Back in February, I shared highlights from the first four days of Leadership Lakes Region [4 Days with Leadership Lakes Region], and now, I’m here to update you on the final half of the programs, the final four days. Last October, with 24 other ambitious leaders, I embarked on Leadership Lakes Region, an organization dedicated to community improvement by developing volunteer leaders that want to impact the success of our region.
Day Five: Economic Issues Day
In February, we explored our regional economy and the problems and potential for economic growth in the Lakes Region. From housing to workforce development, we heard from industry leaders in various sectors to tie the whole “puzzle” of our local, state, and regional economy together. Advanced manufacturing is a well-known industry in the area seeking qualified and trained professionals (often graduates of specialized programs locally, like the one at Lakes Region Community College), and we were fortunate to tour the facilities of Aavid Thermalloy thanks to our classmate, Kristin Champoux!
Day Six: Education Issues Day
In March, we visited Elm Street School to learn about educational technology use at the elementary school level, and it was mind-blowing, to say the least. We interacted with educational professionals at a range of levels to learn about the challenges faced by today’s teachers and students. We then went to the J. Oliva Huot Technical Center, attached to Laconia High School (Go Sachems!), to learn how high school students are being trained in high-demand trades. I had a blast attending a building trades class with a group of students who were building a large shed for a local client (yes, client!). Finally, we headed over to the Lakes Region Community College to learn about running start programs, tour the new student housing facilities, and see the brand new Automotive Technologies building. We have a pretty awesome college right in our backyard!
Day Seven: Health Issues Day
As April came around, we were eager to explore health issues faced by our hospital and healthcare system in the area. We learned about regional access to medical services, costs of these services to the provider, as well as the patient, under uninsured populations and programs to address unique needs. Our day began at the Hospital, LRGHealthcare, followed by a trip to the ClearChoice MD Urgent Care (not a part of LRGH) and trends they see in patient needs and knowledge.
Day Eight: Lakes Day & Graduation
The final day was bittersweet, as we explored the environmental side of our region, which included a tour of Squam Lake by boat. We were hosted by the Squam Lake Association to learn about the many ways they preserve and maintain our lakes. We stopped in at the Squam Lake Science Center to visit with the animals that reside there (massive animals!). We then headed to Church Landing at Mill Falls for a graduation ceremony, to remember the many days we spent together.
As the program came to a close, I had many moments to reflect on the days we spent together and my heightened awareness of the issues facing our region, but also the opportunities and beauty of living in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. One main point continued to surface, in order for our region to prosper, we must all take responsibility for maintaining and leading the growth of our home to sustain its future.
If you’re interested in Leadership Lakes Region (which you should be!), apply for the next class which starts this fall!