed included the role of universities in economic development (a discussion on the EDA University Center program), scaling a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and  attracting young professionals to cities, and bridging the gap between economic development and workforce.


CEDR’s Leigh Hopkins presented on a panel that discussed “Partnerships that Drive Results in Advanced Manufacturing”.  Representing the northwest Georgia region, Hopkins, along with panelists from EDA-designated Investing in Manufacturing Community Partnership (IMCP) communities from Maine, Minnesota, Connecticut, Oregon, and Pennsylvania described the challenges and lessons learned – from getting industry competitors around the same table to discuss issues important to their industry, making changes in technical education, elevating a traditional industry sector in the state, to organizing rural communities to apply for federal funding assistance.  It was evident at the conference that EDA is focusing its efforts moving forward on creating regional partnerships, understanding best practices for innovation, and creating workforce development strategies for a new generation of workers in manufacturing and other key industries that will help companies fill the gap in their knowledge and talent pipelines, now and as the pool of retired workers swells in the next five to ten years.

For questions, contact:
Leigh Hopkins, AICP
Phone: 404-894-0933 | Fax: 404-410-6910
Email: ude.hcetag.etavonninull@snikpoh.hgiel

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