Leadership Program Benefits Both Employers & Employees

by Troy Garman, Realtor for RE/MAX Realty Agency, Chair of the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

Thirty-two years ago, the Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce started a community leadership development program that evolved into Leadership Franklin County (LFC). Today, LFC encompasses three programs – Community, Youth and Advanced – and is run by a team of volunteers organized by the Chamber Foundation. The Chamber can now boast that there are more than 500 graduates of the Community program, which is intended to develop a continuum of civic leaders who are engaged in the community’s quality and growth.

Sixteen students completed the Community program on May 11 and were honored at their graduation ceremony (pictured below). I want to congratulate this year’s graduates for a job well done. I also want to express thanks to the employers, colleagues and family members who supported the graduates while they were enrolled in the program. LFC demands a significant commitment of time and energy from its participants, but it is time well spent on leadership development and community engagement.

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If you are an employer wondering whether it is worth supporting an employee who wants to participate in the program or if you are a business owner who is wondering whether it is worth diverting time from your business to participate in the program, the answer is an unequivocal “Yes.” Graduates routinely use the skills developed in the program for their jobs, personal career development and community involvement. It may be difficult to measure immediate tangible benefits from the program, but the intangible benefits are wide-ranging and translate readily into any business setting. 

A few ways in which the LFC Community program benefits students include:
  • Students work in groups to complete a community service project. This requires everyone to practice project management skills, learn traits of effective teamwork, assess their individual strengths and weaknesses and use organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Students interact with one another and with instructors, facilitators and speakers, increasing their network and making valuable connections with people from a variety of backgrounds and industries within our community.
  • Students are exposed to a wide variety of perspectives about the community. Each class session focuses on a different topic, ranging from business ethics and nonprofits to diversity and education. This helps them understand our community better and the resources available, which contributes to their job performance.
As an employer, if you support an employee’s participation in the program you are showing value for their contributions to your business and sending the message that you want your employee to succeed. For small business owners, participation in the program is a great way to energize yourself, develop new contacts and gain new perspective about your business and how it fits into the community as a whole. 

I encourage anyone who is considering enrolling in LFC Community or supporting the enrollment of an employee to fill out an application. Applications for the 2017-2018 program are due by June 30.

I am sure that you will find LFC to be an excellent use of your resources!

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