Volunteerism and civic involvement are crucial to a community’s success.
It’s becoming more difficult to find people who are willing to serve, though, as personal and/or professional schedules fill up.
A new partnership in Lee County will try to showcase the benefits of service and train future community leaders.
The Keokuk and Fort Madison Area Chambers of Commerce are working with Iowa State University Extension on L.E.E. The acronym stands for Leadership Education & Excellence.
Fort Madison Chamber Executive Director Sarah Cantrell says feedback on the program is also coming in from Lee County’s rural communities.
The goal of the program is leadership development, be it individuals who are willing to run for elected office or those who are willing to volunteer for local organizations.
Cantrell says the idea for L.E.E. came out of a recent study by ISU Extension. She says it showed that the current crop of volunteers and community leaders are spreading themselves thin between organizations.
Applications are available at the various city halls in Lee County and at the Fort Madison and Keokuk Area Chambers of Commerce. They are due by the middle of next month.
Cantrell says participants will meet once a month for nine months starting in September. She says the classes will focus on a number of topics including Lee County history and county government.
Cantrell hopes local businesses and industries get involved with the L.E.E. as they would benefit by participating employees could develop more of a stake in the future of Lee County.