A September lecture at the Taubman Center by Eric Schnurer '80, president of the Drum Major Institute, led to collaboration between three Taubman Center Master’s students and the Institute. The Drum Major Institute is a progressive think tank that seeks to end poverty and promote opportunity by putting sound policy ideas to work.
Alison Segal MPP '12, Christopher Collins MPP '12 and Alan Glazer MPA '12 presented their policy paper for the Institute, "Workforce Leadership Development in Appalachian Kentucky" to peers and faculty at the Center on May 15. Before the students began, Schnurer met with local and federal agencies in Kentucky and identified what the region lacked above all -- a critical mass of local leaders and entrepreneurs who are prepared to tackle the economic, social, and infrastructure problems that have kept Appalachian Kentucky mired in poverty for decades.
Segal, Collins and Glazer came up with a framework for two programs to solve the shortage of leadership in the region. The first would be a crash course for civic leaders. Their training would include instruction in mentoring, civic engagement, budgeting, ethics, government processes, grant writing and project management. The second program would help existing business owners. These prospective entrepreneurial leaders would receive training on growing their businesses, improving efficiency, cash flow planning and advanced marketing.
The students’ recommendations, which they consider a work in progress, are currently under review by Schnurer and their community partners in Kentucky. Segal, Collins and Glazer, who graduated this May, are hoping to recruit a new group of Taubman Master’s students to carry their work forward.