Leadership Washington Co. is proud to announce its 19th Annual Leadership Program, which will begin its new class in September. The LWC program focuses on transformational leadership which creates valuable and positive change in individuals, both personally and professionally. The key components of the LWC program focuses on leading self, leading business and leading the community.

This three-tier approach makes LWC unique among leadership management programs. LWC focuses on individual development through strength-based learning to enhance participant’s leadership skills at work and in their personal lives. The LWC professional support team is comprised of business, government and educational leaders such as Stephanie Masters, Stephanie Masters Consultant, LLC who facilitates Clifton’s Strength Finders program, a foundation learning principal of the class.

Each year, the class participates in a community class project that positively impacts and supports a Washington County nonprofit organization. The 2018-19 class will support Dress for Success Pittsburgh. Previous classes have supported Junior Achievement of Washington County, Legacies Alive, The Washington Citywide Development Corporation - Main Street Project, Blessings in a Backpack, the Greater Washington County Food Bank and more.

LWC not only inspires class participants to be leaders in the community, it broadens professional networks that expand and create business opportunities.

“My journey through LWC was an amazing experience. Not only did I have the opportunity to build relationships among my fellow classmates, I also had the opportunity to meet business leaders and innovators from the thriving economic organizations throughout the county,” David Mariner, Ph.D., director of graduate programs at Waynesburg University, said.

LWC participants are recruited and selected from both public and private sector businesses operating within the greater Washington County area. Each class has a rich diversity of participants including those from large and small companies, nonprofit and for-profit businesses, government entities and sales and service operations.Participating businesses include Steptoe & Johnson PLLC, Columbia Gas, Blueprints, Washington Penn Plastics, Mon Valley Hospital and more. Participants must be in a management position or a small business owner to be considered.

LWC has graduated more than 270 leaders over the last 20 years. LWC alumni are represented among the top leadership of Washington County area businesses and 75% of them sit on or have sat on, nonprofit and government boards of directors. According to surveys conducted at the conclusion of each class, 100% of the participants have acknowledged that they would recommend LWC to a friend or colleague after completing the program.

“LWC has opened my eyes to understand the views and motivations of others, particularly those with whom you have the least in common – people with different life experiences, political views or ethnic backgrounds. At higher levels, empathy allows you to stand outside yourself and see how others view you, which is critical to being an effective leader,” Jodi Lignelli, corporate director of the YMCA Mon Valley, said.

If you are interested in the LWC program and would like to apply to be a participant, visit palwc.org/Home/ApplyLWCProgram. Due to the overwhelming number of applications this year, LWC has decided to expand the number of participants in the class and will be accepting applications for the 2018-19 class until Friday, July 13, 2018.

This article is sponsored by Leadership Washington County.