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Community Leadership Academy engages leaders to encourage change, promote prosperity

Kelly Nix, WVU Extension Service, speaks to the crowd at the 2018 Community Leadership Academy.

As communities work together to improve lives and promote growth for their fellow West Virginians,  West Virginia University   Extension Service  is providing tools and resources to assist with those efforts.

Through the Community Leadership Academy, leaders come together to enhance their skills on a variety of topics aimed at helping their communities. Topics range from education and volunteerism to financial management and economic development. David C. Hardesty Jr., WVU president emeritus, will share his leadership experiences and tips with attendees as the keynote address (May 2).

“As part of our land-grant mission, we need to provide our state’s leaders with education, training and connections that will allow them to be successful in their own communities,” said Michael Dougherty, professor and WVU Extension specialist, Family and Community Development. “This conference brings together who have that leader title, as well as those whose leadership comes from the power of the person. And, our state needs both types leaders who have a purpose and who can help us build prosperity for West Virginia. The Community Leadership Academy is one way we, as a university, can bring together diverse perspectives and experiences to provide our state’s leaders with tools that they can apply to their own communities.” 

The Community Leadership Academy is a three-day conference (May 1-3) aimed at strengthening leadership from all disciplines and areas of the state. The conference, now in its sixth year, will focus on the theme Engage and Energize. Attendees can mix or match breakout session topics that include leadership, good governance and economic strategy, allowing leaders to get the most from their experience and focus on topics relevant to them. 

This year’s Academy will have a strong focus on emerging leaders, including a young entrepreneurs’ panel and a session on retaining young talent. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity to bring experienced, new and future West Virginia leaders together to encourage discussion, promote opportunity and make positive change for our state,” added Dougherty. “Now, more than ever, West Virginia needs thoughtful, innovative leaders who want to move West Virginia forward.”

A full schedule of courses, registration information and other information is available  online. Student and group discount rates are available. Registrants can take advantage of the early bird discount, which is available through April 15.

The Community Leadership Academy has also been approved for local economic development credits with the West Virginia Development Office and continuing education units with WVU.  

The academy is organized by WVU Extension Service’s Community Resources and Economic Development program, which strives to provide educational programs and technical assistance to strengthen the capacity of citizens and organizations throughout the state of West Virginia.

WVU Extension Service’s local experts work to help improve the lifestyles and well-being of workforces, communities and businesses through trusted research in the counties in which they serve.  

West Virginia Forward is a statewide collaboration led by West Virginia University, the state Department of Commerce and Marshall University to help grow the economy by adding jobs, investing in education and improving health and wellness to create the most prosperous West Virginia possible.



CONTACT: Tara Curtis, WVU Extension Service