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Apply now for Washoe County Leadership Academy (sponsored)


This free, 9-month program is designed to pull the curtain back on local government and teach invaluable leadership skills.

Washoe County is now accepting applications for its Washoe County Leadership Academy (WCLA), an immersive nine-month program designed to develop local leaders and expand professional networks. 

This is an educational and leadership program unlike any other in the community, promoting knowledge of local government and providing leadership training in conjunction with the University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension, and Western Industrial Nevada (WIN). 

One day per month, participants will be exposed to various aspects of Washoe County services, from the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office to the Library system. Learn how community partners are working to preserve Lake Tahoe, what makes rural Washoe County so special with a visit to Gerlach and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe Museum, and who Eilley Bowers really was by visiting her historic mansion. This program pulls back the curtain to local government innerworkings and offers insight into how you may become more involved in county government.   

Each class will also complete a community project, putting their newfound skills to work and to better the county, all while building their personal and professional network. The inaugural class in 2023 worked with the Jan Evans Juvenile Justice Center to bring art classes to the detention center and worked on demonstration beds in the Community Garden at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.

The 2024 cohort of the Washoe County Leadership Academy created the “Foster Connect” program for Washoe County’s Human Services Agency. With the Foster Connect program, foster families are provided discounts and special offers from participating community businesses to make foster family life more enjoyable and affordable.

There is no charge to participate in WCLA, but space is limited. Participants will be selected based on their expressed interest in local government and leadership through the application process, and their ability to commit to attending every day of the program, which are scheduled on one Friday per month. 

Applications are due June 21, and the program launches August 16, 2024, culminating with a graduation ceremony attended by Washoe County leadership on April 25, 2025. View each day’s agenda and apply here

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