MANASSAS — Manassas leaders are celebrating today as Nicole Smith, the city’s economic development coordinator received an endorsement as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD).

The national recognition form the International Economic Development Council denotes a mastery of skills in economic development, professional attainment and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

The CEcD designation recognizes qualified and dedicated practitioners in the economic development field and sets the standard of excellence within the profession.

Candidates must pass a rigorous and comprehensive examination, which has three parts and spans two days. The exam tests a practitioner’s knowledge, proficiency and judgment in the following key areas of economic development:

  • Business Retention and Expansion
  • Finance and Credit Analysis
  • Marketing and Attraction
  • Strategic Planning
  • Entrepreneurial and Small Business Development
  • Managing Economic Development Organizations
  • Neighborhood Development Strategies
  • Real Estate Development and Reuse
  • Technology-Led Economic Development
  • Workforce Development Strategies

“This is a great achievement for Nicole,” said Patrick Small, Economic Development Director for the City of Manassas in a press release.  “Nicole brings a broad breadth of experience and creativity to her role on behalf of the city and this certification really served to substantiate all that she has, and continues to, contribute.  This honor is well-earned and very much deserved.”

As highly competent economic development professionals, Certified Economic Developers work with public officials, business leaders, and community members to create leadership to build upon and maximize the economic development sector.

There are currently over 1,100 active CEcDs in the U.S.

The Manassas economic development office last year closed the largest economic development deal in Virginia history — a $3 billion deal to bring 1,100 highly-skilled jobs to Manassas as a part of an expansion of computer chip-maker Micon’s facility in the city.