Economic Development Academy


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ALM's Economic Development Academy was launched in 2021 and is specifically designed to educate and engage municipal officials on the essential elements and phases of economic development while highlighting their vital role in economic initiatives and projects within their communities.

Developed in conjunction with the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and supported by an advisory council of industry leaders, the Academy engages elected officials from select cities and towns with municipal peers and colleagues from their region to prepare their communities for growth. Using a collaborative municipal team approach, participants convene four times throughout the year to complete assignments and develop strategies to enhance economic development in their communities. Ultimately, each municipality selected is required to implement a community program/project and to report on its progress. Academy graduates are recognized during the ALM's annual Municipal Leadership Institute each fall with a certification via ACCS and ALM.

CMO Credit Hours:  Successful completion of the Economic Development Academy (orientation meeting, four (4) one-day sessions and graduation) are approved for a total of four (4) Basic, Advanced or Emeritus Credit Hours in the Certified Municipal Official Program.  Credit hours are awarded to elected officials on the municipal team upon completion of program requirements and graduation.  

Requirements of Selected Communities:

  • The mayor or a designee of the mayor and at least two councilmembers must commit to participate. (Additional participants may include the city administrator/city clerk, community/business leader, etc. not to exceed a total of seven individuals including the three municipal officials).
  • Participants must complete a community economic vitality survey.
  • Participants must attend:
    • all classroom sessions (4)
    • graduation at ALM's Municipal Leadership Institute
  • Implement an approved project/program and follow reporting requirements.
  • Pass resolution committing to the program (sample resolution provided HERE)

Please note, only municipal officials and municipal employees are eligible to receive a certificate from the Alabama Community College System. However, business leaders and regional economic developers are welcome to participate in the program.


$3,500 per community

For additional information about the Academy, contact Bryan Parker, ALM Director of Governmental Affairs, HERE. 

Academy Resource Advisory Council:

The Advisory Council will provide advice, resources and guidance for the Academy's curriculum and approach. Several members of the council will participate in course curriculum training to broaden the understanding and involvement in the Academy's focus. It will also aid the Academy by:

  • Targeting communities through council member networks
  • Facilitating engagement opportunities with participants
  • Providing sponsorship opportunities

For more information about the Academy Resource Advisory Council, click HERE.

State and National Resources:

Please click HERE for a list of state and national resources that the League has complied that could be of assistance to your community.

Community Highlights and Successes: