ALAMEDA COUNTY -- Wednesday is the deadline to apply for the county's 13th Leadership Academy, which begins in October.

The free, six session interactive forum is for people who live, work, or own a business in Alameda County. Through presentations from top county leaders and small group exercises, the Leadership Academy provides an opportunity for the community to increase their knowledge of local government. Participants learn about the wide range of services provided by Alameda County, the mission and strategic visioning initiative, and the budget development process.

Participants are able to practice leadership and communication skills such as public speaking and participate in public policy exercises while acquiring knowledge on how to increase their civic involvement and networking with other community members.

The academy runs from Oct. 2 to March 5. Sessions are typically held the first Wednesday of each month from 6-9 p.m. at facilities located throughout the county. To graduate from the academy, participants are required to attend at least five of the six sessions.

Space is limited. Interested applicants can obtain additional information and complete an online application at www.acgov.org/adultleadership by Wednesday. Participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.