The ABC Iowa chapter is in its third year of hosting the Merit Shop Emerging Leaders Academy and recently held the group’s graduation for its 22 participants.

Ranging from business owners and presidents to managers and foremen, the group meets for four day-long sessions from February through August. This year, the classes focused on self-awareness & emotional intelligence, leadership development, what ABC can do for young professionals, and technology in construction—a few of the main topics identified as important to the members in Iowa. 

Each year the group implements new classes and styles of teaching. For example, this year the group was required to read a book before their final session and then discussed as a group.

The class to 22 participants in order to allow for more one-on-one time with the presenters. Along with the sessions, the chapter holds two networking socials for the group after sessions one and four to acclimate the members with each other to encourage more interaction during the classes. 

“One thing we’ve heard from the participants in this class that we think is the most important takeaway is that the young leaders feel more comfortable talking with people and making decisions based on leading versus managing,” said ABC of Iowa’s Membership Director, Jared Harridge. “We are very excited on what the future holds for this particular class and hope that this group can be a platform for engaging in new volunteers within ABC.” 

The academy costs $300 per participant. The program is also supported by the board who sets a budget for the group.