What you need to know about Cleveland Bridge Builders

Bridge Builders are everywhere
Participants are diverse in age, race, gender, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, profession, sector, and experience level. Applicants are selected through a blind selection process and scored on problem-solving skills, commitment to community, leadership roles and interpersonal skills.

You have the time
The CBB program year is spread over 10 months. Many attendees who run businesses or are in mid-career positions with organziations find the time commitment is manageable - and rewarding. The program includes five full-day sessions, a two-day opening retreat, and occasional small-group meetings to focus on Leadership Action Projects (see below). 

You can make a mark right away
CBB Leadership Action Projects (LAPs) focus your energy on a meaningful civic issue. Six to eight CBB participants work on a LAP that has been proposed by a local nonprofit and selected by an RFP process. LAPs serve as a Learning Lab -- an immediate place to apply newly learned skills and approaches to civic leadership. Learn more about LAP Projects.

CBB is transformative
Here's what CBB alums have to say about their experience:

  • "The program has exceeded my expectations! I feel inspired to do something else ... Bridge Builders is helping me define new goals for myself and my family."
  • "The impact the CBB program has made is tremendous. This program helped me focus on what is important to me both personally and professionally. ... The people I have met and lessons I have learned will always stay with me."
  • "Before CBB I had no idea what civic engagement really even meant. Today I am able to walk away from this program filled with hope about the possibilities that are in store. ... Being involved with CBB has led me to making so many changes in my life already."
  • "The program provided an opportunity to connect with the city, my peers and myself. I learned more about exciting projects and critical challenges while discovering diverse areas of our city."

Tuition is worth it (and scholarships are available)
CBB is an investment in your path to career and civic engagement. It also gives you the opportunity to connect with, see and experience Cleveland in ways you never have. Tuition for the Class of 2016 is $3,300. Each participant is required to contribute a minimum of $300 personally; the individual, an employer, or other source may pay the balance. Partial scholarships are available, and CLC will work with successful applicants so tuition is not a barrier.

Employers value CBB

Employers find that Bridge Builders bring to their organization a new sense of energy, creativity and skills to address challenges, solve problems and interact with the community. They see CBB as a key professional development opportunity that has immeasurable impact on the organization and bottom-line success. Here’s what some have to say:

“You send an employee to Bridge Builders and they take what they learned and bring it back. Suddenly there are 40 people in your company doing things differently, trying new things and being successful. Bridge Builders strengthens Cleveland businesses, which benefit from the new relationships formed and the outside perspectives gained.”
- Susie Barragate (CBB 2013), VP of Human Resources and Lorain County Rehabilitation Services, Vocational Guidance Services

“The investment I made in having someone in the program was nominal compared to what they took away from it: a much deeper understanding of the community and its different components and the ability to interact with a diverse cross-section of people. The experience planted many new roots that are growing already.”
- Deb Donley (LC 2007), Principal, Vocon Design

How to become a Cleveland Bridge Builder
Applications for the Class of 2016 are available beginning January 30,2015. Deadline to apply is 11:59 p.m., March 6, 2015. Applicants must complete all parts of the online application and pay $25 non-refundable application fee. LEARN MORE and APPLY HERE.

For questions, please contact CBB Program Director Rachel Ciomcia, or (216) 592-2280.


Apply  Leadership Action Projects   Flyer