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What is the Community Leadership Program?

June 07, 2019 at 10:25 AM

Ask any recent graduate of the Chamber’s Community Leadership Program (CLP) about the official song of Iowa and you will be serenaded to the tune of O Tannenbaum. Okay, maybe not – but at least you’ll receive a knowing smile! For the chorally disinclined, fear not: singing is not a regular CLP activity. Instead, CLP is about three things: learning about the community, learning about the other members of your CLP class, and learning how to engage more meaningfully with both. 

Learning about the community:

The CLP program runs from August through June and delves into both leadership development and the major sectors that make up our community. Sessions focus on topics ranging from health care to agriculture, human services to arts and culture. Each session is designed and facilitated by a programming committee and session leaders who are experts in their fields. These volunteers constantly update the program’s content and activities based on participant feedback and changes in the community. By the end of the program, CLP class members know more about the community than nearly anyone else.

Learning about the other members of your CLP class:

Each CLP class is made up of 25 individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. Class members first meet at an orientation session in August, quickly create meaningful friendships at a retreat in October, and continue to build those relationships throughout the rest of the program. Participants challenge and support one another well beyond graduation, too: previous CLP classes have worked together to run a successful election campaign and found a nonprofit organization (Community Foundation of Johnson County, Summer of the Arts).

Learning how to engage more meaningfully:

At each session, class members learn about the amazing strengths our community boasts – but CLP also explores the challenges and opportunities we face. By learning about what the community needs and developing relationships with other individuals who are committed to addressing those needs, members of the CLP class are ready to engage and make a difference.


If you are interested in learning about the community, developing relationships with some amazing individuals, and engaging more with your community, please apply to be a part of the 29th CLP Class. Applications are available here and are due June 14.  Learning the State song will be a bonus!