Forsyth Tech Launches Leadership Development Program Targeting Millennials

(Winston-Salem, NC) – Forsyth Tech is introducing the Emerging Leaders Lab, an innovative seven-session program that targets Millennials ages 18 – 35 with opportunities to explore personal leadership styles and engage in experiential learning. The sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 9 am – noon at Forsyth Tech @ Innovation Quarter, 525 Vine Street in downtown Winston-Salem and will run from August 3 through October 26.

The initial cohort of 22 participants will be selected by an application process to ensure diversity. The cohort will engage in hands-on learning projects and discussions on practical and applied leadership. Each participant will be matched with a mentor, whom they will meet with outside of class, and each project team will have access to a team coach.

“The Emerging Leaders program is designed with the understanding that Millennials prefer to learn through doing,” says Rob Hinshaw, director, Corporate Education, Business & Industry Services. “The participants will drive their own experience, self-selecting their action learning projects. They will be given the freedom to explore and make new discoveries with support from experienced facilitators.

“Millennials are forging new pathways and ways of thinking. They are doing life differently than previous generations. We believe this program will help participants make a positive impact and create change in the companies in which they work and the communities in which they live.”

Planning for the Emerging Leaders Lab was a year in the making.  A team of advisors worked closely with Jacinta White, a corporate trainer at Forsyth Tech, to create a vision of and structure for the program to ensure it provided the most meaningful learning opportunities possible for participants.

“After hearing from the Human Resource Managers we work with and from Millennials who take our classes, we learned of a need to develop a cohort group that could do a deep dive into issues facing this generation, particularly related to development of leadership skills,” says White. “With Baby Boomers retiring in vast numbers, the Millennials are quickly being tasked with leadership responsibilities for which they are telling us they need additional support and training. The Emerging Leaders Lab is designed to fill this niche.”

Members of the Emerging Leaders planning committee tapped by White included:

  • Mackenzie Cates Allen, Development Manager, Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership
  • Brad Bennett, Chief Firestarter, Wildfire
  • Margot Jerome, Community Builder/Facilitator
  • Eliza Walmsley,Communications and Program Manager, The Winston-Salem Foundation
  • Ira Williams, VP Retail Banking, Allegacy Federal Credit Union
  • Karl Yena, Community Leader

The application deadline for the inaugural class is 5:00 pm on Thursday, June 23, 2016. The cost for the seven-week session is $700.

“We hope that our local employers will support the Emerging Leaders Lab,” Hinshaw says. “In return, we believe they will receive a more engaged employee and emerging leader, one who more easily understands and navigates corporate culture and who can leverage the Lab’s emphasis on team building, creativity and strategic thinking into making a difference in the workplace.”

For more information about the Emerging Leader’s Lab, contact Rob Hinshaw at 336.757.3707 or, or Jacinta White at 336.757.3806 or, or visit

About Forsyth Tech

Forsyth Tech provides students with flexible educational pathways to a competitive workforce for the community and global economy. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in more than 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry.

Forsyth Tech is the fifth largest community college in North Carolina and serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff.