Schuylkill Leadership

Providing the resources for the development of community leadership to address the problems, opportunities and issues facing the Schuylkill County Area and finding workable solutions for a better quality of life for you and your family. Schuylkill Leadership is a program designed and sponsored by the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce to ensure that new, able, resourceful and vigorous leadership will be continuously added to our community to understand the problems and opportunities we face in deciding the future of Schuylkill County. By seeking out and identifying capable men and women in the community and involving them in a formalized program that introduces them to the vital issues affecting our communities, Schuylkill Leadership sets a course for their active participation in community affairs to address the identified issues and find solutions for them. Working together and shaping a new generation of leaders to build a better Schuylkill County is what Schuylkill Leadership is all about.

OBJECTIVE Schuylkill Leadership enhances the development of community leadership by offering participants an expanded knowledge of the problems, opportunities and issues facing the Schuylkill Region. Schuylkill Leadership offers a 5 month 10 session volunteer program of study which brings together new and emerging leaders from various areas and interests in a continuing program.

PROGRAM The Schuylkill Leadership program consists of 10 full-day seminars with an orientation and a graduation at the conclusion of the program.With the entire county as the classroom, participants explore vital topics facing the community. The curriculum combines exposure to issues through information dissemination and practical learning experiences.Sessions cover such topics as: community and economic development; government; Schuylkill County History; media; leadership skills; education: trusteeship; agriculture and environment.Seminars are conducted by experienced leaders working in each of the fields of interest. Seminar leaders encourage candidate involvement in the sessions as a way to gain new perspectives on community issues. Programs are conducted at various sites throughout the county.

TUITION Tuition for the Schuylkill Leadership Class is $750. Most participants will be sponsored by corporations or organizations. Limited scholarship assistance is available. Tuition for a second candidate from a sponsor is $700. Second candidates from the same sponsor will be accepted only after all qualified candidates from single sponsors have been enrolled. Candidates sponsored by Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce Members will receive preference for enrollment consideration.

CLASS PROJECTS The purpose of the class project is for each Schuylkill Leadership class to make its own mark with the Schuylkill Leadership program.

Class of 1996 Schuylkill Pride AwardRecognizing an individual four times a year that goes above and beyond in making a difference.

Class of 1997 Take a Closer Look at Schuylkill CountyBrochure with nearly 50 places to visit in Schuylkill County.

Class of 1998 Career Guide Guide developed for eighth grade students to assist them in career planning and course selection by introducing them to career opportunities and the preparations they need to take now to make for those careers.

Class of 1999 Find Your Place In Schuylkill CountyBrochure aimed to help employers in finding skilled employees, promoting economic development, and helping people find job opportunities in Schuylkill County.\

Class of 2000 Schulen-kill to Schuylkill: An Historic Timeline Timeline highlighting some of the major points in Schuylkill County history targeted at fourth grade students.

Class of 2001 Project STAR (Schuylkill Teenagers Acting Responsibly)Helps point high school students in the right direction when completing their community service hours.

Class of 2002 Schuylkill… Forward TogetherConstructed an image for Schuylkill County that will promote positive perceptions of county life

Class of 2003 Y Schuylkill CD that consists of more than 200 photos depicting the myriad values found in Schuylkill County to promote awareness and pride among its residents.

Gateway Beautification ProjectPlanting seeds for beautification and pride best describes the project that planted wildflowers near the Mount Carbon jug handle on Route 61, helping to improve the aesthetic qualities of the major gateways into the county.

Class of 2004 Schuylkill Chronicles 48 page magazine depicting articles relating to the county's deep history and geography that was published and distributed by the Republican & Herald

Class of 2005 Comprehensive listing and web based links for various sources of information pertaining to Schuylkill County that are available to the public.

Class of 2006 Butterfly Garden at Stonehedge Gardens The class decided to promote one of the hidden treasures of the county by making the community aware of the beauty that exists in its own backyard. After visiting Stonehedge Gardens, the class decided to clear out an area of brush, till the soil and dig holes for bushes to create a butterfly garden. The Walking Bridge was also stained. In addition, the class recreated the brochure that was currently being used and created a new brochure to promote "Schuylkill County's Most Beautiful Get-Away Spot".

The second project that the class did was to place signage at Sweet Arrow Lake County Park to welcome visitors. The sign was designed and placed near the clubhouse for all to see when they visit the beautiful county park.

Class of 2007 Each and every Schuylkill Leadership Class brings to the table a diverse cross section of individuals with gifts and talents that make their class project unique to them. The Class of 2007 is no exception to this rule and their class project reflects the diversity and talents of the group.

The project - building a pavilion and picnic tables at Sweet Arrow Lake - was a large and ambitious task. The group tackled the project with a combined effort, utilizing the various talents and business contacts of the group.

The class first put their efforts towards obtaining funding for the project. With a project that included a 24 x 30 foot covered pavilion, concrete floor and six picnic tables with an estimated cost of $8,000 to $9,000 - and a class budget of $2,000 - it was critical that the remainder of the funding be secured from outside sources. Fortunately for the class of 2007, class members were able to obtain critical financing and help for the project.

Class members from Alcoa secured financial help from their management team to the tune of $1,500 to $3,000. Class members involved in the contracting business contributed to the expertise to get the project rolling. Miller Bros Construction, Inc. and classmate Jim Miller, Jr. donated the grading of the site. Pioneer Pole Buildings, Inc. and owner Bob Greene graciously donated all of the materials for the building at cost, the tools necessary for the volunteer labor force (also knows as the Class of 2007) along with a skilled foreman to assist on the day of construction. Craig Morgan, manager of the Schuylkill Conservation District, stepped in and was instrumental in acquiring the remaining funds to make the project a reality. Craig contacted Friends of Schuylkill Parks and Recreation, the fund raising arm for Schuylkill County Parks. Kay Russell, President, was able to secure funding and matching grant funds from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), not only for this project, but also for other projects within the park as well.

On April 14, the class project became reality as all of the components of the project came together. Armed with hammers, saws, chain saws and heavy equipment, the class labored in unseasonably cool weather to bring their dream to fruition. The pavilion they constructed will provide many county residents with hours of enjoyment for years to come and is a lasting testament to the power of working together and teamwork.

This class, who didn’t know each other prior to January 16, has accomplished much in their short time together. They have proved the power of teamwork and have formed friendships that will last well beyond their graduation as a class in May. The pavilion is proof indeed that people of various ethnic, economic, professional and philosophical backgrounds can come together as a team and demonstrate what true leadership is all about.

Class of 2008 This year’s Schuylkill Leadership class was comprised of 27 people. While this large number proved to be excellent for generating many ideas about possible class projects, it was not so easy to focus on only one or two. Eventually, however, a majority decided to sponsor a project at the newly purchased Schuylkill YMCA building.

The Schuylkill YMCA/YWCA is dedicated to promoting strong families by instilling healthy values and behavior into all youth through social and physical activities. Our class’s focus for the YMCA was a “Teen Room” that we would renovate and turn into a fun and welcoming hangout for local youth. We wanted to provide a safe place where teenagers could come to relax and socialize with games, television and video games.

The class broke into several teams to take on the 3 main components of the project: fundraising, design and construction. The fundraising team achieved its goals through the generous donations of money and goods from local businesses, while the design and construction portions of the class focused on the details of how we would put those funds and donated furniture and other items to appropriate use. It was only through the generous help of the community that we were able to take on this project. We were very excited to take on this project and are thrilled about the asset we know the YMCA building will be to Schuylkill County.
The second project the class undertook was at the Treatment System in Saint Clair. Over 300 trees were planted around the treatment system. The trees were planted in an effort to help stabilize the banks, shade and cool the water, create wildlife habitat, and bioremediation of the acidic soils. A Boy Scout group was also recruited to build and place birdhouses around the site. The Pine Forest treatment system is a passive, anoxic, limestone system that raises the pH of the influent discharge water and allows precipitated iron to settle out in three successive ponds. Effluent water runs into Little Wolf Creek, which in turn runs into Mill Creek and the Schuylkill River.

Class of 2009 On May 2, the 2009 Schuylkill Leadership class gathered at Sweet Arrow Lake to complete their class project. This year’s project will continue to add to our county’s only park by constructing an amphitheatre patio and walkway using concrete paver blocks. The patio is approximately 24’ in diameter with a 4’ x 8’ walkway. Pine Creek Landscaping provided the prep work for the project and the class was responsible for laying out the top base, consisting of sand, laying the pavers and filling the joints with polymer sand. The class completed work in this area with mulch beds and planting. In addition, we worked with Sweet Arrow Lake’s management to identify specific trail areas that need to be cleaned up and have a crew working in those areas. The class will also be planting 100 trees in the clubhouse area.

The finance committee has received financial support that, as of press time, includes support from Richard Blickstein; Porter/Tower Lions Club; Pottsville/Schuylkill Haven Area EMS; Schuylkill Chamber Foundation; Schuylkill Leadership Association; Wal-Mart Distribution Center and members of the Schuylkill Leadership Alumni. Plus, the class sponsored a Happy Hour fundraiser at Maroon’s Sports Bar & Grille in Pottsville on Friday, April 25 and raised over $400. The evening consisted of drink specials and music provided by Chikotas Acoustic. Voluntary donations were collected at the door with all proceeds going toward funding the class project.

For more information and a Schuylkill Leadership Application Packet call or write:

Schuylkill Leadership
c/o Schuylkill Chamber Foundation
91 S. Progress Avenue
Pottsville, PA, 17901

"Leadership is a state of consciousness, rather than
a personality trait or set of skill."
- John Adams, Transforming Leadership