More than 100 community leaders from Arkansas and surrounding states will meet at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) campus on August 4-8 to participate in the annual Community Development Institute (CDI).  Taking place in the Brewer-Hegeman Conference Center, the event promises to be a unique educational experience for elected officials, economic development professionals, nonprofit managers and local leaders.

Participants will be involved in numerous simulations, instructor led presentations, community tours and group discussions, with the goal of providing a practical, applied foundation in economic development strategies at the local and regional level. The 2014 session will also feature an Advanced Year class composed of program graduates. The Advanced Year class will be engaging in an in depth, accelerated community development process through work with the city of Paris, Arkansas.

Amy Whitehead, CDI Director, said, "This is a very exciting year for CDI. We have numerous new presenters that will bring great content to the institute. Our partnership with Arkansas Economic Developers and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has allowed us to open up the Institute to a broader audience for our keynote session. Additionally, we are thrilled to be bringing back the Advanced Year class to CDI so that we can allow our participants to work directly in a community to apply the concepts they have learned in a real-world setting."

The complete CDI experience is a three-year training program, with one week of training per year. Participants move through the program curriculum in cohorts, and are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to the field of community and economic development.

For more information about CDI or to register, visit, or contact Josh Markham at 501-450-3460 or