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National Economic Development Conference in Asheville

The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) will collaborate with the U.S. Department of Commerceís Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the U.S. Department of Laborís Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to present the 2011 SEDC Annual Conference and the Southeast Economic and Workforce Development Conference in Asheville, August 14-17. Over 450 economic and workforce development professionals will be meeting at the Grove Park Inn for three days of education and networking. This yearís conference theme, Pathways to Success: From Ideas, Innovations & Talent Development to Jobs, will feature more than 30 speakers coming together to discuss strategies to promote competitiveness and job growth in Americaís regions through innovative practices and partnerships. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez and U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Employment and Training Administration Jane Oates will address the attendees on Tuesday during lunch with their presentation The Administrationís Perspectives on Economic and Workforce Development. Other local North Carolina program speakers include, Brett Carter, President, Duke Energy- North Carolina, and Matthew Raker, VP Entrepreneurship & AdvantageGreen, AdvantageWest.

Sam Powers, Local Conference Committee Chair and Economic Development Director for Asheville said, "It's truly an amazing opportunity for Asheville to host a conference of this stature. Over 400 economic development professionals from across the country will get to experience our community's efforts to make the city we love the vibrant, authentic place that routinely captures national accolades for quality of life, great business climate, arts and culture, natural beauty, and yes, even quirkiness".

The Southern Economic Development Council is an 830-member professional association composed of a broad cross-section of active and influential economic developers from business and industry, utilities, transportation, financial and education institutions, chambers of commerce, and local, regional and state development agencies. Members in the 17-state area share a common interest: the promotion and enhancement of the economic development profession. The SEDC region includes the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland and the District of Columbia, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. For more information about SEDC or the conference, please visit our Web site at

(Images provided by Southern Economic Development Council.)

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