DLI PICHOPKINS COUNTY, Ky. (8/21/19) — A local economic leader graduated from the Delta Regional Authority’s Delta Leadership Institute Executive Academy geared toward improving lives across the Mississippi River Delta region and Black Belt of Alabama.

Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corp. president Ray Hagerman is among two Kentuckians that completed the recent DLI training, the DRA reported. Benton resident Dr. Michael Ramage, director of telecommunications management at Murray State University, also completed the 10-month course.

Every other month, Hagerman attended different training sessions in the Delta Footprint region, the local EDC said, which has opened the door for many economic opportunities in Hopkins County.

DRA lists the training program involved public, private and nonprofit sector leaders for each of the eight states in the region in an effort to strengthen the economy.

“DLI is one of our most important tools for providing the Delta with the next generation of economic and community development leaders,” DRA Chairman Chris Caldwell said in a statement. “This group of graduates will take the experiences and lessons gleamed from the Executive Academy to be change agents in their communities.”

The graduates participated in seven training sessions over the past year to educate them on the regional and local economic and community development best practices employed across the Delta to catalyse innovative solutions implementable in their own community and region, the DRA noted. DLI fellows learn from local, regional and national experts in infrastructure and transportation, small business and entrepreneurship, workforce training, public health and other fields necessary to facilitate economic growth in the Delta region.

Since 2005, DLI's Executive Academy has enhanced the leadership skills, policy knowledge and networks of community members in the Delta region, the DRA reported. After graduation, the Alabama graduates become members of the Delta Leadership Network, which includes more than 500 community leaders who understand the importance of regional collaboration, resource sharing and innovative thinking.

DLI is a program of DRA in partnership with three institutions of higher education in the Delta region including the University of Alabama, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and the University of Louisiana Monroe.

About Delta Regional Authority

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. DRA has invested more than $185 million into more than 1,100 projects. Overall, DRA investments have helped create and retain more than 55,000 jobs, train nearly 45,000 workers to advance in the 21st Century, and deliver sewer and water improvements to more than 238,000 residents and businesses.

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