Building Local Leadership for a Stronger Community

  2017 HLI at Rowse Rakes  2017 HLI Class 2017 HLI at Wettlaufer Landscapes

HomeTown Leadership Institute (HLI) is a county-wide leadership program in Holt County, NE organized by Holt County Economic Development (HCED). Since 2005, HLI has helped educate participants on different areas of Holt County, NE and further develop personal leadership skills with the intent participants will become more involved in their communities.

As of 2017, 176 participants have completed HomeTown Leadership Institute. HLI classes run from March to October, with participants meeting once per month from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (class times subject to change). Classes are held at the Holt County Economic Development office in O'Neill and different locations throughout Holt County, NE. Previous class topics have included Strengths-based Leadership, Economic Development, Housing, Government, Agriculture, Education, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare, Nonprofits, and Community Foundations. Schedules, speakers, and tours vary somewhat from year to year.

There is a tuition fee of $175.00 for HLI participants. Tuition is non-refundable. Assistance may be available to cover tuition.

The 2018 HomeTown Leadership Institute begins on March 21, 2018 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm. See the 2018 HLI Schedule below for upcoming class dates.

If you want to learn more about Holt County, NE, how the wheels turn and how to get more involved in your community, join us for the 2018 HomeTown Leadership Institute. To apply, click the link below for the HLI Application. Applications are due by February 1, 2018.

HomeTown Leadership Application

For more information, call HCED at (402) 336-1504 or email Kristi Peterson, HCED Project Manager, at kristi@growholt.com.

2018 HLI Schedule

Strengths-Based Leadership | March 21 | HCED Office, O'Neill, NE:

Participants will discover their top strengths and themes and learn how to maximize the strengths of those around them by taking Gallup's Clifton StrengthsFinder led by Nicole Sedlacek.


Economic Development / Housing | April 18 | Murphy Theatre & Media Center, Stuart, NE:

What does economic development look like in Holt County?  What housing needs are present in our county? Participants will tour Stuart, NE for a look at what they have done for housing, as well as hear from those that work in economic development. 


Agriculture in Holt County | May 16 | TBD:

Learn and SEE what makes agriculture the #1 industry in Holt County and Nebraska. Tour some of Holt County's ag-related companies: an HLI favorite! 


Entrepreneurship | June 20 | Atkinson Public Library, Atkinson, NE:

Holt County is FULL of entrepreneurs: large and small. Hear and see what a few of them do. 


Education Systems | July 18 | Northeast Community College, O'Neill, NE:

This session presents information regarding our local education systems and major issues affecting those systems today. Participant tour Northeast Community College and hear from Merri Schneider, NECC Director as well as representatives of our local school systems.


Government in Holt County | August 15 | Holt County Courthouse (Supervisor's Room):

This session provides an overview of how our local government works. Participants tour the Holt County Courthouse and hear from local county representatives.


Health, Wellness, and Human Services | September 19 | O'Neill, NE:

Participants will take an inside look at the health services available in Holt County, as well as tour a local hospital.


Community Foundations and Nonprofits | October 17 | TBD:

Learn what organizations are available to help your community grow and prosper. 


HomeTown Leadership Institute Alumni

Want to hear more great things about HLI?  Check out this video that helped celebrate our 10th year!