Training & Assistance

Building healthy, equitable, and prosperous communities is difficult work. Local leaders are confronted by complex issues that are often divisive, while resources are scarce and implementation challenging.

Our Training and Assistance programs are the most direct way we help community leaders working to tackle tough issues and shape a stronger, more sustainable future.

Through the support of our philanthropic partners, we leverage the resources needed to provide community leadership trainings and on-the-ground assistance for a limited number of communities each year. If your community is ready to dig in, we’re excited to help.


Training & Leadership Development

Our trainings develop the knowledge, competence, and leadership abilities needed to create more livable communities. We use a variety of training models from single-day workshops to multi-day team trainings and multi-week leadership seminars. 

Trainings are ideal for communities that are struggling to find common ground or identify a path forward on challenging local issues. We bring together diverse community interests to create shared understanding of key issues and find practical ways to address them. 

While we have an established curriculum on a spectrum of topics related to community planning, we regularly design and execute trainings to suit the needs of particular communities or situations. 

Team-Based Trainings

The team-based training model engages teams of community leaders in an intensive, 3-day workshop that combines practical learning with team development and facilitated action planning. This approach improves the capacities of individual participants as well as their ability to work with a team. Teams leave with a commitment to working together on key priorities and a realistic action plan for their community. These dynamic trainings combine learning, leadership development, and facilitated strategic planning and are for communities that want to find common ground on key issues and turn ideas into action. 



Building Better Places
Local leaders that are grappling with growth and change in their community create action plans for achieving development that is fiscally responsible, adds to community character, and increases housing and mobility choice. Click here to learn about the application process and agenda from our most recent 2024 Building Better Places Training.

Community Builders Leadership Institute
Teams learn to build stronger economies with locally-rooted, place-based strategies and work together to create action plans that can turn their ideas into action in their community.

Community Builders Housing Institute
Teams learn how to expand housing choice and affordability while shaping a strong, more livable community, and craft action plans that respond to local needs and market realities. 

Community Mobility Institute
By learning about the critical link between transportation, planning and economic development, teams develop an action plan to improve mobility, while enhancing their community and economy.

Community Workshops

We design workshops in collaboration with local partners to ensure the program and content respond to local needs. We are particularly adept at designing workshops that not only convey key information, but also engage participants in activities that give them both tools and direction to take action.

Leadership Seminars

Leadership Seminars are locally-focused trainings that engage a group of community leaders throughout 6–8 seminars that combine topical learning with leadership development. Training curriculum is tailored to the specific community, but past sessions have focused on the intersection between community planning and building healthy, equitable, and prosperous communities.




Technical Assistance

Assistance is the most direct way we help local partners create meaningful on-the-ground progress. Working hand in hand with local partners, we help communities identify, design, and implement strategies that respond to local needs and opportunities.

Grounded in a commitment to effective engagement and strengthening civic capacity, assistance projects address the key challenge at hand while making the community better prepared to tackle future challenges or opportunities on its own.  

The partnership between the community and Community Builders is the foundation of every project. We rely on a competitive application process to select communities that are primed for success. These applicants are focused and able to invite key partners to the table, while the project meets a clear need and has a good chance for implementation.

Through the support of our philanthropic partners, we are able to supply financial resources and staff capacity to every Assistance project. However, we require a financial contribution from each community, in addition to its “people power.” Project success relies on shared buy-in with equal skin-in-the-game, allowing each partner to do more with less.

Selected applicants work with the Community Builders team to create a scope that meets the community’s specific needs and fits within time and budgetary constraints. Projects are concentrated on economic development, housing, transportation, and land use issues. The average duration is one year, varying depending on each community’s needs.

The Assistance program is available to county, city, town, and tribal governments throughout the American West. We solicit applications from communities for assistance when our funding enables us to do so. We are always looking for partners that want to make this work possible. If you are interested in funding assistance in your region, or have an issue you’d like to work with us on, please contact us.

Although we are not currently running an application cycle, to learn more about our Technical Assistance process and see the most recent application, click here.

Partner Assistance

Colorado Brownfields Partnership

The Colorado Brownfields Partnership is a state-wide collaboration between Community Builders, Development Research Partners, and the Colorado Department of Health and Environment (CDPHE). We work to help Colorado communities revitalize brownfields sites as a way of tapping into economic potential. We offer free support and guidance in planning assistance, capacity building, education, and financial help to spur this revitalization.

While this assistance is for Colorado communities, we encourage all communities across the American West to consider brownfields when thinking of economic development.


Colorado Affordable Housing Toolkit for Local Officials

A lack of affordable and available housing is hurting people and communities throughout Colorado.  

To help communities address these challenges, Community Builders teamed up with Enterprise Community Partners and the Colorado Division of Housing on The Colorado Affordable Housing Toolkit for Local Officials. This initiative, funded by the Colorado Division of Housing, arms local officials with the tools, training and assistance they need to take meaningful action in their communities and improve affordability throughout the state. 

This initiative provides intensive training sessions to communities across the state – from bigger places like Boulder, Broomfield, Grand Junction, and Greeley, to smaller places like Hugo, Kit Carson, and Granby, and lots of places in between. These work sessions bring local leaders together to understand and address the housing challenges in their community.  

We are also leading technical assistance projects throughout the state, including Granby, La Plata County, Mesa County, Pitkin County, and more, which allow us to go deeper with local partners, bringing together  to support their communities in implementing the solutions identified through the training.

Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities

Throughout the country, coal mines and power plants are shutting down as our nation transitions towards cleaner forms of energy. Such tangible changes offer real progress towards curbing the climate crisis, but with little time to plan for the loss of major employers and tax base, many communities struggle to survive under such significant economic upheaval. 

Any successful energy transition must include these communities, which is why we’ve joined the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Building Resilient Economies in Coal Communities initiative (BRECC). BRECC provides technical assistance to local leaders to identify and advance projects for economic revitalization and diversification. Community Builders is working with 5 communities to provide one-on-one coaching, technical assistance, and capacity building. We are also partners in a national virtual learning series with over 400 unique participants; a peer-learning network sharing hands-on experience among 20 leaders, and a national storytelling campaign.