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Leadership Program

The Leadership STAR Community Program is a one-year all-inclusive package that provides STAR’s highest level of training and technical assistance to a cohort of city and county governments as they complete their first baseline community sustainability assessment by pursuing certification under the STAR Community Rating System.

In the past two years, 81 cities and counties have participated in the Leadership Program. To date, nearly 60 have achieved certification with another 5-10 expected to certify this year. The Leadership Program is the main path that communities take to achieve certification. It provides training, technical assistance, and a structured program with milestones to get communities to certification within one year.

Past participants report that STAR certification has helped them to gain a deep understanding of their community’s strengths and needs and has provided a springboard for civic engagement, cross-agency coordination, integrated budgeting and performance management, partnerships with philanthropy, and economic development.

Learn more about the program benefits by watching this recorded webinar that features STAR staff and Daniel Fazekas, planner for Henderson, NV, a member of the Fall 2014 Leadership Program.

Spring 2015 Leadership Community representatives at the Program Orientation in Washington, DC.

Spring 2015 Leadership Community representatives at the Program Orientation in Washington, DC.

Program Benefits

The Leadership Program provides STAR’s highest level of technical support and assistance to communities pursuing their first certification. The program bundle includes access to all of STAR’s resources and tools and covers the cost of verification and certification. Benefits include:

  • A 2-day in-person orientation workshop in September with other Leadership communities;
  • A dedicated STAR Communities staff liaison throughout the year;
  • One year of membership in the STAR network with STAR Member Community benefits;
  • Ongoing educational programs and networking opportunities with other Leadership communities;
  • A copy of the Technical Guide to the STAR Community Rating System;
  • Access to STAR’s customized online Reporting Tool to store and track sustainability data;
  • Access to STAR’s on-call technical content experts and advisers;
  • Basic STAR PR media services to assist in local storytelling;
  • Verification of the community’s submission to receive an official STAR certification, and;
  • Recognition as a national sustainability leader.

Application Dates & Details

Starting in the fall of 2016, the Leadership Program will be held once a year. The next Leadership Program will run from September 2017 through August 2018. It is expected that communities will apply for STAR certification by the end of the program on August 31, 2018. Communities with high enough scores receive a certified STAR Community Rating and are nationally recognized for their leadership during the program year.

Applications for the Fall 2017 Leadership Program will be available in Spring 2017.

Cost & Financial Assistance

The cost of the one-year program is $7,500 and begins September 1, 2017. Payment arrangements must be made in advance of the program start date. See the application for more details.

For More Information

STAR Communities encourages local governments that are considering applying for the Leadership Program to schedule an informal conversation to discuss your goals and ask questions about the program. Please email Lacey Shaver, Leadership Program Manager, at lacey@STARcommunities.org with questions or to set up a call.