Leadership Rutherford is recruiting for next class

FOREST CITY – Leadership Rutherford is recruiting applicants for its next class series, beginning with an orientation in August and monthly sessions from September to May. Whether you’re a county native or have just moved to the area, this program is a valuable community-building and leadership development experience.

Each year, the program accepts up to 20 participants. Founded in 1999, Leadership Rutherford has over 320 graduates to date. The class meets once per month, September through May. During each full-day session, participants learn from local subject matter experts about a specific theme, such as economic development, lifestyle, education, healthcare, government, diversity, agriculture, environment, and tourism. One recent Leadership Rutherford graduate shared, “Being new to the county, Leadership Rutherford has helped me develop lifelong friendships, network, and be better informed of what’s going on in Rutherford County.” Another graduate commented, “As a high school student, Leadership Rutherford has given me insight to amazing opportunities housed right here in Rutherford County. … Little did I know this class would open all sorts of doors that will have a lasting impact as I continue in life.”

As a team, each class undertakes a group project, which class members develop and execute together for the benefit of Rutherford County. Past class projects include the Cherry Bounce Trail; the Leader of the Pack 5K; the Cliffside Honeysuckle Park Revitalization; the Rail Trail Clean-Up, Bench Sponsorship and Backpack Food Drive; @ResourceRutherford on Facebook; and, most recently, a county-wide food and funding drive to support the local Backpack Program for an entire summer. Class projects are designed to facilitate team-building and to have a lasting impact on the community.

The cost of the program is $550, which covers all supplies, meals, travel, and professional fees for the year. This equates to about $7.43 per hour for a year of high-quality, high-impact professional development and leadership training. In many cases, workplaces will pay some or all of the program cost to sponsor an employee in the class. There are limited scholarship funds available.

To apply, visit Leadership Rutherford’s website, www.leadershiprutherford.com, click on the How to Apply tab, and download the application package and a scholarship request form, if desired. The deadline to apply is Saturday, July 15, 2017.

Leadership Rutherford is a valuable asset to the community. To be a part of its impact, please consider sponsoring the program. Sponsorship opportunities include $250 for a Class Lunch, $550 to provide a Student Scholarship, $750 to be a Gold Sponsor, or $1,000 to be a Platinum Sponsor. Your contribution will provide a quality class experience for participants, including meals, materials and transportation to key sites throughout the county.

Graduates become agents of positive change for the community by getting involved in business, civic, and community leadership positions. Any questions about the program, the application process, or becoming a sponsor may be directed to the class facilitator, Linc McDaniel at leadershiprutherfordNC@gmail.com.