LANSING — State Representative Robert L. Kosowski (D-Westland) was among 37 select lawmakers to complete a leadership training program that identifies and assists emerging state leaders in the Midwest.

Kosowski met with fellow lawmakers from Michigan, 10 other Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces Aug. 9-13, in Madison, Wis., for The Council of State Governments’ 19th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD).

“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in the 2013 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development program. The program was enlightening and has provided me with new tools and knowledge that will help me to better serve the constituents of the 16th District and their interests,” Kosowski said.

“The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” said Indiana Rep. Ed Clere, who serves as co-chairman of the institute’s steering committee. “The legislatures in the region have benefited greatly from the skills their members have gained through this unique educational experience. Many of the graduates now hold leadership positions in their state.”

Legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan were chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process.

BILLD was founded in 1995 to help new legislators meet the demands of federal devolution and, in many states, term limits. These two emerging forces have highlighted the shortage of training available for legislators, a void that BILLD aims to fill.

A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, BILLD is held in partnership with the University of Wisconsin’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. Courses and seminars are conducted by La Follette faculty, Midwestern legislative leaders and professional development experts. In addition to courses designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzes a variety of public policy issues, including corrections and the regional economy.

The program is funded through grants from foundation and corporate sponsors and an in-kind contribution provided by The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office.

The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development is named in honor of the late James Bowhay, longtime director of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office. Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments has national headquarters in Lexington, Ky., and regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago (Lombard, Ill.), New York City and Sacramento, Calif. The goal of the national, nonpartisan organization is to assist and advance state government.