Chad Chancellor: I want to thank Research Consultants International for sponsoring today's podcast. They are a globally renowned lead generation firm that helps economic development organizations create real prospects. They've helped over five hundred economic development organizations. Let me tell you exactly what they do.
They facilitate one-on-one meetings for economic developers with corporate executives who have projects soon. They can facilitate these meetings to where you travel to the corporate executive’s office and meet them there or you meet them at a trade show or even have a conference call so you don't have to pay for travel.
They recently launched a service called FDI365 which provides you a lead a day of fast-growing companies that will be expanding soon. Their research has helped over $5 billion in projects get sighted since inception. I encourage you to go to www.researchfdi.com to learn more about Research Consultants.
As far as I'm concerned, they are absolutely the best lead generation firm in the business for economic development organizations. Call them now. They can help you create real prospects. [music]
Welcome to this episode of the Next Move Group’s We Are Jobs podcast. This is Chad Chancellor, co-founder of Next Move Group and I'm pleased to have Dr. Chad Miller here with us today.
Dr. Miller is with the University of Southern Mississippi in the College of Business and Economic Development. He runs an Economic Development Master’s program and I'm a big believer in the program because we've hired students from there that have ended up working for us both on an intern-time basis and a full-time basis and we've been very, very pleased. Dr. Miller, thank you for being with us today.
Dr. Chad Miller: Thank you for having me, Chad. It's great to be in New Orleans.
Chad Chancellor: Thank you. Why don't you start off by telling us a little about the program from a high level?
Dr. Chad Miller: Sure. Well, the Masters of Science Economic program has been around since 1982 putting out hundreds of economic developers and we're really focused on the nuts and bolts of economic development as practiced in rural communities and throughout the United States.
Chad Chancellor: Well, I didn't realize 1982. What was the reason for it back then? Mississippi has always been strong in economic development, so I guess there was a thought that let's do this.
Dr. Chad Miller: Yes, people saw the opportunity and needed-- go back to Mississippi. The Balance Agricultural Industry Act kind of kicked off. So, Mississippi has been a leader in a lot of these efforts with economic development. I think we're a continuation of that.
Chad Chancellor: Well, now you really have two pans. There's one for people starting their careers. So, if they're in college now and they want to pursue a Master’s degree and there’s also one for practitioners that may want to get a Master’s degree in Economic Development. Why don't you walk us through the folks who may be practitioners now? How they would go about accessing this program and utilizing it.
Dr. Chad Miller: Sure. It's an executive hybrid program. It can be done in a year. You take 10 classes. It's hybrid online, so we do a weekly webinar and each class is half day, Saturday in-person. You can do two trips down to Hardinsburg. We do keep the in-person because networking is such a crucial part and becoming part of the MSED Alumni network is important for your career advancement and there are a lot of modern economic developers out there.
Chad Chancellor: Yes, well I don’t have much of a voice today. We are in New Orleans and we just had a Mardi Gras event last night and so Dr. Miller is the first interview the day after, but it was interesting last night at our event. There were people that I had no idea had been through the program.
There was a gentleman from Texas and we’re talking. All of a sudden, yes, I went through the Southern Miss program. A guy from Indiana, he had been through it. So, really you reach far with your geography. Talk a little bit about the folks who may be in college now and want to start a career in economic development; how that path works.
Dr. Chad Miller: Sure. It’s a great way to get into economic development. Again, you can do it in one year. We do have a number of research assistant slots available where we cover tuition and pay you a salary. We do put you to work. Some of them are doing work for Chad and Next Move Group putting data together for them or working with communities, economic impact studies, strategic plans, feasibility analysis. You do work for the year, but it's a way to get your Master’s degree with somebody paying the bill.
Chad Chancellor: I know for the practitioner's side you're actually aligned with IEDC, so you might talk a little bit about that.
Dr. Chad Miller: Correct. We do follow IEDC teaching methods and so forth. We use a lot of IEDC manuals and the program. The IEDC basic course, The True South Basic course is actually one of our classes. So, going through the program you get academic credit for taking the basic course for IEDC and then you also get academic credit. You can also get-- it's a little bit of a shortcut to getting your CED.
Chad Chancellor: So, if someone pursues the practitioner's route, what would be some of the courses they would study? What would they learn, some of the subject matter?
Dr. Chad Miller: The core courses are Economic Data Analysis where you get hands-on experience working with INPLAN, StateBook, Gazelle, a lot of the leading programs, data sources and you get to use that tool and apply it to your community. One of our-- with economic developers, we try to make every class assignment something they can use back with their ED organization.
Chad Chancellor: Talk to us about how you got involved in economic development.
Dr. Chad Miller: Well, I got into it I was doing export promotion. After the army, I'd been working in Hong Kong and Vietnam, came back and was hired by Maryland to do export promotions. So, I started to work with economic developers and started to get involved with the attraction-retention side. I’ve been doing that down here for 10 years.
Chad Chancellor: Well, I’ve got to tell you if you're an economic developer and want to advance your career, I think it's a great program. We just hired a gentleman from the program about 4 or 5 months ago and he came in and just is doing a tremendous job for us. He had a very little learning curve. He was ready to go. I know you guys prepared him well, so I know if there are economic developers out there who want to move up or make more money or get a better job, somewhere along the way this is certainly an option that can advance their skills tremendously.
Dr. Chad Miller: Right, my goal is day one they can add value. They can work in your organization, know the lingo, know the terminology. You'll still probably need to do some mentoring with them, but day one they should be adding value to your economic development organization.
Chad Chancellor: People want to learn more about the program. How should they go about it? What's the website? What's your contact information so they get a hold of you?
Dr. Chad Miller: They can contact me at www.usm.edu and my number is 6-0-1-2-6-6-6-6-6-6. A lot of sixes.
Chad Chancellor: I can never type that in. I'd be hitting six, six too many times.
Dr. Chad Miller: Some people-- it is easy to remember. Let me put it that way.
Chad Chancellor: Well Dr. Miller, I could talk to you about this all day. Is there anything that I didn't ask you that you wish I had? That you want to say to the audience?
Dr. Chad Miller: Again, we’d love to work with you, educate as well as work with communities and so forth. We are engaged with the economic development organizations around the country trying to help them out, create experience for our students, the applied experiences. We look forward to continuing the work of working with communities and Next Move Group has been a great partner for this university.
Chad Chancellor: All right, thank you for being with us today.
Dr. Chad Miller: Thank you.
Chad Chancellor: I want to thank the University of Southern Mississippi’s Masters of Economic Development program for sponsoring today's podcast. We work with Southern Miss a lot and they do tremendous research for us whether we're working with a site selection project and we need Southern Miss’s help to understand labor and the market around that area, transportation they do a lot of research in or whether we need talent from the University of Southern Mississippi.
We have hired-- their students actually work for us as both interns and full-time employees. So, you can get a Master’s degree in Economic Development from the university. They have two options to do that. One is mostly an online option where you go in a few weekends and one is the more traditional classroom option.
So, whether you run an organization and need talent or whether you run an organization and need research, you should really consider the University of Southern Mississippi’s Masters of Economic Development program. [music]
A special thank you to Younger Associates for recording, editing, and publishing this podcast for us. I encourage you to visit their website at younger-associates.com