Economic Development Professionals Training: Business Retention and Expansion

Georgia’s economic health is dependent on the number and quality of jobs provided by employers in local communities. Attracting new business is an integral part of comprehensive economic development efforts, but an equally important component is business retention and expansion. The ability to retain and grow jobs among existing companies is routinely cited as a fundamental of success for economic development professionals.

The University of Georgia is offering economic development professionals across Georgia two opportunities to participate in a training course titled Business Retention and Expansion. The first training will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on December 11 at the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education Hotel and Conference Center. The second will be held in Tifton on February 5 at the UGA Tifton Conference Center.

This new course addresses best practices for collecting key information regarding the challenges and opportunities for growth in employment or taxable investment; tools for leveraging both retention and expansion scenarios; and metrics for evaluating success and communicating results with key stakeholders. In addition, course instructors will present data on the significance of business retention and expansion programs and will offer case study analysis relevant to the Georgia practitioner.

December 11, 2014, 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
UGA Center for Continuing Education Hotel and Conference Center
Registration $250

February 5, 2015, 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m.
UGA Tifton Conference Center
Registration $250

A block of rooms at the Georgia Center has been reserved for December 10 for those wishing to stay overnight (for an additional fee). Details on hotel reservations will be provided upon registration.

Contact Jennifer Nelson at 706.542.9523 or

Course Topics

Overview of Business Retention and Expansion

  • Georgia by the numbers
  • How significant is business retention and expansion to overall economic development efforts?
  • Recent trends in business retention and expansion activity

The Business Retention and Expansion Assessment Process

  • Process Design
  • Assessment instruments and methodology
  • Constructing effective teams

Identifying Workforce Needs and Challenges

  • Discussion of workforce as an issue in business retention and expansion efforts
  • Overview of roles of various workforce partners and their respective roles
  • Best practices and case analysis

Incentive and Matrix Development

  • What roles do incentives play in retention and expansion efforts? How do incentives for existing companies compare to those available for attraction efforts?
  • Case study analysis

Third Party Consultants and Their Increasing Role

Site selection consultants are increasing in significance not only in attraction efforts, but also in retention and expansion activity.
  • Overview of best practices for engaging with third party consultants

Marketing and Accountability

  • Best practices for sharing results and communicating with stakeholders