School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration

Undergraduate Specialty: Local Economic Development

Local Economic Development professionals bring public, private and nonprofit organizations together to attract, create, retain and expand local businesses. Thus Economic Development involves interacting with public officials like city managers, community planners, civil engineers, zoning commissioners, and fire marshals; with private businesspersons like commercial real estate brokers, multinational corporate executives, sports team owners, small business entrepreneurs, and light manufacturing plant owners; and with community leaders with local development corporations, labor unions, religious organizations and chambers of commerce.

Preparing for a career in Local Economic Development includes studying public management, business, economics, public policy, and public relations and developing good social and presentation skills. Students of Local Economic Development should also learn to address questions of political economy, such as: How does growth politics affect the city? When does economic development policy lead to warring communities? Whose interests are served by public investment in private development?

Local Economic Development has become the primary preoccupation for most city governments. Thus its is integral to PA 307 Local Politics and Administration. Other courses in the the Local Economic Development specialization help broaden the multidisciplinary background needed to understand the economic, social and environmental issues connected with development. They may also help students identify public resources useful to existing, new and expanding businesses. In addition to the core course PA 307, students desiring recognition for this specialty must complete at least three of the following course:

  • HTM 101--Fundamentals (of Hospitality and Tourism)
  • ECO 200--Business Economics
  • BUS 201--Legal Environment for Business
  • CAP 220--Fundamentals of Public Relations
  • MGT 339--Business and Society
  • ECO 435--Urban Economics
  • ECO 436--Real Estate Economics

Page last modified February 22, 2011