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Community Economic Development as a Career

A rewarding career with impact.

Choosing a career in Community Economic Development can be very rewarding. It allows you to work with all sizes of communities, businesses, industries and government.  People in the profession tend to come from a variety of backgrounds, and stay for a long time. 

Why choose Community Economic Development as a career?

  • It is collaborative, fast-paced and creative
  • Gives you the opportunity to be a catalyst for change by working with government and the private sector to build healthy sustainable communities
  • You have a hand in creating local economic opportunities while improving quality of life

What are some important skills of community economic developers? 

  • Communication
  • Flexibility
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership
  • Team Building 

What factors are involved in Community Economic Development? 

  • Community
  • Wealth Creation
  • Mobilization of Resources
  • Human Resources
  • Financial and Capital Resources
  • Physical Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Marketable Goods and Services

What are some careers in economic development? 

  • Economic Development Officers
  • Managers of local or regional economic development organizations
  • Business development specialists with municipalities or industry organizations
  • Tourism or recreation specialists

What does an Economic Development Officer (EDO) do?

  • Conduit to the local business community with the ability to support, encourage and advise local businesses
  • Works closely with the planning department and Council to ensure an understanding and awareness of economic development
  • Strives to have key decision makers part of creating a ‘pro-business’ environment
  • Should be the most knowledgeable person regarding community assets, and should be the number one sales person to internal and external markets
  • Possesses critical thinking, great people skills, strong business background, good problem solving skills
  • Knows how to link to municipal, provincial and global economic development resources
  • Liaison between the economic development committee and/or community
  • >Supports, encourages, and advises local businesses
  • Without a large support staff, the EDO must be able to work effectively with volunteers
  • Works to build community capacity

What training is needed?

  • Knowledge and skills can be enhanced through professional development and University programs. 
  • EDA offers the Community Economic Development Training Program(CEDTP); courses designed for economic development practitioners, decision makers such as elected officials and the business community. 
  • Completion of these courses can be applied to the Professional Management Certificate-Economic Developers at the University of Calgary; the Certified Economic Developer Ec.D; or the CeCD Certified by the International Economic Developers Council. 
  • Economic Development Officer (EDO) training is available through several Canadian institutions such as the University of Waterloo. 
Read more about Professional Certification here.
Economic Developers Alberta

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#406, 917-85 Street SW 
Calgary, AB, Canada T3H 5Z9 

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