Applications Open for 2019 Backstage Pass

Calling Community Leaders: Learn about, see, and experience local government up close and in action

Backstage Pass is a Hillsborough County Leadership Program that immerses community leaders behind the scenes of Hillsborough County Government.

The comprehensive and engaging 12-session program begins with introductions and an overview in September 2018, and ends with a graduation ceremony and reception in April 2019 at County Center in downtown Tampa. The half-day sessions introduce participants to major facets of County departments and functions through a mix of presentations, demonstrations, tours, hands-on learning, and candid conversations with government leaders.

Participants will meet approximately every other week and will visit the cutting-edge Waste-to-Energy plant, tour the Medical Examiner's Office, and experience behind-the-scenes Fire Rescue demonstrations at the new state-of-the-art Public Safety Operations Complex, among other up-close experiences into how Hillsborough County serves residents.

Backstage Pass sessions are scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon on alternating Thursdays, unless otherwise specified. A light breakfast will be provided.


  • Applications are being accepted for the 2019 Backstage Pass Class until June 22, 2018
  • You must be at least 21 years old and meet one of the following criteria:
  • Community leader in Hillsborough County
  • Owner of local businesses
  • Full-time employee of the County
  • Commit to attending a minimum of nine sessions
  • There is no cost to participate and all course materials will be provided
  • Applications are accepted year-round and are kept on file for future opportunities

If you are interested in attending the Backstage Pass program, please fill out a Backstage Pass Application by June 22, 2018. Applicants will be notified by email when we begin the selection process. The Backstage Pass class will be selected by mid-August 2018.

The goal of Backstage Pass is to establish a well informed and civically engaged circle of community leaders with an awareness and knowledge of County government leadership, programs, and services. Graduates will have the opportunity to establish professional relationships with government leaders and other Backstage Pass community leaders.

Formerly called Government Leadership University, the program began in 2006. Hillsborough County and its government have changed dramatically since then, and Backstage Pass reflects the current mission, services and programs we provide to residents.

Learn More and Register
Photo Information: Backstage Pass attendees tour the Resource Recovery Facility on Falkenburg Road to learn how trash is turned into energy.


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