Many people work in local government to make a difference in their communities. Public servants at the local level directly serve members of their communities. Not only can you serve your neighbors through local government service, but you can also work alongside your neighbors. Local government offers a vast variety of jobs.
Local government service is inherently meaningful because the work is related to building and improving communities. Police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and building inspectors keep us safe. Engineers and public works staff build and re-build the physical infrastructure. City and county planners help envision and shape future community growth. Recreation, arts and culture, and library professionals enhance community life. City, town, and county management takes the aspirations of residents and the policy goals of the elected governing board and puts those aspirations and goals into action.
Public service at the local level is also fulfilling because employees see the fruits of their labors. On a daily basis, local government employees see the street and other infrastructure improvements; new buildings coming out of the ground; safety improvements; and happier, more fulfilled children, families, and senior residents.
Public service at the local level is also challenging work. The efforts of local government workers happen in the context of local government, where everyone gets to participate, and everyone has a say. Every day presents new challenges, new problems, and lots of stimuli.
Local governments operate in a very dynamic environment. Changing resident demands, new federal and state laws and regulations, technology advances, demographic changes, new value trends, and other societal forces often make technical skills obsolete. Consequently, local governments need agile learners who are eager to pick up new ways of doing business or delivering services. Simply put, we are looking for young people and second- and third-career people who provide “learn-how” as well as “know-how” to our public organizations.