Effective local leadership is essential to successful communities.

Too often, communities without it can struggle. This is why we offer training and leadership opportunities: it fortifies the foundations of knowledge and civic capacity needed to make change at home. Working directly with local leaders, our trainings focus on amplifying the know-how, vision and leadership abilities of the people who are working to get stuff done.

Beyond expanding technical knowledge, our trainings serve to help local leaders work better together by focusing on team-based exercises and discussion; essential to any progress. 

We offer a suite of trainings that can be tailored to best meet community need, including: 

Team-Based regional trainings:

Team trainings engage community teams of 6 – 8 members in an intensive 2 – 3 day workshop that combines presentation, group exercises, leadership development and action planning. Each training engages 6 – 8 teams from a selected state or region. Teams are selected through a competitive application process. During the training, participating teams develop an action plan with specific objectives and next steps for tackling selected issues in their community that they can implement once home. We provide scholarships to accepted teams allowing them to participate free of charge, and accommodating their room and board. Examples of our team-based regional trainings include:

  • Community Builders Leadership Institute (CBLI). The CBLI helps community leaders connect economic development with smart community planning.  
  • Community Mobility Institute (CMI). We offer the CMI through our New Mobility West initiative. The CMI gives local leaders the opportunity to receive in depth training on issues at the nexus of transportation, community planning and economic development.
  • Redevelopment and Revitalization. We are currently developing curriculum for a team-based training focused on redevelopment and revitalization.
  • Community Builders Housing Institute (CBHI). The CBHI helps communities understand and respond to the need for affordable housing within their community. 


We offer training workshops in conjunction with Community Assistance and Regional Training activities. Examples include mobile tours of successful projects, “train the trainer” sessions, or a special workshop in support of a local assistance effort.

Community Development Academy:

Community Development Academies (CDAs) are intensive, multi-week trainings that help community leaders connect economic development with smart community planning. The course runs between six and eight weeks and brings up to twenty-five local leaders together at a time for dynamic training, activities and discussion. Over the course of training, participants learn from experts in land use, transportation, real estate finance, housing, and economic development. Participants also complete interactive activities to drive home concepts and build relationships with other leaders from their community. We provide scholarships to most individuals allowing them to participate free of charge, and accommodating their room and board.

Community Builders Summit:

The Community Builders Summit focuses on the business and economic side of community building. The one day summit explores the market, economic and development trends that are shaping the future of western communities. We present new and emerging research that explores new approaches to development, and invite participants from a diverse set of professions including real estate, property development, community planners, local officials and more.

Community Builders Webinar Series:

Also great resources to learn more about best practices and trends in the field of economic development, planning and real estate. We offer webinars monthly and they are free to attend. Check them out!

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