Leadership Paterson

Overview of Leadership Paterson

 A program of the Greater Paterson Chamber of Commerce

The program began 22 years ago, and has graduated over 450 adult participants, many of whom have gone on to active community leadership roles in the public and/or private sectors in Paterson.  One would have difficulty in finding a community organization, department of city government, task force, action group, neighborhood association, etc., that is without a Leadership Paterson alumnus in a leadership role.

Almost all of the program’s participants are sponsored by employers, with an emphasis on executives, managers and decision makers.  Business owners themselves have participated in the program.  Those selected for sponsorship by employers have leadership abilities/potential, and have a desire to expand their leadership roles and activities both in the community and their careers.

Sponsorship is a serious commitment; the tuition is $950 and employees are away from their jobs for 9 days during the February through December seminar year (no seminars in July/August).

Employees step forward to enroll and sponsor employees for these reasons:

  1. Many employers are active in community leadership roles and are sensitive to the real-world issues, concerns, needs, problems and opportunities endemic to Paterson;  Leadership Paterson is an effective medium for employers to ensure the ongoing flow of community leaders to address those matters and to help influence/initiate changes, programs, etc., that will have a positive impact on the quality of life in the city.
  2. Quality of life issues extend beyond city residents.  They directly impact the operations of businesses i.e., business friendly environment; effective/efficient city government; quality of education; health care/human services; growth and prosperity which provides tax ratable and jobs; the economic and social burden of crime; law enforcement; etc.
  3. The Leadership Paterson experience helps participants to develop/improve poise and confidence in a leadership role.  All participants are given public-speaking roles throughout the year.  Many employers have reported a significant improvement in the willingness of participants to take on greater responsibilities in their jobs as well as improvements in job effectiveness; etc.
  4. The networking opportunities among Leadership Paterson participants and among the outside speakers and hosts at seminar sites, are unlimited.

Leadership Paterson is real-world in nature and structure; it does not concern itself with the theoretical or hypothetical; it is intense by design to simulate the intense nature of leadership.

Leadership Paterson provides participants with a basic awareness of key community issues, concerns, needs and opportunities that involve those in leadership roles; it provides the motivation to take on a leadership role in the public and/or private sector in order to influence/initiate actions that will have a positive impact on the community’s quality of life.

There are related field trips throughout the year to reinforce the seminar experiences.

Paterson’s History/Present/Future

Overview of the rich and colorful events and people in the City’s history, and an insight of current and future developments that will impact the city’s growth and prosperity.  Such background is essential for those whose intention is to become involved in a leadership role, whether in the public or private sector.


 Meet and interact with political leadership at the local, county and state levels; to become aware of the way in which they interface; the nature and order of their priorities; their sensitivity to constituent needs; etc.


 Meet and interact with the school superintendent/staff, school principals, teachers and students; firsthand opportunity to observe the effects of state takeover of the system, and the steps that have been taken to improve the quality of education in Paterson.

The Environment

 Exposure to the environmental issues and concerns that confront the urban business community; the regulatory and environmental initiatives that impact environmental compliance programs; financial and other considerations to become environmentally compliant; impact of environmental compliance on a business decision to remain in/leave the city.


To become more aware of the economic and social costs of crime and its direct relationship to/impact upon other social needs and priorities., i.e, housing, education, etc.   The seminar experience is reinforced with visits to Northern State Prison, Paterson Police Dept. and Passaic County Superior Court.

Health Care/Human Services

Visits to/interaction with major providers of health care/human services in the city, to become aware of the needs of the community; the effectiveness of those providers in meeting those needs; issues and concerns that directly affect the rendering of those services, etc.

Paterson’s Business Climate/Economic Development

Visits to a number of businesses and plants to become aware of the breadth, depth and diversity of such activities in the city; to become more aware of the need for a business friendly environment to produce wealth and create tax retables and jobs, which directly impacts the quality of life in the City.


 Interface with the publisher, editors and staff of the North Jersey Herald & News and/or The Record to become familiar with the news gathering/reporting resources of the paper and its editorial philosophy; also, how those in a leadership role can best access/use these resources.  Those in leadership roles must be aware of these critical issues in order to be able to deal with them in a sensitive and effective manner.

The Role of Faith-Based Institutions In the Community

 This seminar exposes participants to the City’s faith-based institutions and the vital role they play in meeting the critical needs of membership, i.e., basic essentials of life, child care, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, spousal and child abuse, etc.

Leadership In The Community

Simulation of real-world community leadership roles in the consideration and resolution of critical issues.  Community leadership projects are developed as legacies in such areas as economic development, human services, health care, education, etc., to be implemented in the City of Paterson.

For further information or to enroll, contact the chamber.

Classes meet the last Tuesday of the Month

Class Schedule and Topics – Coming Soon

Enrollment Form – Coming Soon

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