Community Builders trainings are the ideal entry point for communities that recognize an issue but don’t yet know what to do about it. These trainings develop the knowledge, competence and leadership abilities needed to create healthier communities. They combine topical learning with leadership development and facilitation to ensure that knowledge acquired in these learnings are put into action. By participating in a training, a team of committed, educated leaders emerges with the ability to steward change within their community.
Here are 5 ways a Community Builders training can help your community, as told by some of our past participants.
1) Increase leadership ability and capacity.
Community Builders trainings focus on equipping local leaders with the information and support they need to have tough conversations around their most pressing issues and the freedom to explore solutions among peers. Communities apply as teams of up to eight local leaders and work together over multiple days with a dedicated facilitator, empowering them to leave the training with an achievable action plan.
“Working with Community Builders was a transformational experience for our team. We increased our leadership ability and our capacity to problem solve, plan and, most importantly, get things done.” –Shawn Barigar, Mayor of Twin Falls, Idaho
2) Build shared knowledge around tools that work.
Community Builders trainings bring in topical experts that don’t just present a session and leave— our trainers stick around and work one-on-one with community teams. We also integrate walking tours of successful projects and offer a venue for community teams to talk with each other to learn from one another’s successes and challenges.
“Community Builders gave us the tools to make major changes in our community.” –Carly-Ann Carruthers, Laramie Main Street Alliance
3) Develop solutions appropriate for your community.
Great solutions don’t happen in a silo. They are the product of tough, collaborative dialogue and action from a diverse set of stakeholders – which is really hard to do without help! Community Builders trainings pair each community team with a dedicated facilitator who helps guide the team through the hard conversations that are necessary for progress.
“Community Builders empowers and enables a community to find solutions for themselves versus having a solution thrust upon them from an outside consultant.” –Russ Forrest, City Manager of Gunnison, Colorado
4) Create the partnerships necessary for implementation.
It’s incredible what can happen when you bring people together from across sectors to work on a targeted issue for a couple of days. Participants discover ways they can align efforts that they didn’t think of before. We like to joke and say the best work that happens at our trainings occurs casually over dinner and drinks in the evenings. Joking aside, it is incredible to see the great working relationships that blossom throughout the trainings.
“Through the Community Builders Housing Institute we were able to reengage key community partners and find ways to make a larger impact by working together.” –Shay Coburn, Town Planner of Ridgway, Colorado
5) Prime your community for further assistance.
When you have a group of dedicated leaders who are working together on an issue, you have a much better chance at winning assistance and other grants to further implementation. That’s because your team is primed to articulate the challenge and needs of the community and it’s already mobilized to make real change. No organization wants to help a community develop a plan that will “sit on a shelf.” They want you to get stuff done! Having a team and action plan in place demonstrates that you have the capacity to make meaningful progress.
I don’t have a quote for this one, but I can tell you that at Community Builders, this is one of the top things we look for when we are deciding what communities we will work with through our Technical Assistance program. So you can quote me on that!
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Community Builders’ upcoming Building Better Places training helps local leaders develop the skills they need to effectively plan for growth and change. Over two and a half days, community teams will cultivate leadership abilities and an understanding of planning, policy, development tools, community engagement and strategies for implementation.
Each team will leave the training with a shared understanding of market conditions, opportunities for quality growth, key barriers impacting projects in their community and how to overcome them.
[Update] The Building Better Places training takes place on February 10-12, 2020 in Grand Junction, Colorado. Team applications are due Friday, December 20, 2019.
Want more context about the training? Read our blog, Growing Pains? Community Builders Has a Training for That.