Local government has been unsuccessful in attracting and retaining talent to the profession. The lack of growth of women in management roles is especially alarming.
Each one of us has sat through the conference sessions on young leaders, developing professionals, etc. While attending these sessions might give some a brief warm, fuzzy feeling, the greater good of local government rarely experiences any benefit. ELGL would argue that sessions that segregate based on age are unproductive and unrealistic. Have you ever seen a job description that includes, “successful candidate will work only with others in their age demographic.”
If you want to read more on the debate, read these two articles: Local Government Confidential: Sitting at the Little Kids Table and The Kids’ Table – Urban Planning’s new generation
To understand why local government is not a career option when college students are deciding on their major and career interests, ELGL went back to school this year – not graduate school, but undergraduate. We enlisted Connor Reed, an Indiana University sophomore, to research and write a column on the presence, or lack of presence, of local government on college campuses. Have undergrads taken classes in local government? Do they have interaction with their local government? Would they consider a career in local government? What are their stereotypes about the profession?
Connor wrote his column by reflecting on his own experiences and soliciting input from classmates. His second article introduced us to the “Foreignness of Local Government.” It was evident immediately, based on web views and sharing on social media, that he had touched on an important topic. We were amazed at the power of words and how a college sophomore can use them to impact the local government landscape.
What’s Ahead for 2015?
- Connor will continue to write for ELGL.
- We encourage you to send topics to Connor that you would like to see him address. He can be reached via LinkedIn and Twitter.