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Leadership & Planning

A finger points at the word "Leadership"

Virginia counties and cities want prepared volunteers, civic leaders, and elected and appointed officials to be the force for positive change within their communities. Research supports this notion that community leaders need to be involved in the decision-making process and problem solving to help organize and develop their communities. Virginia’s community leaders understand what skills and characteristics are needed to serve their communities and that community growth and prosperity are linked to a strong leadership network. Yet, there is often a lack of formal leadership training that equips community leaders with the skills necessary to effectively meet community needs. 

Educational programs focused on leadership, volunteerism, and civic engagement build the capacity of youth and adults to effectively participate in community planning and decision-making. Furthermore, educational programs focused on sustainable natural resources will inform community members of the environmental impacts and options related to those plans. 

Strategic and Project Planning:  Becoming Agents of Change

Training Schedule and Registration

Your group has engaged in multiple conversations and brainstormed numerous options for addressing an issue or managing a project. But after this explosion of energy to produce an array of strategies, nothing seems to be happening! What do you do now?

Whether a group wants to write a comprehensive strategic plan or design the steps for project implementation, there are promising practices for this type of work.

During 2018, Virginia Cooperative Extension will offer its newest training, Strategic and Project Planning:  Becoming Agents of Change. You are invited to join your trainer, Martha A. Walker, Ph.D., and other individuals facing the same dilemma to discover the promising practices for overcoming the stagnation involved in strategic and project planning.

This one-day course will explore the planning process for transitioning an idea into reality. Each participant will receive a planning notebook that will guide his/her work with any organization or community work group.

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Dr. Megan Seibel, at (540) 231-2375 or

Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills

Training Schedule and Registration

Virginians are overcoming frustrating group meetings and discovering how to build a discussion process that leads to productive conversations and decision-making. Become one of these agents of change: Complete the Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills training!

"Organizations and community leaders want to know how to facilitate discussions that result in clear direction, but they struggle with where to begin," according to Martha Walker, community viability specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

During the Strengthening Your Facilitation Skills training, participants practice newly learned facilitation skills in an experiential setting, observe facilitation challenges, and identify practices that will prepare each person to develop and guide the facilitation process. Those who completed the program reported that, after participation, "you will feel more comfortable planning and leading meetings."