Community Builders Leadership Institute


WHEN: September 26th - 28th, 2018

WHERE: The Inn at Lander, Lander, WY

APPLY BY: Friday, August 10th, 2018



Local leaders across Wyoming are determined to build strong communities that offer great jobs, affordable homes, and excellent recreation for generations to come. But they are faced with significant challenges. While the national economy is soaring, many communities across the state are struggling. It is clear that the days of being reliant on a single industry are gone. What can local communities do to adapt and be successful in today’s economy? 

The Community Builders Leadership Institute (CBLI) is a training for local leaders who want to create a positive future for their communities. Over two and a half days, teams of community leaders will work with trainers and facilitators to develop strategies that tackle their most pressing issues back home. Teams will leave the CBLI equipped with a clear plan of action that enables them to achieve real and positive change in their community.

Over two and half days, the Community Builders Leadership Institute (CBLI) engages community teams in an intensive workshop that builds leadership and practical understanding of ways to align community planning and economic development in today’s economy. Working with dynamic trainers and facilitators, participants will leave the CBLI equipped with a clear plan of action for how to address the top issues facing their community.

This training will help participating community leaders understand:

  • The key ingredients for successful economic development
  • Relevant economic and housing market trends and their impact on our communities
  • Factors influencing community growth and what leaders can do to enable desired development and investment
  • How to have effective and informed community discussion around critical issues
  • Specific action steps that communities can take for long-term success



The Community Builders Leadership Institute combines topical training sessions and informative success stories with group discussion, exercises and team-based action planning.

DAY 1 of the CBLI will focus on the forces that are shaping our communities. Teams will assess the key challenges and opportunities facing their community, considering where they are headed given current trends and conditions versus where they want to be in the future.

DAY 2 of the CBLI will dive into the tools necessary for achieving progress in our communities - including enabling investment, achieving desired development, and having effective and informed community dialogue and decision-making.

DAY 3 of the CBLI is all about how teams can put these concepts to work in their community. Teams will work together and with the training team to finalize local action plans, which will outline specific near-term goals and next steps to undertake when the team gets home.

Through participation in the CBLI, community leaders will:

  • Learn about successful projects and programs from peer communities.
  • Connect to a network of local leaders and peer communities across the state.
  • Explore planning and policy approaches for enabling desired development and investment in strategic locations.
  • Develop strategies for public engagement and effective community partnerships that result in action.
  • Work with a team of expert trainers to address specific planning and development challenges within their community.
  • Create a community action plan to advance specific issues and goals identified in the training.


The 2018 Community Builders Leadership Institute is open to Wyoming towns, cities, tribal givernments, and counties. Up to seven teams will be selected to participate, with each team ranging from six to eight members. Teams must demonstrate a commitment to connecting local planning and economic development goals.



Creating a leadership team is critical to a successful application, and the composition of the team is key to developing partnerships in your community. Teams should include a broad range of perspectives and expertise from the public and private sectors. The list below includes several types of representation to consider in building a well-rounded team:

  • Local Government (Elected and Appointed Officials, City/County Managers, Planners, Public Works) 
  • Business and Economic Development (Chambers of Commerce, Economic Development Organizations, Downtown Development Authority, Main Street Programs)
  • Community Development Organizations (Housing, Youth/Education, Civic Organizations)
  • Real Estate, Development and Investment Professionals (Developers, Realtors, Local Lenders)

We believe a broad spectrum of community leaders is necessary for successful decision-making, and our experience shows that a diverse team is most effective in engaging fellow community members.


Teams will be evaluated based on: 

  • Strong team composition.
  • Demonstration of how the CBLI can support the development and/or implementation of an upcoming or current community planning and/or economic development effort.
  • Demonstration of local commitment to advancing livability and economic development goals through sound community planning, development and investment.


For those communities selected to participate in the CBLI, the costs of training materials, lodging and most meals will be covered for up to eight team members by Community Builders through scholarship. Submitting your team's application to Community Builders also constitutes an application for scholarship. 

Absent this scholarship, the cost per individual to attend this two and a half day training is $400.

Teams participating in the CBLI are expected to pay for individual travel to and from the training and their own dinners.



For any questions about the application process, please contact Jillian Sutherland at 970-928-3411 or at

To be considered for the 2018 Community Builders Leadership Institute, applications must be emailed, in PDF format, to no later than close of business on Friday, August 10th, 2018.



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