DETROIT (WWJ) – Inforum Center for Leadership (ICL), the research and education arm of Inforum, Michigan’s leading network for professional women, has announced the launch of NextUP, a specialized leadership development program for high-achieving women early in their careers.

NextUP follows the tradition of ICL’s highly regarded Executive Leadership Program by offering early career women a top-tier educational experience full of practical, real-world strategies and advice, taught by instructors who have “been there” and succeeded.

“Talent attraction, retention and leadership pipeline development are becoming more and more important,” Terry Barclay, president and CEO of ICL, said in a release.

“Now that 60 percent of new college graduates are women, companies that do not show commitment to the development of female leadership risk losing a key source of the competitive edge they will need to thrive in the next decade. We developed NextUP to help organizations of all sizes train the next cohort of women leaders here in Michigan.”

The NextUP program is a structured eight-week course composed of three half-day workshops and three group coaching sessions, and practice-based homework to support the in-class learning and coaching sessions. The goals of NextUP will be to jump-start a woman’s early years in the world of work and expedite learning to overcome traditional roadblocks to achieve early and enduring success in a new assignment or job.

The curriculum is intended to help participants build self-awareness – who they are, what they want, how to “change the game.” They will learn the secrets of how to get on the “inside track” in a company and get ahead. For employers, the objectives are to help them retain talented young professional women, enhance their early career employees’ ability to work successfully with senior leaders and create a more cohesive work environment.

Inforum is accepting applications now for the inaugural flight of NextUP, which will begin in late October in southeastern Michigan. A second fight will also be offered in West Michigan in February 2012. Up to 36 participants will be selected for each flight.

Tuition for the inaugural program is $850, payable when application is approved. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required when application is submitted. Upon acceptance to the program, the remaining tuition balance (minus the $50 application fee) is due.

Applications are due Aug. 31 for the Southeast Michigan session and Dec. 16 for the West Michigan session.

For more information about NextUP, click here. To download a NextUP application: click here for SE Michigan, or click here for W Michigan.

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