SMPDD Receives National Association of Development Organizations 2018 Innovation Award

Pictured from left to right are SMPDD 1st Vice President Calvin Newsom and NADO President Doug Elliot.

SMPDD Receives National Association of Development Organizations 2018 Innovation Award

WASHINGTON, DC – Southern Mississippi Planning & Development District (SMPDD) based in Gulfport, MS has received a 2018 Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) for the 2017 Twin Districts Workforce Development Area (TDWDA) Sector Strategy Plan.

The Sector Strategy Plan was produced by SMPDD to help guide workforce development efforts in the 24-county workforce area.  The plan focuses on identifying skill gaps in the workforce, aligning training programs with jobs that are in demand, and establishing pathways for Mississippi residents to train for meaningful employment with family-sustaining wages.  The three sectors identified are Advanced Manufacturing, Energy and Chemicals, and Healthcare.

NADO is a Washington, DC-based membership association of regional development organizations that promotes programs and policies that strengthen local governments, communities, and economies through regional cooperation, program delivery, and comprehensive strategies.  The association’s Innovation Awards program recognizes regional development organizations and their partners for improving the economic and community competitiveness of our nation’s regions and local communities.

Award-winning projects were honored during NADO’s 2018 Annual Training Conference, held October 13 – 16 in Charlotte, NC.  The 2018 class of award recipients consists of 90 projects spanning 24 states.  These projects are presented in an interactive “Story Map” developed by NADO and Esri and include project summaries and partners.  The Story Map is available online at:

“The Aliceann Wohlbruck Innovation Awards program recognizes the important and wide-ranging work of regional development organizations in communities across the country” said 2017-2018 NADO Doug Elliott, executive director of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments, located in Cedar Rapids.  “These awards demonstrate the value of regional development organizations and highlight their critical role in promoting economic development for the nation’s rural and small metropolitan communities.”

This year’s awards are presented in honor of Aliceann Wohlbruck, who passed away in March 2018.  Wohlbruck was NADO’s first executive director, serving 24 years as a tireless champion for regional approaches to economic development in rural communities.

For more information about this award-winning project, contact Allison Beasley, (228) 868-2311,

Since 1967 the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) has provided advocacy, education, networking, and research for the national network of 540 regional development organizations. NADO members provide professional, programmatic, and technical assistance to over 2,300 counties and 15,000 municipalities.


Comments are closed