The CDI curriculum gives participants a core body of knowledge and skills in Community Development and Economic Development.

At the Midwest CDI, we believe that Community Development and Economic Development are complementary. In our view, the goal of development is a coordinated effort that stimulates both, and therefore, makes for an economically and socially vibrant community. It is important for development professionals to have an understanding of both Community Development and Economic Development, regardless of whether they focus on one or the other in their current job. At CDI, best practices in Community Development and Economic Development are presented and explained. The complete CDI program consists of attending three four-day sessions, referred to as Year One, Year Two, and Year Three.

Year One focuses on the foundations of community development. It covers community and economic development practices, strategic visioning and planning, asset mapping, community assessment, managing volunteers, and understanding community economies. A simulation engages participants in better understanding the challenges and benefits of a community development approach.

Year Two focuses on economic development. It covers the “nuts and bolts” of implementing specific economic development projects, such as how to put together a financing package, how to establish a business retention and expansion program, how to support entrepreneurs, and how to make your community a “quality of place”.

Year Three focuses on putting it all together. It covers how to coordinate community and economic development efforts for the best possible results. Participants learn skills in how to start and maintain a successful development organization, how to market your community and organization, workforce planning, and how to develop community leadership. After completing three years of CDI, participants are well-prepared for the examination to become a Professional Community and Economic Developer.