PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

 

CSG West offers top-notch professional development opportunities aimed at strengthening western legislative institutions and helping legislators become more effective.  Key capacity training programs and opportunities include the following:

 

Western Legislative Academy

CSG West provides premier capacity building opportunities for Western legislators within their first four years of cumulative service through the Western Legislative Academy (WLA). The WLA is an intensive three and half day professional development program designed to assist legislators in becoming more effective leaders and to strengthen legislative institutions. The WLA focuses on communications, time management, governing, ethics, and consensus building. A highlight of the program is a half day spent at the US Air Force Academy working on personnel assessments and team building.

 

Border Legislative Academy

The Border Legislative Academy (BLA) is a binational, capacity training program for U.S. – Mexico border state legislators within their first four years of service. The program incorporates a mix of practical skills building and informational sessions geared to improve mutual understanding and cooperation, enhance the role of state legislatures to address shared concerns, and enable policy-makers to better understand the complexities of governing along the border region.

 

Legislative Service Agency & Research Directors

The Legislative Service Agency/Research Directors (LSA/RD) Committee is a core CSG West program. Made up of the nonpartisan legislative staff leaders of the West, the committee is dedicated to finding ways to deliver the best possible customer service to lawmakers in a positive and professional workplace environment. Western staff leaders convene each year for a training and professional development seminar.

 

Annual Legislative Training Assembly (ALTA)

The Annual Legislative Training Assembly (ALTA) is a professional development opportunity offered during the Annual Meeting. Legislators at all stages of their careers are invited to learn from experts and participate in hands on, practical exercises. Topics are selected through consultation with the current WLA class president.

 

Toll Fellowship Program

Western lawmakers are encouraged to apply to CSG National’s Henry Toll Fellowship Program, one of the nation’s premier leadership programs for officials from all branches of state government. Annually convened in Lexington, KY, the Tolls Program is an intensive “intellectual boot camp” focused on crisis management, adaptive leadership, and personal assessment, among other skills.

 

WESTRAIN

In 2012 the Officers of CSG West approved the establishment of WESTRAIN, a pilot program that serves as a speakers' bureau to provide capacity training in state capitols.  CSG West offers trainers in the areas of communications, ethics, time management and stress management, public speaking, and media relations. The legislatures of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming have utilized select trainings for both legislators and legislative staff during the current biennium.