FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who attends the Midwest CDI?
The Midwest CDI attracts local economic developers, mayors and local officials, staff from state economic development agencies, staff from federal and regional agencies, and concerned community leaders.
Where are the participants from?
Most participants are from Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, although Midwest CDI has attracted participants from as far away as Mississippi and Mexico. Most participants are from small towns, although participants from larger cities, such as Minneapolis, have also found the training useful.
Why do participants come to Midwest CDI?
Participants want to learn new skills and knowledge so that they are more effective in their jobs. Many are interested in earning professional certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer to enhance their career options.
How long does an annual Midwest CDI training session last?
Four days - the session begins at 10:00 AM Monday morning and concludes at approximately 1:00 PM on Thursday.
How much does it cost to attend?
The tuition is $550 if you register by July 26 (2013 Early Bird Special of $500 by June 26). In addition to tuition, there are hotel costs and some meals. A limited number of scholarships are available, as explained below.
What exactly is included with the tuition?
Most meals are covered, including lunch on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and dinner at Figge Art Museum Wednesday evening (the room rates at the Stoney Creek Hotel include breakfast each morning). Tuition also includes a field trip to a community site and class materials.
Can Midwest CDI cover all of my expenses and invoice me afterwards?
We are able to invoice you for the tuition, but hotel and other costs must be covered on your own.
What do scholarships cover?
There are a limited number of Partners in Progress scholarships available through the generosity of our sponsors. We especially encourage applications from a team of two or more participants from the same community, county, or region. The scholarships generally pay $200 for each participant in a group. Scholarships do not cover hotel or other expenses.
I would like to take two Years of CDI during the same week. Can I do that?
The three Years are held concurrently and each course lasts four days, so you can only participate in one Year's sessions during a week.
My job is very demanding. May I miss some sessions and spend the time working by email or phone?
We strongly discourage participants from missing CDI sessions. Unexcused absences will result in the loss of credit toward certification. CDI is designed as a complete curriculum, not as a conference in which people pick and choose sessions that are of interest to them. Furthermore, networking and team activities are disrupted when participants come and go from the room. However, we understand that work is very demanding these days. CDI has frequent breaks and an extended lunch period each day that should allow you to contact your office as necessary. The Stoney Creek Inn has wireless Internet access for day or evening work. If there is a day meeting or event that you absolutely must attend, please speak with CDI Director John Gruidl before Midwest CDI starts.
What is appropriate dress for CDI?
Business casual dress is the norm.
What is PCED certification for?
The certification is a credential that establishes to employers and others that you have a solid base of skills and knowledge in community development. The Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) certification is possible through attending CDI, earning other "points" for work, education and training, and passing an examination. The PCED certification is administered by the Community Development Council, a national non-profit organization that also oversees the five CDIs in the country.
How do I qualify for the PCED certification?
See the Path to Certification link on this site. You must first earn eight points through a combination of participation in CDI, other training, education, and work experience. You then must apply to the Community Development Council and document your points. The Community Development Council reviews your application and may ask for more information or clarification. When the CDC accepts your application, you can take the PCED exam. You should apply to the CDC at least 30 days before you plan to take the examination. After passing the exam, you are awarded your certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer. As of April 2011, more than 350 people nationwide held this designation.
When is the PCED exam offered?
The PCED exam is offered on the closing Friday of the Midwest CDI each August. The exam is also offered at the Illinois Rural Community Development Conference held annually in March in Peoria. If there is sufficient demand, an additional PCED exam is offered at a central location.
Who can I ask if I have a question that isn't addressed here?