LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A leadership program is trying to help African-American men climb the corporate ladder.

The Louisville Urban League and Mayor Greg Fischer hosted a kickoff reception Tuesday night for the 2017 program. The Urban Leadership Seminar first launched in 2012, providing nine months of management training and mentorship.

“There’s just a lot of preconceived notions about an African-American man that this program has helped to overcome,” said Orlando Wright, an industrial engineer who graduated the program in December.    

The Louisville Urban League says the program was created to help increase the number of African-American men in senior management positions.     

“It’s woefully low, and we understand that, and rather than just be complaining about it, we’d like to really help and offer solutions,” said Sadiqa Reynolds, President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League.

Participants have to apply for the program and be sponsored by their employer. The cost of the seminar is nearly $5,000.

Program graduates hope they can inspire others to success.

“It’s definitely an opportunity for some younger black males that are looking to be in corporate America, an example for them to strive for," said Curtis Evans, a graduate of the program. "There is opportunity, but it does take a lot of work, and this program affords that vision."

The seminar is taking applications through March. Classes begin in April.

The Louisville Urban League also plans to launch a corporate leadership program for African-American women.

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