The CED’s Practitioner’s Edge Series Wraps Up

Apr 16, 2014

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The fourth consecutive year of the Center for Economic Development’s popular Practitioner’s Edge Seminar and Workshop Series wrapped up April 5th 2014.  This series gives Heinz students exposure to some of the more practice specific skills in economic and community development; skills complementary to the generalized skills conferred by our core and elective courses.  The CED delivered a record six events last year, with participation reaching 52 attendees.

Kickoff Seminar: Economic Disaster Response in Wilmington OH (1.5 hours)

When the major employer of one of America's 100 Best Small Towns closes down and 10,000 good jobs disappear, how should economic development professionals respond? Anyway they can. The presenters spoke about their award winning programmatic responses including a green enterprise zone and a buy local program with a unique business analytic evaluation.   For more on Wilmington OH, see this segment from CBS’s 60 Minutes news program:

Presented by Chris Schock and Taylor Stuckert of the Clinton County (OH) Regional Planning Commission.  See

Seminar in Participatory Planning (1.5 hours)

Friday, Feb 21 2014

Fostering community participation in development is a key skill for community and economic development practitioners and often a necessary ingredient to the success of initiatives in both small-scale neighborhood development, and larger scale economic and transportation projects.  This seminar provided a presentation on the use of engagement strategies, followed by group Q&A discussion.

The seminar was led by Don Carter, David Lewis Director of Urban Design and Regional Engagement, Remaking Cities Institute, bio:

Workshop in Community Finance (4 hours)

Saturday, February 22 2014

The workshop provided a brief introduction to concepts and calculations for small business lending followed by hands on exercises. The presenter also discussed challenges and approaches for assisting small businesses in economically depressed communities.

Presented by Dwayne Ranking, Community Development Loan Officer, Bridgeway Capital (see

Workshop in Basic Real Estate Finance for Public-Private Development Projects (4 hours)

Saturday, March 1 2014

This workshop provided a broad review of income producing real estate finance for non-real estate professionals, with a focus on publicly subsidized commercial development projects. The workshop covered the fundamentals of real estate cash flow, real estate valuation, the use of leverage (debt) to finance real estate, and the concept of the time value of money in understanding return on investment. Other topics included basic real estate finance tools to value real estate, determine the amount of debt a real estate project can support, create capitalization structures, and return on investment measures for real estate equity investment.  The workshop was led by Tom Link (MSPPM 2003), Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

Workshop on Housing Policy, Housing Development, and Project Financing (3 hours)

Saturday March 22, 2014

This workshop included a brief overview of federal, state, and local housing policy in the United States, local conditions on the ground here in Pittsburgh, basic project finance basics, and several hands on case studies.

Presented by Jessica Smith Perry (MSPPM ’01), Assistant Director, Housing Department, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

Workshop in the Basic Uses of Input Output Models in Economic Impact Studies (6 hours)

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

The uses (and abuses) of input-output models of regional economies are a mainstay for regional strategy as well as advocacy in the area economic and community development, and a key tool for applied research or consulting in the field.  This workshop covered some basic uses of IMPLAN for typical local economic impact studies.  Students worked directly with the IMPLAN software, completing exercises and one case study.  Led by Greg Lagana (MSPPM 2003), Director of Projects, Center for Economic Development, Carnegie Mellon, Bio:


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