Applications are now closed for the 37th Signature Class. Applications for the 38th Signature Class will open January 2024.
Answering your questions about the Signature Program
Who should apply for The Signature Program?
- The Signature Program is ideal for business and community leaders who are ready to take their careers and community involvement to the next level.
How does it work?
- Each year, a set number of participants are selected through an application & interview process
- Our goal is a diverse class: professionally, geographically, and culturally
What’s the time commitment?
- Covers 10 months, beginning with a 2-day Opening Retreat
- Day-long programs once per month cover a range of topics (See Curriculum tab)
- Enrichment opportunities take an hour or so per month.
- Tuition is $3,050 including meals, lodging, and materials
- Non-profit or small business participants may apply for tuition assistance
If selected, what kinds of things will I get to do? Your Signature experience includes opportunities to:
- Using the Gallup Strengths approach, find your innate talents and learn to use them for personal and team success
- Take an interactive and investigative tour of Stark County, exploring the cultural, economic, and historic features of our community
- Engage in strategic conversations with CEO’s, judges, and community leaders
- Go behind the scenes as you navigate local law enforcement issues on a ride-along and jail tour
- Attend a seminar on board governance, have the opportunity to be matched with a non-profit for board service
- Participate in a poverty simulation, share lunch with patrons at a local meal center, tour a homeless shelter
- Discuss local and regional issues with political and civic leaders, learn what it takes to run for office or join a commission
- Meet with school superintendents, tour alternative and traditional schools with principals, hear from school board members
- And many more experiences to expand your knowledge and awareness
When do I start?
Applications for the 38th Signature Class will open January 2024. The program begins September 2024.
How does participation in Leadership Stark County’s Signature and other programs benefit your business?
Participation in the LSC Signature Program provides short and long term benefits to the participant and to the community. What you may not realize is that by sponsoring employees for the program, your business can realize BIG BENEFITS. Leadership Stark County programs are a proven tool for talent development and retention.
- TALENT DEVELOPMENT: Using the Gallup Strengths approach, employees learn and explore their innate talents. They will discover how to use their strengths to become more effective at their jobs, how a strengths-based approach is more productive than weakness-fixing, and how to leverage their strengths and the strengths of their direct reports to enhance team success.
- TALENT RETENTION: Employees who become involved in their community, who form lasting relationships within the community, and who feel that they are part of positive community development will stay longer at their jobs and remain longer in the area.
The Leadership Stark County Signature Program builds competency for greater leadership effectiveness in six key areas:
- Collaboration– Operating intentionally to identify opportunities for advancement, alignment, and development across organizations and/or individual parties
- Strategic Agility– Openly and continuously adjusts and adapts course of action and ways of thought in the midst of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous circumstances, resulting in effective alternatives
- Innovation and Technology– Uses a variety of innovative approaches, techniques and media and provides challenging thoughts, ideas, and ways of functioning resulting in creative solutions.
- Effective Communication-Creates an environment of open communication by articulating accurate messages with clarity and confidence while influencing others to retain and understand the message.
- Service to Others– Implements a set of practices and philosophies that supplement the lives and passions of individuals by providing talents, support, time, and resources to nurture a compassionate community
- Relationship Building-Identifies opportunities and takes action to build sincere and meaningful relationships resulting in a true partnership for all parties.
Benefits for the Community
- A talented pool of committed community leaders.
- Community members with leadership skills that can be tapped for creative partnerships and initiatives between the public and private sectors.
- An ever-growing population of community members with an increased awareness of Stark County’s strengths, challenges and resources.
Signature Program Curriculum
Signature Program sessions focus on leadership competency and regional assets, challenges, & resources. The Leadership Stark County Signature Program curriculum consists of the following programs:
- Participants will kick-off the program with a two-day experience comprised of workshops that focus on Stark County history, strengths and challenges, and gain insight into personal leadership styles, team building, ethics, and personal mission.
STARK COUNTY DAY
- An interactive and investigative bus tour traverses over 200 miles of the county. Assets and challenges are addressed as community leaders hop on and off the bus throughout the day.
ECONOMIC GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT
- Participants explore the components of economic growth and focus on local businesses and their roles in the community. Participants discuss current issues affecting the economic health of our community and learn how to play a leadership role in promoting growth and development.
- An introduction to the organizations that meet many of our community’s needs, the key people and issues involved in providing services to local residents, and how leadership and individual volunteer efforts can make a difference.
- How a community can identify, nurture and develop potential leaders from all walks of life.
CIVIC IDEATION SPIRIT
- A one-day immersion that will build on the varied experiences that every Signature Program participant has throughout the year, culminating in a day-long plunge into creating meaningful solutions to community challenges.
- A look at present realities, future needs, and the leadership challenges available to positively impact local educational opportunities. Issues of accountability and collaboration are examined.
- Exploring the aspects of a working non-profit board of directors; best practices, legal responsibility, passion for the mission.
- A celebration of the diversity in the class and community. Themes include recognizing the economic value that diversity adds to our community and dealing with perceived challenges.
QUALITY OF LIFE – THE ARTS
- Participants explore the features of a positive quality of life and their availability in Stark County. The role of the arts in our community’s emotional, educational and financial well-being is addressed.
JUSTICE & SAFETY
- An overview of the civil and criminal justice systems, processes, and services to the community, with a particular emphasis on juvenile issues. Participants examine issues facing the community and leadership roles to help shape community response.
CITIZENSHIP DAY AND GRADUATION*
- Increase awareness of the political process-how it works, what motivates people to get involved, and how it affects local communities; explore ways for citizens to get involved. Graduation is an evening program for invited guests and LSC supporters, the commencement caps an intense course of building a foundation for community trusteeship.
*Includes additional evening portion