Community Development Institute (CDI)

The mission of CDI is to empower people with the knowledge and skills necessary to proactively improve the physical and human resources of their communities, thereby increasing the quality of life for all citizens.

CDI can effectively and positively impact economic and social development by building the capacity of individuals and communities through practical, interactive, and comprehensive training designed to meet the needs of economic and community development professional working in a fast paced environment.

The program consists of three, four-day training sessions which can be completed in subsequent years at the same site location or by fast tracking to multiple sites within the CDI network in a single year or more. Participants are exposed to a comprehensive, applied approach to community and economic development. In addition to learning from successful practitioners, CDI also offers valuable networking and peer‐to‐peer learning opportunities.

Who Should Attend?

Participants include community and economic development practitioners, city, county and state officials and community volunteers, non-profit staff and board members, chamber staff, private industry, municipal districts, and academics, all of whom find the institute to be a valuable learning tool for the development of individual and community leadership skills. Attendees will expand their ability to identify community assets, set goals, encourage collaboration, and respond to a broad range of economic and quality of life issues.

CDI Across the Nation

CDI is a national network of training sites endorsed by the Community Development Council (CDC), a nationally-recognized, non-profit organization with the mission of advancing the practice and profession of community development.


CDI Central

Director: Amy Whitehead
University of Central Arkansas
201 Donaghey Avenue
Brewer-Hegeman 102
Conway, AR  72035
Phone: 501.852.2930

CDI Midwest

Director: Christopher Merrett, Ph.D.
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL  61455
Phone: 309.298.2281

CDI Northwest

Director: Jerry Miller
Idaho Commerce
700 West State Street, Boise, ID 83702
Phone: 208.287.0780

CDI Texas

Director: Kay Fitzsimons
Lone Star College
5000 Research Forest Drive
The Woodlands, TX  77381
Phone: 832.813.6623