WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Just what makes the City of Wheeling great?

A new group of people are about to find out with the long-running networking program “Leadership Wheeling”. 

Each year the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce hosts this program to help people develop professionally and connect them with opportunities in the community. While that’s happening, each leadership class also has the chance to learn about all kinds of businesses and services in the Ohio Valley. 

We’ll be visiting a ton of different businesses, meeting a ton of different people and learning about everything behind the Wheeling community.

Laurie Conway, Marketing & Communications Director, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce

Conway said this is one of the most diverse Leadership Wheeling classes in terms of where people are in their careers, from seasoned professionals to younger people trying to accelerate their careers.

Their agenda includes a trip to Charleston to learn about state government, exploring local non-profits, energy education, learning about leisure and the arts and even a team building activity with the Wheeling Fire Department.

It will give all members a unique look at the economics of the area, especially since some aren’t originally from the Friendly City. 

I would say probably a third of them are transplants to Wheeling. They’re not even from here. They’ve moved ere for work. They’ve moved here because they have a spouse who’s moved here for work so this is such a good way for them to get introduced to each other, get introduced to the community and learn how to develop themselves professionally.

Laurie Conway, Marketing & Communications Director, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce

While learning about all the great things Wheeling Has to offer, Conway said the best thing to come out of Leadership Wheeling is probably the networking.

It’s a great way to just meet people and introduce my network to your network. If you ever need something you can say ‘I was in this leadership person with this person they may be able to connect me to where I need to go’. So, it’s a really great way to make professional and lasting relationships that I hope these classmates will take with them far beyond graduating from the program.

Laurie Conway, Marketing & Communications Director, Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce

This year’s Leadership Wheeling class has 21 members. 

While this year’s 14-week program is already underway, but the Wheeling Area Chamber of Commerce says they will be doing it again next year. Applications usually come out at the end of the year around the holidays.