PITTSBORO, NC – July 3, 2024 – Phillip Thompson, Project Manager for the Chatham EDC, has officially earned the designation of North Carolina Certified Economic Developer (NCCED). The graduation ceremony was held during the annual conference of the North Carolina Economic Development Association (NCEDA) in Wilmington, North Carolina.

The NCCED curriculum was created in 2019 through a partnership between East Carolina University and NCEDA. The program provides practical knowledge concerning the practice of economic development in North Carolina to economic development personnel, elected officials, and business leaders. Courses offer rigorous, practical instruction in solutions, strategies, and programs unique to North Carolina.

Participants in the program are required to complete seven courses and a capstone project for a total of 84 contact hours. Participants must complete the course of study and pass the capstone project review to earn the program certificate and become a North Carolina Certified Economic Developer recognized by NCEDA.

Thompson’s capstone project explored the need for childcare in economic development. As a father of two young children, he saw first-hand how important childcare is for working adults. His work focused on the need for accessible and affordable childcare in Chatham County and proposed strategies for engaging existing industries in enhancing the local early childcare infrastructure.

“Phillip is a key member of our team and this additional study he’s completed will greatly benefit his role of helping bring new jobs and investment to Chatham County,” said Michael Smith, President of the Chatham EDC.

As a newly certified North Carolina Economic Developer, Thompson looks forward to applying what he’s learned to his day-to-day in Chatham County. “I’m extremely thankful for Michael and the board’s investment in my career,” Thompson said. “I am eager to begin putting into practice what I learned in the program to help Chatham County continue its positive momentum.”