Todd Pousley, Community Development Manager at NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, recently completed the Appalachian Leadership Institute in August as part of the 2022-2023 class.
The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a free leadership and economic development training opportunity for individuals currently living and/or working in one of ARC’s 13 Appalachian states from New York to Alabama. The 2022-2023 class comprises a diverse network of professionals representing all 13 Appalachian states and a wide spectrum of perspectives and sectors, including tourism, healthcare, education, civil service, and more.
"Two things that I think were most valuable to me, one was just having the opportunity to visit communities that I hadn't been to before and one that I may not have visited otherwise to learn from those communities what challenges that they have. What are the ways that they're addressing those challenges? What are some of the more innovative things that they're doing? Things that we might be able to take and apply to our work in Scranton, or Carbondale, or other communities in northeast Pennsylvania," said Todd.
"There were 39 other people who are just rock stars in their communities doing community development work, but approaching it from lots of different perspectives. Just to be in their presence and get to know them and get to work with them throughout the sessions and make connections. There are some people I continue to follow up with now. I think there are a lot of connections I made that will probably be helpful to me at some point later in my career and in the work that I'm doing here at NeighborWorks," he continued.
The nine-month curriculum is anchored by six multi-day seminars across the Appalachian region focusing on each of ARC’s strategic investment priorities, which aim to strengthen economic and community growth in Appalachia.
"I'm grateful to work in a place, here at NeighborWorks, that supported me in something like this. It was a big commitment, and I'm just grateful to work at an organization that appreciates and truly supports the personal and professional development of its team members," said Todd.
Joining Pousley in representing Pennsylvania were fellow local area expert Holly Pilcavage, CEO of Coal Creative in Wilkes-Barre, and Amanda Craig Bradley, Business Outreach Manager of DRIVE in Danville.
To learn more about the program, visit: arc.gov/leadership. To meet the 2022-2023 class of fellows and learn more about how they are working to transform their Appalachian communities, visit: arc.gov/appalachian-leadership-institute-class/.