Turning a community into a classroom

Watch the CLA Highlights Video

A Journey of Self-Discovery

The Chamber Leadership Academy (CLA), our innovative youth Chamber program, extends our commitment to personal development by partnering with local chambers of commerce, municipal authorities, elected officials, and business leaders. Together, we convert the city into a dynamic classroom. We integrate the experiences and perspectives of community leaders into our curriculum, providing an engaging and immersive educational experience set within the vibrant context of the host city.

Hands-on, action-based

This immersive 5-day program revolves around a unique central theme each day, focusing on specific leadership skill sets and leveraging carefully chosen locations within the host city. Our adept facilitators meticulously curate diverse panels of speakers, each offering unique perspectives and experiences that align with the daily theme. They craft tailored curriculum and engaging activities aimed at fortifying students' 21st-century skill sets, fostering a dynamic and holistic learning experience.

How CLA Works

Day 1


Explore outside-the-box thinking and growth mindset by learning from government officials who use unique perspectives to keep the city moving forward.

Day 2

Personal Branding

Discover the importance of identity awareness and personal branding by learning how media strategists and business leaders leverage communication to maximize influence.

Day 3

Health & Wellness

Learn the critical importance of life balance and goal setting from wellness professionals who have made promoting a healthy balance in mind and body their lifes work.

Day 4

Sales & Marketing

Strengthen networking and presentation skills by hearing from business leaders who use positive interactions and clear communicaiton to keep their companies growing.

Day 5


Explore outside-the-box thinking and growth mindset by learning from government officials who keep the city moving forward.

A Journey of Self Discovery

Explore our photo gallery

Program Participants

Want to know more? Reach out.

Connect with an ELA team member today.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where is the Chamber program hosted?

We run this program 5 half-days a year. The dates are typically scheduled around the school calendar. The program usually runs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the five selected days. This program can also be hosted as an intense one-week summer program (five half-days). The program locations are scheduled in advance by the ELA Team in collaboration with the local businesses in the chosen city.

What is the curriculum for CLA?

While the students are exploring their city and different career opportunities, ELA also provides two hours of training per session, engaging students with key work force development skills necessary for success in the 21st century. Included but not limited to Collaboration skills, Communication skills, Critical Thinking skills, Goal Setting and Time Management.

Can my School District/Chamber/Community get involved?

Yes, ELA is expanding our footprint with our Chamber program model within Northeast Ohio, and we would love to discuss how we bring this to you students/Chamber/Community.

Is the CLA program hosted at the school?

The purpose of the CLA program is to take students out into their community, turning a community into a classroom. ELA’s Chamber program allows students to celebrate the many different businesses in their community, assisting with career exploration, networking for internships and future jobs.

How much does the CLA program cost to bring to a school/chamber/community?

We look to share the cost of this program between the school/chamber and community. ELA works hard to raise philanthropic dollars from community partners and philanthropic donors. The school district makes a contribution to support each student that attends. We would be happy to discuss what this could look like for your district.

Which type of students are the best candidates to include in the CLA program?

We often get asked this question and while this program is an option for all high school students’ leaders, we find students who are struggling with career choice, or struggling with choosing next steps after school, students who need an additional gem on their resume for the work world or college – this is a great solution. Student leaders also shine in this program.

Is transportation provided?

No. We ask the school district or the student to take on that responsibility. We provide snacks and drinks and a light lunch on the final day.