Kai Hamilton Completes Intensive Heartland Economic Development Course

(Joplin, MO) – Kai Hamilton, Workforce Development Specialist for the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, was one of 92 economic development professionals to attend the Heartland Economic Development Course (HEDC) on April 23–26, 2024 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 recruitment, finance, ethics, and managing economic development organizations.

The 2024 HEDC class included representatives from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Florida, trained by nationally recognized faculty from within the profession of economic development. HEDC is coordinated by the Institute for Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa and is accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

“Heartland is a dynamic week-long training course that offers intensive training in economic development strategies provided by experienced faculty. HEDC is not just a course, it’s a transformative experience designed to equip professionals with practical skills and knowledge needed to drive economic development in their communities.” says Lisa Franklin, HEDC Board Chair.

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, Select Oklahoma, and the South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development.


Erin Slifka, Director of Sales & Marketing
Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce

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