Students receive economic development experience at conference
Three DSU College of Business students recently attended the annual conference of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in Indianapolis, Ind., where they met industry experts and took part in networking events.
The conference and the attendance by University students Yazmin Harris, Jason Nunley, and Michael Ford are reflective of a partnership that has developed between DSU’s University Center for Economic Development and International Trade (UCEDIT) and the IEDC.
The University is the only HBCU to partner with the IEDC, which is the leading economic development organization across the globe.
Mr. Ford, a senior financial economics major, said the DSU contingent received a warm welcome and received great mentoring at the IEDC conference.
“Just being able to attend the prestigious IEDC conference has been an eye-opening experience for my colleagues and I,” Mr. Ford said. “The College of Business partnership with the IEDC will continue to grow and expand the careers and development of economic and financial students for years to come.”
“The IEDC recognized Delaware State University at the conference as being a leader among HBCUs in the training of minority and underrepresented students in the discipline of economic development and providing them with experiential learning opportunities in that area,” said Dr. Michael Casson Jr., dean of the College of Business.
Dr. Casson first connected with the IEDC in 2013, seeking to find ways to empower students from economically challenged communities to gain knowledge that could help them elevate their hometowns. The training, resources, and networking offered by IEDC made it a great partnership fit with the College of Business.
The College’s Economic Development and Leadership Institute – which comes under the University’s Center for Economic Development and International Trade – has especially captured the attention of the IEDC. Students who become fellows of that institute have the opportunity to take economic development courses through the IEDC, with funding provided by UCEDIT.
Germita Vorsome, an economics major who graduated in May 2019, was the first fellow in the institute to complete all of the IEDC courses. Her work as an institute fellow may have played a role in her post-graduation hire at Deloitte – one of the “Big Four” accounting organizations in the world.
UCEDIT, founded by Dr. Casson in 2011, provides support to the economic development endeavors of businesses, governments, and economic development organizations and beyond. Its Economic Development and Leadership Institute fellows receive valuable experience as they assist in UCEDIT’s work of providing labor market analysis, economic and fiscal impact studies, business retention studies, and other areas where they are getting hands-on experience.
In addition to provided training to DSU students, the IECD has donated hundreds of books to the College’s economic development library.
Also working closely with the fellows is Wade Robinson, associate director of UCEDIT.