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State of Ingenuity Initiative

NIU COURSES IN REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP 

A new series of five graduate-level courses was designed for mid-career executives from the public, non-governmental, and private sectors interested in developing their understanding of the basic concepts, tools, and strategies to foster regional economic development. Funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, these courses were delivered in February and March 2014 by NIU’s Division of Public Administration in partnership with the Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development. All courses were videotaped, and case studies were prepared that summarized the key economic development themes and learnings. The multi-year State of Ingenuity (SOI) is a network of organizations pursuing economic development and job creation in a six-county region that spans northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin.

The videotaped sessions, PowerPoint presentations, and case studies are accessible below.

  

Developing Regional Talent Strategies
Instructor: Dr. Keenan Grenell, Chief Executive Officer, Global Capital Group, LLC
January 10 & 17

The bedrock of any region’s economic competitiveness is a well-educated and skilled workforce. This course provides participants with a basic understanding of the public workforce development system, what factors make up the supply and the demand sides of this system, and current workforce policies and programs that are shaping the talent pool in our region. Promising education and training strategies to address the skills gap are considered.

COURSE INFORMATION:

Developing Regional Talent Strategies 1 (January 10)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 

Developing Regional Talent Strategies 2 (January 10) 
PRESENTATION
 | VIDEO 

Developing Regional Talent Strategies 3 (January 17)
PRESENTATION
 | VIDEO 

Developing Regional Talent Strategies 4 (January 17)
PRESENTATION
 | VIDEO 

Case Study: Developing Regional Talent Strategies

Tools for Regional Economic Development
Instructor: Dr. Brian Richard, Assistant Director, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University
January 24 & 31

The course begins with an overview of important data sources. These data are used to analyze local economic conditions using trend analysis, location quotients, gravity modeling, and shift-share analysis. Input-output models build on these tools to allow for predictive analysis of potential economic development projects.

COURSE INFORMATION:

Regional Analysis Tools (January 24)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 

Input-Output Models (January 24)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 

Regional IO Models (January 31)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 1 | VIDEO 2 

Case Study: Regional Economic Analysis Tools for the State of Ingenuity Region

Value Chain Analysis and Economic Diversification
Instructor: Dr. Brian Richard, Assistant Director, Center for Governmental Studies, Northern Illinois University
February 7 & February 14

The course provides participants the tools for identifying opportunities to expand and diversify their regional value chain. Methods for describing current regional clusters based on available data sources are investigated. Opportunities in the value chain are identified based on strengths and weaknesses in the current clusters. Institutional resources that support value chain based development are discussed.

COURSE INFORMATION:

Institutional Resources (February 7)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 1 | VIDEO 2 

Value Chain Opportunities  (February 14)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 1 | VIDEO 2 

Case Study: Value Chain Analysis and Economic Diversification

Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Dr. Keenan Grenell, Chief Executive Officer, Global Capital Group, LLC
February 21 & 28

The course provides participants with tools for identifying strategies to unleash innovation and start an entrepreneurial revolution in the region. Strategies are identified based on examining established domestic and global innovation and entrepreneurship models that point the way to prosperity and job creation. Best practices in university-based innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem are discussed.

COURSE INFORMATION:

Regional Entrepreneurship 1 (February 21)
PRESENTATION | VIDEO 

Regional Entrepreneurship 2 (February 21) 
PRESENTATION
 | VIDEO 

Innovation 1 (February 28)
PRESENTATION
 | VIDEO 1 | VIDEO 2 

Innovation 2 (February 28)
PRESENTATION
 | VIDEO 1 | VIDEO 2 | VIDEO 3

Case Study: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

SOI Region 2025 Industry Opportunities: What do the Numbers Miss?
Instructor: Dr. Kurt Thurmaier, Professor and Director, Department of Public Administration, Northern Illinois University
March 7 & 14

The course provides participants the tools for identifying opportunities to expand and diversify the regional economy through emerging markets by engaging leading economic development thinkers in key economic hubs in the region. Fifteen thought leaders from throughout the SOI share their insights regarding economic development opportunities and challenges in this six-county region. Three areas are spotlighted: Racine/Kenosha, Beloit/Janesville/Whitewater, and Rockford/Belvidere.

PANEL INFORMATION:

Racine/Kenosha Panel - Gateway Technical College (March 7)
VIDEO
 

Janesville/Beloit/Whitewater Panel – Blackhawk Technical College (March 7)
VIDEO
 

Rockford/Belvidere Panel – NIU-Rockford (March 14)
VIDEO
 

Case Study: State of Ingenuity Thought Leaders on Regional Economic Development