FAQs: Program Applicants

What are the minimum qualifications for applicants?
For applicants to be considered for Leadership Tech Valley (LTV), individuals must meet the minimum qualifications:

  • Ability to commit the time and resources to fully participate in program, including the opening retreat, closing session, monthly session days, experientials and class project.
  • Cannot be a candidate for public office at the time of application.

What are the opportunities for participants?
Each class is comprised of a diverse group of participants with a mix of backgrounds, experiences, interests and learning styles. LTV offers a unique opportunity for participants to gain an inside look at some of the area’s most innovative organizations; connect to top business, government and civic leaders; and enhance their professional networks. Class members will have the opportunity to:

  • Forge strong relationships and gain a network of extensive contacts among classmates, alumni, the steering committee and session-day guests
  • Meet and interact with some of the best-known and highly-effective local leaders throughout the Capital Region
  • Explore community issues and exchange ideas with classmates and community experts
  • Test and improve personal leadership and team skills by working on a class project to benefit our community
  • Be viewed as current/emerging leaders within their own organizations and the community
  • Identify areas of interest and opportunity for personal involvement in community organizations and board service.

What is the return on investment?
Given the quality of content and the caliber of speakers throughout the program, the value of the overnight retreat and the cost of graduation, a pragmatic “quantification” reflecting comparable one-day programs would normally be $1,000 or more, for a total cost of at least $12,500. With tuition in the amount of $2,700, the return on investment for the individual, the sponsoring organization and the community at large is more than five times the initial cost.

The return on the initial investment will benefit the individual as well as his or her sponsoring organization and the community at large in numerous ways. Many graduates say that participating in LTV has given them immeasurable return on investment in their personal and professional development that will continue to benefit them for years to come. Many employers view this program as an investment in employees who show the potential for growth or as a benefit for those who have performed above and beyond the call of duty. Our community realizes the return on investment year after year, as each class leaves behind its legacy.

What will I gain from the program?
Leadership Tech Valley unites individuals from diverse fields and backgrounds to learn more about themselves as leaders and how best to serve their organizations and our community.

Participants complete the program with:

  • Increased understanding of the critical issues and opportunities affecting the region and inspiration to produce change
  • Access to top leadership in the region
  • Deeper appreciation of the community at large
  • Value of effective collaboration and working with diverse partners
  • Greater network of friends and colleagues
  • Strengthened leadership skills

Graduates find that they are a part of an ever-expanding network of leaders they can call upon for advice and information.

Do you prefer applicants from particular companies or organizations?
No. Leadership Tech Valley seeks a diverse representation of organizations from across the Capital Region and does not limit participation to an established list.  We encourage professionals from the private sector, education, government, military, manufacturing, healthcare, the arts, community organizations and other sectors to apply. A list of companies and organizations that have sponsored individuals in the past can be found at http://www.leadershiptechvalley.org/about/alumni/supporting-businesses-organizations/.

Is Leadership Tech Valley appropriate for those with physical limitations?
Yes. We encourage applicants to apply regardless of physical limitations. All physical activities are “challenge by choice” and are designed so that individuals of all abilities can meaningfully contribute. We welcome and encourage input so we can provide individuals with options to tailor their experience. Whether and at what level an individual chooses to engage in any given activity is ultimately a personal choice.

I’m not sure if I can attend all the program days – can I still participate?
Attendance is mandatory for the overnight retreat and closing session in May. Also, participants are not permitted to miss more than two monthly session days. If a participant is unable to attend the opening retreat and closing session in full, or miss two session days, you will be asked to withdraw from the LTV program. We understand that unforeseen circumstances do arise, however, to be fair to all, we cannot make exceptions. In the event that an excused absence is necessary from the closing session for military deployment, a medical emergency or a death in the family, and you’ve met all other program requirements, we will do our best to accommodate your request. If you are unable to attend the opening retreat, we will defer your acceptance to the next year.

What are the other program requirements?
In addition, each participant must attend 7 experientials outside of class time in order to graduate from the program. Experiential opportunities give participants a deeper understanding of nonprofits and businesses and how they affect the community as a whole.

Also, each class must reach consensus and come together as a whole to complete a community service project; 100 percent class participation is required. If you do not meet the experiential and class project requirements you will not graduate from the program.

How are candidates chosen?
Candidates are required to submit an application by the May deadline. Each candidate will be interviewed by the two steering committee co-chairs and the chamber liaison. Once interviews are complete, all applications will be reviewed by the selection committee. Approximately 40 participants will be selected from the applicant pool. We strive for a class with a diverse range of participants with respect to several factors including occupation, leadership experience, community involvement or desire for more involvement, ethnicity, gender, age, cultural perspective and time in the community.

Candidates not selected can be due to the number of applicants, the goal of creating a diverse class or their commitment to community.

What is the cost of tuition?
Program tuition is $2700 for chamber members, $3100 for potential chamber members and $2300 for small community-based nonprofits or self-employed that are chamber members of the Capital Region Chamber. Tuition covers the overnight opening retreat, lunch and resource materials for the monthly session days. Each graduate is also provided a complimentary ticket for graduation. Graduation tickets for additional guests are $60 per person.

Who is typically awarded financial assistance or scholarship?
Financial assistance may be available on a limited basis. Those seeking assistance should fill out the scholarship section on the application and attach a letter explaining the reason. Awards range from $250 to $1,000, based on need, the number of requests received, and the amount of funds available each year.

Selection to the LTV Program is made without regard to financial circumstances. Requests for financial assistance are confidential and have no bearing on the selection process. A request is considered only after the selection process is completed and will not influence the consideration of your application.

Priority for financial assistance is given to participants who are employed by small nonprofit organizations, public sector entities or self-employed. Participants employed by large, private-sector companies are not eligible for assistance.

Should I attend an information session prior to submitting my application?
We encourage all potential candidates to attend one of the three information sessions held each year. You will meet the program co-chairs, chamber liaison and several class members from the current year to discuss the program requirements, format, commitment and cost and selection process. Current class participants will share their experience thus far and the impact on them personally and professionally. Attending an information session gives you the opportunity to ask questions and make sure LTV is the right professional development experience for you.

How do I best complete the application process?
We encourage applicants to begin their application well before the deadline, using it as an opportunity and self-reflection time to consider their talents, accomplishments and goals for their workplace and community and what they hope to gain for themselves and those they interact with through participation in the LTV program.

Suggestions to successfully complete the application:

  • Review program dates and commitments to ensure you can fulfill them before moving forward with the application.
  • Contact Brandi Landy with any questions at 518.431.1414 or blandy@capitalregionchamber.com.
  • Type your answers into the LTV program application using the form provided. Do not handwrite the application and do not send resumes or bios.
  • Submit all required application materials including your reference letter and deposit well in advance of the deadline. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

What do selected participants do before the program begins in September?
Upon acceptance into the program, participants are required to send a letter confirming their acceptance agreeing to the commitment and requirements of the program. Complete tuition payment is required prior to the opening retreat. A few items of pre-program work are required, including an intake sheet, The Work of Leaders DiSC assessment, and a brief bio.

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