Crawford County Judge Dennis Gilstrap was among the 39 who were awarded graduation certificates during the 32nd annual Community Development Institute at the University of Central Arkansas on Aug. 4.
Gilstrap completed all three years of the institute’s program of study.
CDI trains community leaders and economic development professionals on how to strengthen their local economies and build communities. This is achieved by developing the ability of participants to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders, and bring communities, organizations and businesses together to respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.
The complete CDI experience is a three-year 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.
UCA in Conway is the birthplace for the Community Development Institute, which started in 1987 in partnership with Entergy, Southwestern Bell and ARKLA.
Since that time, CDIs have been established in California, Texas, Alabama, Idaho and Illinois, and a national governing and certification body, the Community Development Council, has been created.