Vilonia city employees complete Community Development Institute

Two Vilonia city employees completed the Advanced Year class of the 32nd annual Community Development Institute at the University of Central Arkansas on Aug. 3.

City Clerk Kelly Lawrence and administrator Amanda Norwood completed the course.

The Advanced Year class of CDI, in partnership with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, focuses on the application of community and economic development principles in a real-world setting. Participants that have completed years 1, 2 and 3 of CDI take the skills they learned and use them to make a positive impact on an Arkansas community.

Throughout the week of July 30 through Aug. 3, the class worked with the city of Sheridan.

The class conducted an online first impressions tour of the city, completed a driving tour and shared opportunities with local leadership aimed at identifying and understanding their assets and opportunities. The Advanced Year class culminated by producing a report of their findings and recommendations, which will be shared with the community.

UCA is the birthplace for CDI, which started in 1987 in partnership with Entergy, Southwestern Bell and ARKLA. Since that time, CDls have been established in California, Texas, Idaho, Alabama and Illinois, and a national governing and certification body, the Community Development Council, has been created.

More information about CDI can be found at