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NCC’s Leadership Development Program Graduates Seven New Crew Leads

NCC’s Leadership Development Program Graduates Seven New Crew Leads

The Nevada Conservation Corps (NCC) conducts important hands-on crew work ranging from trail construction and maintenance, hazardous fuels reduction, habitat restoration, and more. But the NCC is also committed to encouraging professional development, helping participants evolve from crew members to leaders in the field. To this end, the NCC’s Leadership Development Program (LDP) nurtures professional development and offers the training and opportunities necessary to become effective leaders.

The LDP provides specialized instruction on a variety of field leadership skills that promote successful field crew management. Training in problem-solving, conflict resolution, performance management, inclusive collaboration, team development, and decision-making offer opportunities to grow and learn as a developing leader. Effective team and project management is learned through extended mentorship and experiential learning as we believe leadership skills are best acquired within the context of daily work challenges. Participants in the program spend several months as AmeriCorps crew members working on a variety of projects with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the State of Nevada. While doing so, they participate in leadership development activities, spending extended periods of time camping in the field with fellow crew leaders, each taking turns acting as the crew lead on service projects reflecting the technical challenges of conservation leadership. A major focus of the LDP is mental health and conflict resolution, emphasizing the importance of well-being, alongside physical endurance and effective interpersonal communication.

This year’s LDP wrapped up at GBI’s Mojave base, resulting in seven new crew leads who have, in the words of NCC Associate Director, Libby Wilson, “brilliantly completed the three-month technical skills and embody the spirit of camaraderie and resilience that defines the Nevada Conservation Corps.” Following the conclusion of this training, the newly promoted crew leads gathered at GBI’s Mt. Rose office in Reno to assist with fleet and equipment migration in preparation for what is expected to be a big summer session. Indeed, the NCC will be operating ten teams this summer. With their first summer orientation passed and the second one underway, the LDP graduates and external hires are leading teams as we speak.

Being a crew lead is a full-time, intensive commitment, and requires those serving in the role to be a resource to crew members, both on service project sites and back at camp after a long day. Leading a crew requires unwavering dedication and a willingness to put the needs of others first. The LDP provides a superb platform from which to learn the skills and intuition needed for the role, and so far things are looking great for the new crew leads. Take it from the NCC’s Northern Operations Coordinator Anthony Morales: “I am optimistic our teams will continue to do well this season. If all goes well by the end of this season, they will have successfully led a crew and demonstrated their capability to lead.”

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