Midwest Community Leadership Resource Center

The Midwest Community Leadership Resource Center is a virtual resource center that brokers and links the talents and resources of several organizations with the needs and interests of communities. MCLRC is not a “bricks and mortar” center. This unusual alliance combines the resources of a state university, a national youth development organization, a reform-minded state initiative and an innovative community collaborative. MCLRC collaborating organizations include:

  • The Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership (Bloch School of Business and Public Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City),
  • The Family and Community Trust (State of Missouri), and
  • The Local Investment Commission (Kansas City, Missouri)

The Midwest Community Resource Center provides tailored, community-oriented learning opportunities that are based on community assessments and grounded in state-of-the-art research and theory, using strategies that are both classic and unique. In the work of the center, theory is informed by practice and practice is informed by theory. More than training or instruction, center programs focus on enabling and facilitating dialogue among community partners; a sharing of expertise and learning as members of these communities progress in creating and implementing their own ways to grow and become healthy. Current center interests include leadership for systemic reform, comprehensive strategies for building and sustaining community, results based planning, service integration, and grassroots community leader development.

A Virtual Learning Center for Community Building

The Midwest Community Leadership Resource Center (MCLRC) is a unique alliance dedicated to supporting the growth and development of grassroots leadership and organizational capacity, particularly for those who are creating new ways of serving children and families. This multi-organization collaborative has come together to build the capacity of people and organizations planning and delivering comprehensive, integrated services at the neighborhood and local community levels.

The Midwest Community Leadership Resource Center works from a unique vision of community building, the vision that significant system reform is best sustained when supported by professional development efforts that help build and nurture communities’ leadership and capacity for change. To do so, the center

  • builds grassroots leadership and organizational capacity in partnership with “front line” community organizations,
  • enhances the capacity of systems to work together in new and creative ways,
  • enables new ways of doing business,
  • strengthens organizational leadership and program capacity, and
  • supports community capacity to link and integrate the planning and provision of services with the needs and interests of local communities and school sites,

all with the vision of better serving children and their families.

Guiding Principles

  1. Professional development is grounded in and driven by the strategic management and leadership agenda of the community and demonstrates and expects a commitment to a shared philosophy, vision, values, and guiding principles.
  2. Professional development is an essential management tool in achieving organizational goals and objectives.
  3. Professional development includes a strong emphasis on the understanding and development of leadership capacity throughout the organization.
  4. Professional development embodies and models a philosophy of continuous quality improvement and organizational learning. It builds on and strengthens the high quality of existing programs and activities.
  5. Professional development is planned and delivered in a comprehensive and systematic manner, ensuring that basic needs are the first to be addressed.
  6. Professional development includes the development of internal capacity to ensure an ongoing program of training, education, and organizational development.
  7. Professional development is progressive, developmental, sequential, and learner-focused in design and delivery.
  8. Professional development is responsive to the needs and interests of the local community and will be locally controlled.
  9. Professional development is state of the art and innovative in design and delivery.
  10. Professional development promotes and integrative cross-agency model, strengthening collaboration and the sharing of resources.
  11. Professional development supports and promotes the development and delivery of a family-oriented service system.
  12. Professional development recognizes and values the strength of diversity in the workplace, community, and participant population served, building peoples’ capacity to incorporate and capitalize on this diversity to ensure effective service delivery.
  13. Professional development empowers people to work together to meet the needs of those served, and facilitate and promote commitment throughout the organization. It encourages people to be accountable and responsible for high quality service to the community.
  14. Professional development requires strong commitment and full investment of resources for the delivery of quality training and educational program mining. It will not sacrifice quality to meet quantity demands.
  15. Professional development relies upon effective assessment and evaluation techniques to support the continuous improvement for the system and the growth of individuals within and served by the system.
  16. Professional development uses data as a tool to inform dialogue and decisions about performance, priorities, and to clarify and develop an understanding of community, organization and individual needs. Data will be understood in the context of broader goals and results and will support mutual and shared accountability for those goals/results.


Henry W. Bloch School of Management
5110 Cherry Street
Kansas City, MO 64110

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