TN Business Retention & Expansion Course

On average, 80% of new jobs and capital investment in a community are generated by its existing businesses.  The Tennessee Business Retention and Expansion Course is a one-and-a half-day course that focuses on how to develop, implement and evaluate an effective retention and expansion program. Course topics include promoting existing businesses, addressing sudden and unexpected losses of major employers, and the importance of retooling both the workplace and workforce.

This course is one of a series of economic development courses, provided by UT Center for Industrial Services (UT CIS), designed to share best practices and trends with Tennessee’s economic development practitioners, private industry leaders, community leaders and elected officials.​

Date and Location:

May 5-6, 2021  |  Online

Course Agenda:

Course Fee:

Registration: $300

The registration fee covers course materials and instruction. Registration is limited to 45 participants and is filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Times:

Day 1: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM  ET
Day 2: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM ET

How to Register:

If you need assistance accessing your account, please contact Carol Jones at 615-253-6371 or

You may also register by submitting a Course Registration Form by email. 

Cancellation and Refund Policy:

Payment needs to reach our office two weeks prior to the class. No refunds or credits will be issued for cancellations one week or less prior to the first date of class, but credit may be applied towards another UT CIS course.


A limited number of scholarships are available to course participants from Tennessee. Applications for scholarships can be downloaded here Scholarship Application.

If applying for a scholarship, please go ahead and register for the class and choose the "Invoice" option rather than pay by credit card. That way, you are registered for the class and your seat is saved while the scholarships are being processed.

Scholarships cover $225 of the $300 course tuition cost. Scholarship recipients will be required to pay $75 of the tuition cost, which will not be refundable should the participant withdraw from the course. Applications must be received by Friday, April 9, 2021 to be considered for a scholarship.

Dress Code:

The attire for the course is business casual.

Other TCED Economic Development Courses:


Laith Wardi

Laith Wardi, CEcD, is President and Founder of ExecutivePulse, Inc. He has worked in the economic development profession for over 20 years. Laith has comprehensive experience in business retention & expansion that includes one-to-one outreach to hundreds of value-added client companies, work as a resource provider, and 15 years of regional program management in his home state of Pennsylvania. 

During his tenure in economic development, he also worked in business incubation and provided small business mentoring services to entrepreneurs.