Program looking for new county leaders

Leadership Warren County is now accepting applications for its 2013-2014 class.

The program is in its seventh year and, thus far, has helped more than 65 local residents learn about their community.

One of the goals of the program is to help young executives, newcomers to the community and life-long learners become aware of the variety of opportunities, experiences and activities available in Warren County.

Steering Committee Chair Barbara Tubbs noted that the program shows participants where they can make a difference and arms them with the skills and knowledge necessary to make a positive impact in the community as well as help them to succeed at home and at work.

More than three quarters of the participants report that they have become involved with volunteer committees and organizations. The benefits to the Warren County community are many and varied.

In addition, participants have undertaken major class projects. Notable among these are the Pennsylvania Kinzua Pathways hiking and biking trails, the establishment of the St. Louis Arch model monument, a tribute to local engineering and construction trades, and the proposed “Welcome to Warren” mural.

Program Director Gary Lester pointed out other benefits of the program, “Every business and organization needs a go-to person who knows who the movers and shakers in the community are, what makes the community tick and where to find important information. Also, everyone is in sales and marketing in some sense and it’s good business for a company or organization to promote its employees’ involvement in the community. Add to that the network established within the class and potential mentorships and connections with the speakers and the value of Leadership Warren County is tremendous.”

Classes meet every other Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Warren Public Library and they feature presenters who are experts on local government, the educational system, natural resources, cultural activities and more. Also included are tours of the community, including local businesses and industries.

“I know when I talk to people about the program, there is almost instantaneous interest and even excitement,” Lester added. “This is true of potential participants and potential presenters. I’ve been invovled in this community for more than 40 years and the LWC curriculum includes a lot of important things it took me years to learn and also a lot of things I never had a chance to learn about. It’s a real ‘fast-track’ to knowledge about the county.”

The program begins Sept. 18 and finishes with a graduation ceremony on June 4, 2014.

Cost of the program is $1,800. Partial scholarships are available for non-profit agencies, small businesses and the self-employed.

Further information is available on the Leadership Warren County website, www.leadershipwarrencounty.org, or by contacting Lester at 757-8449 or glester@atlanticbb.net.