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PROGRAMS

Leadership Development Initiative

Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) is an eight-month program for high potential young professionals.

Overview

The underpinning of the Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) program year is centered around three pillars:

  • Leadership Skills & Tools
  • Community Engagement
  • Network Building

The LDI experience helps participants hone skills while exposing them to avenues for civic involvement and critical-path networking across industries. Participants are also engaged in a Community Impact Project (CIP) throughout the LDI program year, where they apply these newly acquired skills in a hands-on, real-world project that brings positive change to a specific neighborhood.

Monthly sessions, held from September through June, focus on sharpening key leadership skills and capacities that are critical to professional community leadership. This experience allows participants to deepen their self-awareness, understand their leadership style, and learn how to collaborate effectively with other high-caliber leaders.

Sessions are led by content area experts and community leaders. The data-driven training models used will advance the talented professionals who will lead this region in the coming years.

Please review FAQs below to learn more about the application process and program details.

#LPIncVoices

“Participating in Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) was exactly the experience that I needed to energize my career development. It provided me with a network of experts, go-getters, difference-makers, and most importantly, friends who have helped me to grow as a better employee, leader, and community-member. I have been especially grateful for the ongoing support provided during the program year and even beyond graduation from the LPInc. staff, my LDI cohort, and program alumni who continue to inspire and motivate my career journey.”
LDI

LDI Community Impact Projects

The Community Impact Project (CIP) is one of the many components of the Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) Program, which provides a real-world, hands-on opportunity for leadership skill practice and development.

This living, breathing “case-study” is undertaken by the group of high potential emerging leaders in the LDI program each year, working together with a defined regional neighborhood’s stakeholders to deliver significant value to the host neighborhood, its people, and businesses.

The development, design, and execution the CIP provides highly talented and motivated emerging leaders from our region’s corporate, public, and nonprofit sectors opportunities to hone the skills and strategies taught throughout the program year while getting to know a neighborhood at a deep level and engaging civically.

The CIP was formerly known as PopUp Pittsburgh! – a concept was modeled after the “PopUp City” approach, which seeks to momentarily revitalize a neighborhood that has excess vacant land by developing a temporary, low-cost initiative that has the ability to surprise, provoke, and entertain city residents and visitors in ways that change perceptions about the places where they occur.

PopUp Pittsburgh! occurred from 2009-2020 in various neighborhoods including Fineview, Lawrenceville, Mt. Washington, Larimer, California-Kirkbride, Wilkinsburg, Carrick, Millvale, McKees Rocks, and Sharpsburg.

Penn Hills

Penn Hills

The LDI XXIX cohort worked with representatives from Penn Hills to better understand the needs of the community in relation to the Penn Hills Shopping Center, resulting in a comprehensive plan that currently serves as a playbook for future revitalization and redevelopment of the shopping center.
Allentown

Allentown

The LDI XXX cohort worked alongside the Allentown CDC in the Allentown neighborhood, located in the City of Pittsburgh’s Central South Side. Their project aimed to engage community stakeholders by developing a plan to create civic pride amongst residents and businesses alike, better align community goals, and inform a strategy for a sustained financial future for the Allentown CDC.
Enterprise Zone Corporation of Braddock

Enterprise Zone Corporation of Braddock

The LDI XXVII cohort worked with the Enterprise Zone Corporation of Braddock (EZCB) by engaging with the EZCB board, community leaders, businesses and residents of Braddock, North Braddock, Rankin and Swissvale to create resources that highlight the assets of the East Shore, that informed a short-term plan to attract positive attention to the area, and created “leave behind” resources that helped attract future growth and interest to the area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Leadership Development Initiative applications are due the first Friday in July for the class that would start in late September. Early applications are encouraged. Incentive tuition price is available for applications submitted by the first Friday in June. All parts of the application must be complete to be considered.

A selection committee will review applications in August. Applicants accepted for admission to Leadership Development Initiative will be notified by mid-September.

A letter of support from the organization that employs the applicant as well as letters of recommendation are required at the time of application. Entrepreneurs/Self-employed individuals are also welcome to apply. The selection committee seeks to have each class of Leadership Development Initiative represent a diverse cross section of our community, that is: diverse by race, occupation and personal experience.

Application information for the 2024-2025 LDI cohort will be available in February 2024.

Leadership Development Initiative tuition is $4,400 per participant (please note that this is subject to change in the future). Early applications are encouraged. Incentive tuition price for applications submitted by the first Friday in June is $4,100. All parts of the application must be complete to be considered.

Accepted applicants will receive an invoice which must be paid to ensure their spot in the class. Payment plans are available but must be arranged in advance with our team.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available and are primarily intended to assist participants from nonprofit organizations with limited resources. Participants seeking tuition assistance will be asked to complete a statement of financial need and should submit their request for assistance with their application.

Click here to request tuition assistance information. Acceptance into Leadership Development Initiative is not influenced by the need for tuition assistance.

LPInc. strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccinations and is a mask-friendly organization. LPInc. will continue to monitor local, state and national guidelines, including CDC guidelines, leading up to each in-person event and will share any updates to our policy as needed. Please note that masks, proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours of an event) may be required for entry into some sessions/events should the venue host require such. Ample advance notice would be provided.

All Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. activities always adhere to required standards of public health and safety. The information listed below is general and addresses a typical program year.

In addition to the opening retreat, the LDI class usually meets twice monthly from approximately 1:00 – 5:00 PM on (typically) Thursday afternoons. The schedule is determined several months in advance. Credits are assigned to each session and most activities, and participants are required to earn a predetermined number of credits to complete the program. More credits are offered than required for the program’s completion in order to allow participants flexibility in arranging their personal schedules.

Twelve to fourteen sessions, held from October through June, focus on sharpening key leadership skills and capacities such as inquiry, dialogue, anti-racism, persuasion, conflict negotiation, and listening – skills that are critical to professional community leadership. Participants gain a better awareness of their own particular style of leadership and how it interacts with others of similar caliber. The LDI program helps participants hone skills while exposing them to avenues for civic involvement and critical-path networking across industries.

Welcome Reception and Orientation – Held in late September. (If possible, based on prevailing public health conditions.)

Initial Retreat – The retreat is critical to the formation of the cohort and is held on a Thursday through mid-day Friday. Applicants are strongly advised to take a look at the retreat dates on the schedule in advance of submitting an application. When held in-person, the retreat location is typically within 2 hours of driving distance from downtown Pittsburgh.

Leadership Sessions – Participants meet for learning experiences on topics such as civic engagement, regional planning, understanding differences and serving on nonprofit boards. These sessions enhance leadership skills and expose the participants to community leaders and issues. Sessions typically take place on Thursday afternoons. Session locations are typically within a 1 hour driving distance from downtown Pittsburgh. Participants are expected to attend all of the regularly scheduled sessions in their entirety and earn sufficient credits to graduate.

Community Impact Projects – LDI participants form teams to implement an Impact Project in our community. In addition to meeting a need in the community, the project provides significant learning experiences for the class members. Teams meet outside of the regularly scheduled sessions, where meeting times and locations are self-determined by the team. In recent years, the Community Impact Projects have taken the shape of PopUp! Pittsburgh.

Click here to download the 2024-2025 tentative LDI cohort schedule.

PopUp! Pittsburgh is the shape that the Community Impact Project (CIP) has taken in some of our LDI classes, where a hands-on project serves as a key component of the LDI program.

CIP provides a “real-world” and hands-on opportunity for leadership skill practice and development. This living, breathing “case-study” is undertaken by the group of high potential emerging leaders of LDI, working together with a defined regional neighborhood’s stakeholders, to deliver significant value to the host neighborhood/s, its people and businesses. The development, design and execution of PopUp! Pittsburgh/CIP provides highly talented and motivated emerging leaders from our region’s corporate, public and nonprofit sectors opportunities to hone the skills/strategies taught throughout the program year while getting to know a neighborhood at a deep level and engaging civically.

Initial planning time for CIP is provided in the first half of the program year. The scale of the project is typically determined by the LDI participants in consultation with the host community’s stakeholders. The project is typically completed by end of May.

Past CIP/PopUp! Pittsburgh projects were all very unique – one focused around the filming of a zombie movie called Spineview, another involved pulling off a mass wedding vow renewal to celebrate love in the community, a 5K and community festival in Mt. Washington’s Emerald View park system, one focused on “shining a light” on Larimer with a laser show, another was focused around fresh produce in the community, a community festival in Wilkinsburg which told the story about the neighborhood’s past, present and future and one physically showcased the faces of the Carrick neighborhood as a part of an international art installation program. CIPs have drawn significant positive attention to the assets of the host community from those who live there as well as others who may not be as familiar with the neighborhoods.

To learn more visit www.PopUpPittsburgh.com

Successful applicants who get the most out of LDI are in positions as an emerging manager, professional associate, or significant individual contributor. They represent corporate and professional organizations, as well as civic entities.  Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals are encouraged to apply as well. Our LDI participants exhibit high levels of energy, enthusiasm, a strong sense of self-reflection, dedication to community well-being, a desire for personal growth and to be part of something larger than themselves. Individuals with these characteristics do well in the LDI program.

Leadership Development Initiative participants are:

  • Fast-track young professionals in business, nonprofit, government and civic entities
  • Ready to challenge other dynamic professionals with their own unique views
  • Ready to invest 10-15 hours each month to learn, grow, and contribute as collaborative leaders
  • Ready to acknowledge the perspectives of others
  • Looking for a leadership experience that is reality-based and fun
  • Seeking to broaden professional and personal networks
  • Interested in acquiring skills and knowledge that would make them stand out within their company and the community
  • Wanting to climb the career ladder faster
  • New to the area OR want to contribute to the community in which we live, work, & play
  • Open to people, places, and opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh region
  • Committed to joining about 40 other fast-track professionals from every walk of life to learn and to inspire positive change in our community

Click here to view a listing of the LDI XXXI cohort.

Click here for a comprehensive list of our LDI Alumni by class year.

Click here for a comprehensive list of our LDI Alumni by last name.

Click here to refer someone to one of our programs. We will then get in touch with them to share more information regarding our programs. Thank you for helping to spread the word and strengthen our mission delivery!

The Leadership Development Initiative Selection Committee considers letters of recommendation in the application process. We strongly encourage each applicant to submit at least two letters of recommendation. Successful applications in prior years tend to be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s supervisor/head of business unit in addition to recommendations from LPInc. alumni (see under “Who has graduated from Leadership Development Initiative?”).

Recommendations are due in to the Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. office by 5:00 PM on the date of the application deadline. These can be submitted along with the application or separately via the online form; or by e-mail to info@lpinc.org.

For LDI & CLCV Graduates

Leadership OnBoard

Gain first hand experience serving at a non profit board.

Leadership OnBoard (LOB) is an exclusive program available only for graduates of our Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) and Community Leadership Course for Veterans (CLCV) programs.

Learn more

Our Partners

The success of the Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. depends to a large part on the financial support of our community’s businesses and community partners. We are deeply grateful for their ongoing support.