Leadership program applicants needed

Published 9:40 am Friday, July 15, 2022

Pearl River County’s Leadership Program is returning again this year, but will now be an eight-month program with two added sessions for a total of eight. The sessions are designed to educate local professionals on the importance of community, team building, engagement, economic development and leadership.

Programs in the past were six-months with a total six sessions.

“We realized the need to add additional days to discuss how our county works in terms of law & justice…we wanted to cast the net further and include the Sheriff’s Department and the Courthouse of Poplarville,” said Executive Director of Greater Picayune Area Chamber of Commerce Laci Lee.

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The other added session is on business and development, which will focus mainly small business development.

Participants in the program meet once a month at various locations throughout the Pearl River County from August – March. Locations are typically paired with the theme of that month’s lesson. Participants will hear from local and regional professionals who will discuss issues, strategies and be educated about available resources and opportunities for the county’s future. The participants will also be required to engage in local non-profits and complete a class report containing recommendations to improve the county. This program also offers participants an opportunity to build a professional network.

The first session will be a Leadership Kick-Off and Team Building Retreat. After that, the sessions will cover social infrastructure, civic infrastructure, law and justice, economic development, education and workforce culture, heritage and environmental.

Lee said she hopes participants will take away lessons to grow in their current industry or a field that they might be changing to. Participants will get a first hand opportunity to learn about various aspects of their county. The classes are aimed to help current and future leaders continue on their path of becoming a leader.

“We want to foster relationships between current and future leaders in our county,” he said.

Past graduates have gone on to start their own business and be quite successful, while most if not all have moved up in their companies.

“So I believe a lot of that helped from leadership because they took that next step because they had confidence to do so,” said Lee.

In order for participants to graduate from the program they will need to attend at least seven of the eight sessions and be a part of completing a class project that will be presented at the end of the program. Participants are also required to complete a minimum of 12 hours of community service or volunteer work.

Applications are currently being accepted on the Chamber’s website. Spots are limited and the deadline to apply for the program is July 31. Call 601-798-3122 or apply at www.greaterpicayunechamber.org or email lacileepicayunechamber@gmail.com.