Capacity building is currently one of the buzziest words in the world of community and economic development. And like a lot of buzzwords, it gets tossed around without really understanding its meaning or importance. In short, capacity building means developing the knowledge, competence and leadership abilities that are needed to create positive change in a community. Why is that so important right now?
The American West is one of the fastest growing and rapidly changing parts of the country. Unfortunately, like much of the nation, most of our communities lack the capacity to effectively plan for growth and change. The challenge is particularly grave in the face of complex and politically charged issues that so many of our communities face—issues like housing affordability, transitioning economies and rapid growth. While a lot of financial and policy solutions exist for addressing these problems, most communities lack the civic culture needed to put those solutions to work.
Fortunately, a growing number of local leaders are working to bring their communities together to take action and make meaningful progress along these lines. Community Builders exists to support their efforts. In fact, building the capacity of communities that are striving to become more livable places is at the core of what we do. That’s why our upcoming training is designed to supply local leaders with the tools they need to make significant impact in their community.
Building Better Places Training
February 10–12, 2020
Grand Junction, Colorado
The Building Better Places training is designed for communities that are dealing with strong growth pressures and the challenges and opportunities that come along with it. When rapid changes are felt in a community, residents start to grapple with a lot of tough questions:
- Is what I love about my community going to go away?
- Am I going to be able to afford to live here?
- Is it possible to stop the change my community is experiencing?
- This may result in contentious public meetings when big decisions come in front of council—particularly around new development. So, what’s a local leader to do?
The Building Better Places training helps these leaders develop the skills they need to help their community work through these tough questions. Participants also learn about the policies and partnerships needed to proactively shape growth and create a livable, authentic and economically strong community for generations to come.
At the training, we engage community teams of up to eight local leaders over three days of learning and facilitated action-planning to develop teams’ ability to work together and make progress. Teams leave with a shared understanding of market conditions, opportunities for quality growth, key barriers impacting good projects in their community and how they might overcome them.
The Building Better Places training takes place in Grand Junction, Colorado on February 10–12, 2020. Communities across the American West, including Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Utah are invited to apply to attend. Team applications are due Friday, December 20, 2019.
Still need more reasons to apply? Check out our blog on 5 Ways a Community Builders Training Can Help Your Community.