YOUNGSTOWN Program aims to develop community leaders

The program kicks off with a retreat in January and concludes next October.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Leadership Mahoning Valley, a development program that already boasts a graduate list of more than 800, is signing up applicants for a new training curriculum for emerging and developing leaders.
LEAD, an acronym for Leadership, Education and Development, is a 10-month program designed to identify, educate, cultivate and nurture leaders in the Mahoning Valley. It will complement Leadership Mahoning Valley's original program.
Ron Moliterno of Bank One, LEAD chairman, said the charter project will include interactive classroom training on leadership topics, mentor relationships between participants and other successful leaders, and work on a "significant community project." The project hasn't been chosen yet.
First class: Plans are to enroll 20 emerging leaders in the first class, which begins with a weekend retreat Jan. 17 and 18 and continues with monthly, one-day sessions through October 2002. Tuition is $1,800.
A LEAD selection committee will choose participants for the charter class, with an eye toward ensuring racial, ethnic and gender diversity. Applicants' skills and attitudes and their commitment to driving change in the community will also be factors in the selection process.
The program goal, Moliterno said, is to help emerging leaders develop their skills and, through them, to improve the Mahoning Valley.
"We've got to go back and grow another generation of leaders to help us face the problems in this community," he said. "We need more true leadership."
Moliterno said 250 people had a role in the two-year LEAD planning process. Officials at Compco Industries, Bank One and the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce coordinated the planning.
Bank One and Compco Industries are also continuing their involvement as program participants, along with Youngstown State University, Marcus Thomas LLC, United Way, Kent State University Trumbull and the University of Akron. LEAD will offer certification through YSU, KSU and the University of Akron for participants completing the program.
Commitment: Participants must commit to attend a one-day field trip to Akron in August, four after-hours socials, the monthly curriculum sessions and occasional reading assignments.
Moliterno said planners are also poised to begin a community stewardship program, in conjunction with LEAD, made up of 100 area leaders. "We'll be looking for people who want to make a difference in the community and who are willing to take some time to do that," he said.
Those serving in the stewardship program will fill various roles, including one-on-one mentors, class project advisers and class speakers. They'll also be asked to make videotaped testimonials on how they've met leadership challenges in their careers.
For more information or to apply, call Leadership Mahoning Valley or e-mail project planners at