Yakima County Development Association brings affordable leadership training to small businesses

Yakima County Leadership Academy
Credit: Emily Goodell, KAPP-KVEW

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. — The Yakima County Development Association is partnering with a local consulting firm to offer leadership training to small businesses that may not have the financial resources or enough employees for a 30-person class.

“These have been going on for almost 10 years,” YCDA executive director Jonathan Smith said. “And at least 1,000, if not more, have gone through this program.

Smith said he’s been through some of the classes himself and has sent his staff members to learn from Diana Welch, consultant and owner of Human Resources and Management Solutions in Yakima.

Welch recently hosted a six-day leadership academy at the YCDA office, teaching workers how to communicate, deal with difficult employees and use critical thinking in their management efforts.

“We have lots of group discussions, we have goal-setting worksheets, we have roleplay, so there’s lots of components,” Welch said. “It’s lively, it’s interactive, it’s lots of fun and people learned an amazing amount of information.”

Smith said the YCDA helps by advertising the program to local businesses and recruiting a small number of employees from each company to come attend the leadership academy.

“By working together, we’re able to take the great training that Diana can provide and help a lot of different businesses access it when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” Smith said.

The program is priced at $1,250 per person for six days of training, food and beverages assessments and supplies. Spring classes are over, but Welch said registration will be open by July 1 for another six-day leadership academy planned for September.

“I know that Diana’s in demand; she goes sometimes around the state to do trainings,” Smith said. “So it’s a great resource that we have right here in our community.”

The Yakima County Development Association provides local businesses with a number of resources and services, including:

More information can be found at chooseyakimavalley.com or by calling the YCDA at 509-575-1140.

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