Two employees of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research are participating in this year’s cohort of Leadership Southside – a professional development program offered through the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce. Apprenticeship Coordinator II Natori Neal and Justin Owen, CNC Machining Instructor with the ATDM program, are two of the 35 local leaders in this year’s cohort.
“Through the Leadership Southside program, I hope to better understand my strengths and their influence on my leadership style. I am excited for the opportunity to become a better leader, grow personally and professionally, and network with other professionals and leaders across the region.” — Natori Neal, Apprenticeship Coordinator II, Participant in Leadership Southside Program
As Apprenticeship Coordinator, Neal is responsible for employer outreach and developing registered apprenticeship positions in partnership with regional employers and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry. Neal has several years of experience in workforce development, community and business engagement and human services. Neal holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice from East Carolina University, as well as certificates in crisis intervention and career development.
“I not only want to grow as an instructor, but I also want to grow in my professional career. I see tremendous value in the program as I continue to advance in my career and look forward to discovering what leadership means for me.” — Justin Owen, CNC Machining Instructor, Participant in Leadership Southside Program
Owen is a CNC Machining Instructor with the Accelerated Training in Defense Manufacturing (ATDM) program. Before joining the ATDM program in 2020, Owen helped establish and provide instruction for the machining program at the Pittsylvania Career and Technical Center. Owen holds multiple industry certifications, an Associate of Applied Science in Integrated Machining Technology from Danville Community College, and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Averett University.
Now in its 31st year, Leadership Southside is a leadership development program for the business, education, public and nonprofit sectors that aims to connect and build leaders. The cohort will meet once a month, focusing on topics like the role of a leader, self-management and the management of others and inspiring others to action. Several IALR employees have participated in past cohorts.