Emerging Leaders Program

The purpose of The Emerging Leaders Program, or ELP, is to develop and prepare emerging leaders from member firms for active participation in the industry. This exciting program is thoughtfully mapped out to educate exceptional individuals about transportation issues of today and the future. As a class, emerging leaders will see the "big picture" of the industry – learning everything from working with agencies and local government to the economy of the industry.

The ELP is designed to expose emerging leaders to industry issues once a month for a full day of educational sessions. The group will have a meet-and-greet kickoff meeting immediately before the September General Membership Meeting. From there, emerging leaders will meet once a month for an entire day of education sessions from October to May, with meetings held at the IRTBA office and various member offices throughout the Chicagoland area. Business leaders and speakers from academic institutions, member companies, and public agencies will address the class. The highlight of the program is a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet with national leaders and legislators. 

The overall program will offer emerging leaders the opportunity to interact with established leaders and network with fellow emerging leaders in the program, with the hope of continuing our efforts to advance and promote the future of the transportation industry. IRTBA looks forward to working with the future of our industry - the emerging leaders of today. 

Program Overview & Benefits:

Classes typically take place on a Wednesday each month from September through May. The classes are full-day meetings from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM. Each class includes meals and a networking session at the end of the day. In May, there is an opportunity to attend IRTBA Emerging Leaders Washington D.C. Fly-In. This program will provide participants with the opportunity to meet and learn from industry leaders; network and develop relationships with fellow leaders and peers; develop understanding of the industry and how topics are integrated; and learn firsthand the benefits of IRTBA membership and how to get involved. The fee to participate in the program is $3,250. We can only accept one applicant per company and applicants should have 5-15 years experience in the industry. Application deadline is August 9, 2024. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Refunds will not be made after September 28, 2023, except under special circumstances as approved by the IRTBA President. Applicants will be notified whether they have been selected to participate in the program by August 23, 2024.


Emerging Leaders Program dates are subject to change. We do our best to stick to the schedule listed, but ask for understanding that sometimes things come up and we provide maximum advance notice.

September 26, 2024 - ELP Welcome Reception

October 16, 2024 - Introduction to the Association

November 20, 2024 - Problem Solving

December TBD, 2024 - Volunteer Day

January 29, 2025 - All Things Material 

February 26, 2025 - Meet Your Local Agencies 

March 26, 2025 - Legislative Preparation 

April TBD, 2025 - Springfield Drive Down

May TBD, 2025 - Washington D.C. Fly-In & ELP Graduation