Career Center | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Join
VEDA Professional Development Scholarships Guidelines for Application
Share |

Economic developers realize the importance of professional development. Educational venues, where knowledge, professional experience, and best practices are shared between economic development practitioners, provide invaluable learning opportunities. VEDA offers a variety of scholarships to help its members with their professional development efforts. Applications must be submitted online on the VEDA website ( Past scholarship recipients.

2020 Scholarship Application Process Closed January 24.

Basic Economic Development Course/IEDC Economic Development Training Courses In keeping with its basic mission to enhance the professionalism of its members, VEDA will offer up five scholarships (amount to be determined in the budget process) to attend any one of 22 accredited Basic Economic Development Courses offered throughout the United States or any one of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Economic Development Training Courses.


Affiliated with 21 universities and one state agency, the Basic Economic Development Course (BECD) is to provide those interested in economic development, or those new to the field, with a foundation on the primary elements of the economic development profession.


With 12 courses offered in multiple locations around the country, IEDC’s training courses are a source of economic development education for professionals at all levels. Course topics cover key subjects such as economic development planning, as well as specialized issues like brownfield redevelopment and neighborhood development strategies. Each course is guided by a curriculum, developed over the past ten years and constantly updated with new ideas and information. The IEDC Courses can be taken independently or as a part of the IEDC Certification process. VEDA does not fund the taking of the Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) exam. Core courses offered include: Introduction to Economic Development; Economic Development Credit Analysis; Real Estate Development & Reuse; and Business Retention and Expansion. Elective courses are also offered. 


Economic Development Institute VEDA makes available a three-year scholarship to the Economic Development Institute (EDI). The EDI is a nationally renowned three-year program, which provides the professional with an advanced, broad level of education incorporating the skills and subjects required to carry out an economic development program. It provides training leading toward professional certification eligibility and a level of education in demand by potential employers of professional economic developers. EDI consists of 3 one-week sessions – each session offered once per year – that can be taken at multiple locations. Completion of a BEDC is required to enter the EDI.


The scholarship will be available for the next session and will cover the full cost of tuition and expenses, up to an amount indicated in the VEDA budget annually, per year for three years. It will be awarded on the basis of financial need and the potential for educational achievement. 


Virginia Institute for Economic Development The Virginia Institute for Economic Development (VIED) provides training in the economic development process, and outlines how this process is used to benefit Virginia’s cities, counties and towns in furthering economic growth. During this 2-day course, industry professionals will focus on the fundamentals of economic development and set the stage for what the fundamentals mean to economic developers in Virginia. Participants will get a picture of "who to call” and "how to get things done” as economic developers in Virginia.


The VIED program is designed to serve the needs of new economic development professionals; economic development staff; and economic development professionals new to Virginia. Local government officials and volunteer community leaders can benefit as well. 


Smiley H. Waller Memorial Scholarship The Smiley H. Waller Memorial Scholarship was created in memory of VEDA’s first Executive Director who served the organization for more than 15 years. The scholarship, funded by Smiley’s family is designed to assist VEDA members who are on track to earn an economic development professional certification. Funds from this scholarship are awarded at the discretion of the VEDA Scholarship Committee, based on the number of applications received and apply to any generally accredited economic development program.


General Scholarship Application Information The VEDA Scholarship application process begins at the end of each calendar year with a notice to members announcing the acceptance of applications. The scholarship deadline is typically in February and recipients are immediately notified once the committee has made their decisions.


Scholarship funding is determined through the VEDA budget process annually (usually in December). The VEDA Board strives to allow for as many scholarships as possible within the confines of the budget based on anticipated revenue and expenses for the coming year.


Dates, times, and locations of all economic development courses may be found on the VEDA website in the Calendar section.


All scholarship application information must be submitted in electronic (email) format for easy distribution to review committee. All scholarship applications should consist of one PDF or Word document as opposed to multiple documents.


The application must consist of

  • A VEDA Scholarship Request Form (ONLINE APPLICATION FORM)
  • A resume (Upload online)
  • Letter of support or recommendation from a superior or sponsor (Upload online). In addition to a recommendation for the applicant, this letter from the organization should include the number of people that work in the organization, the number of those who are members of VEDA, the organization’s total budget, and the amount of the budget dedicated to professional development.
  • A one-page statement defining the applicant’s role in his/her community’s economic development efforts with potential impacts of that involvement (Upload online). This statement is your opportunity to differentiate yourself from other applicants. It should include your support for VEDA and any other classes you have taken that demonstrate your commitment to economic development. Additionally, if your role includes duties beyond economic development, you should describe them in your letter.
  • Copy of the budget for economic development from your organization, which clearly specifies total professional development funds available. Please list employer’s total number of employees. (Upload online)

Please note: all elements of the application must be uploaded to the VEDA website as a single PDF document.

The following rules apply:

  • Applicant’s job description must be clearly defined as working in economic development.
  • Applicant must either be a VEDA member or in the case of VIED scholarships, be recommended by a VEDA member.  (VIED scholarships are the only ones open to non-members)
  • Candidates representing public organizations will be given consideration in deference to applicants affiliated with private firms.
  • Financial needs of the candidate’s organization will be given consideration.
  • The scholarship is not transferable to another individual.
  • The scholarship can transfer with the individual as long as the individual remains a VEDA member and works full time in the economic development field in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • All sections must be clearly answered. Applications that are incomplete or in which the answers are not clear, may not be reviewed.
  • Applications that do not include all required attachments may not be reviewed. The attachments are: on-line application, resume, statement from applicant, letter from organization, and budget document which clearly identifies monies for professional development.
  • Applicants will need to confirm that the information provided is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge at the time of submission.

1340 N. Great Neck Road, #1272-128
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454

Copyright © 2018. All Rights Reserved.