Local Government Academy

Rating: 4.92 stars   24 reviews

Issues: Education

Location: 901 Western Avenue Suite 205 Pittsburgh PA 15233 USA

Mission: To provide educational programs and continuing training for municipal officials in Southwestern Pennsylvania, primarily Allegheny County.
Results: Over the past 25 years, LGA has consistently produced programs on virtually every aspect of municipal affairs from collecting taxes to road maintenance to strategic planning. Most notably, LGA presents programs that promote economic development and revitalization, environmental quality, and intergovernmental cooperation. Programs are presented to municipal employees and elected officials to help them perform their duties with greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Target demographics: Local governments, community groups and citizens interested in good government within the 10 county region of southwestern Pennsylvania
Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,500 +
Geographic areas served: southwestern Pennsylvania
Programs: The Newly Elected Officials Course is a one-of-a kindcourse, unique in Pennsylvania for its scope and content.  NEOC provides acomprehensive overview of the duties of municipal officials. The course is held following every localelection and has been distinguished as a recipient of the League of WomenVoters Good Government Award.Course content includes information on Powers and Duties of Local Officials, Municipal Finance, Public Safety, Ethics, Human Resources, Intergovernmental Cooperation, Planning and Public Works.

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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

I appreciate the difference between local governmental officials having "on the job" and "formal" training. To serve the public interest through the first experience without benefit of the second is a little like a rookie being handed a game plan and calling plays during the big game. LGA's Newly Elected Official's Course came in time for me to understand what I had struggled with a year before as a rookie governmental official. My course work cut through some rough spots, providing me a much clearer view to local governance and as a bonus, much more confidence. All learning is experience based, true, but so much of LGA coursework is underlined by using the experts to teach these courses. We need these guides in a classroom full of peers who are living through very similar situations. This formal learning enabled an environment that allowed me to excel. I could feel it florish before the course was over. As a result, I want to continue to excel in government and foster this knowledge. I am so much more interested in our superseeding laws, land use, human resources, public safety, infrastructure, and ethics, to name a few because I have a much needed understanding to effectively govern over these areas. I had been elected a year before this course. LGA's founders and executive staff cared enough to understand that to provide a very solid curriculum and line up the best instructors is key. I will thank them by continuing to put this knowledge to better use and long as I can and passing the idea on to others. We as a nation can have no better goal than that.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Municipal government as a Council member, Monroeville, PA

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

When I first ran for Borough Council I was in over my head. I felt insecure, unsure, and overwhelmed. I was second guessing myself. Then I signed up for the LGA. I've saw fifty or so peers who were in the same boat as myself. All I wanted to do is to serve my community but I didn't know how. LGA gave me the tools to build up my confidence to do a great job for my community. I not only have self assurance, but I'm able to use those tools to navigate through the various problems and processes as they occur.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My personal experiences with my community. They have top notch instructors who guide you in the right direction.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Change some of the class room sites

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They gave you a lot of handouts and valuable information. I also enjoyed the other students in this program. We shared stories, and some of them had some real problems.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very Professional

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Restore honesty and integrity back into government. We as a nation has lost it's way. The people who are now in office are supposed to serve the people and not serve themselves.

Ways to make it better...

The course was a year long. There was a lot of information and perhaps I could have digested the information a little better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Perhaps lack of funding.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I really got my money's worth

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

The Local Government Academy's Municipal Internship provided me with an amazing experience in local government, far beyond any expectations that I had. Beginning with the search for an internship, the LGA staff was so helpful. Even though was not able to attend the internship fair, they were able to connect me with internship opportunities that appeared both interesting and rewarding. Once I was hired for an internship with Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus, the LGA provided invaluable support and networking. The two professional development sessions were great experiences. The first session afforded the interns the opportunity to explore how local governments can be at the vanguard of sustainable development and planning. The second session served as an introduction to the myriad of careers that are available in the local public sector, in addition to strategies to entering and thriving in these careers. This particular session opened my eyes to the important and rewarding work that is done by local governments, and certainly spurred my own thoughts of a career in local public service. The LGA sessions also provided me with an excellent opportunity to meet other interns, share our experiences, and make a few good friends. The internship itself was one of the best experiences I have had so far - not only was I provided with relevant, interesting, and important projects, but I was also welcomed into the office, where I quickly felt at home. I was also given the opportunity to witness local government by attending council meetings and hearings, in addition to neighborhood community meetings and discussions with constituents. I am permanently indebted to Councilman Kraus and his wonderful staff for making my internship experience so amazing. In sum, the LGA Municipal Internship Program was an amazing experience. I would strongly recommend it to anyone with some interest in local government - interns in this program are provided with excellent opportunities and unparalleled support.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my own professional and personal growth during this past summer's internship through the LGA's Municipal Internship Program.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

its unparalleled commitment to improving the quality of life for local residents by ensuring that they have the most qualified and well-trained elected and appointed officials.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceedingly helpful, and enthusiastic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

recruit, train and support and entire generation of passionate, intelligent, and committed leaders in local goverment.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

I highly recommend the LGA internship program. I was placed as an intern with the URA of Pittsburgh in the housing department. I have the LGA to thank for my full time job with the URA. I was hired on full time about a year after I began my internship.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Anita was so positive and ready to help me find the perfect fit for an internship.

Ways to make it better...

Instead of having a one day intern check in- i would have preferred two or three checkins with the group throughout the summer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

31 people found this review helpful

Because I felt I could make a difference in my community through public service, I decided to run for borough council. In preparation for winning a seat on council, I began attending the business meetings. It was then that I realized that although I am well-schooled in my own profession, I was truly a novice in the realm of local government. That's when I found out about the Local Government Academy and the Newly Elected Officials Course. What a lifesaver it was! Through my participation in the seminars, I not only gained perspective on governmental issues, but also on effective policy, best practices and most importantly I got acquainted with a host of resources that are now on my speed dial. The site visits to other boroughs, the guest speakers on a variety of topics and the genuine support of the LGA staff made the challenges of being a newbie in the political realm surmountable. Because of the information I received and the connections I made through LGA, I know that I am a more effective council member. Everyone, with or without experience,who is involved in public service and administration can certainly benefit by participation in the LGA. It gets 5 Gold Stars from me!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the work that I am doing as Vice President of the Oakmont Borough Council since I have connections with people and organizations that I can call upon for assistance and guidance.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the personal and professional connections I've made and the information and resources I received.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professional, personable and supportive.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

educate all public officials through face-to-face seminars, through virtual electronic connectivity and have a hotline for ready reference to dilemmas that local public officials need to address.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Oakmont Borough

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-2-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

30 people found this review helpful

When I was first approached to attend the LGA my first thought was "I don't want to go to any classes. I don't have the time". Well, as a recent graduate it didn't take as much time as I thought. Because of the staff being so kind and professional I flew right through. I learned so much from the staff and also from the other elected officials. It turned out that all the municipalities had the same problems as mine. I feel with the knowledge that I left there with has made me a better official. Oh, by the way, I still don't have any more time then I had before I went to LGA. LGA is the BEST!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, professional, and love what they teach

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

32 people found this review helpful

The Township of Ross and the North Hills Council of Goverments have both benififted greatly from the LGA Internship Program. The LGA makes it much easier for us to indentify and hire good qualified college students. Our interns have helped us to develop programs such as our pavement management program and the North Hills COGs stormwater management pond inventory. The projects have been completed at a much lower cost using the excellant interns we have been able to find using the program.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Internship Program

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

LGA is easy to work with.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Professional

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Do much more..

Ways to make it better...

.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

.

One thing I'd also say is that...

.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Ross Township

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

24 people found this review helpful

The LGA is a well organized institution, and it is a rare opportunity to receive experience in government while getting paid. I also valued the interaction between local residents, business owners, government officials, other LGA interns, etc.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My boss at my internship was hired after interning with LGA, so you never know...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Advertise it more.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Interacting with all sorts of people.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Hold a breakfast seminar with Pittsburgh's Mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, so that the interns could learn about government at a "larger city scale."

Ways to make it better...

We got to visit other interns at their respective offices to see how different or similar communities operate.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

The food was always good at LGA functions.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

City of Clairton - Finance Department

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-1-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

25 people found this review helpful

I spent summer 2008 interning in the office of the Local Government Academy. In addition to daily office duties, I prepared online resources for local government officials, studied the implications of new PA tax legislation, and attended various programs offered by LGA. I gained valuable office experience and learned more than I thought possible about the workings of local government (both as it works now, and as it should work) and non-profit organizations. The LGA fulfills a unique demand in SW Pennsylvania - a region with an incredible number of small, low-resource municipalities - helping elected and appointed officials to find ways to govern better and more efficiently.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

reviews sent in by former students in LGA´s Newly Elected Officials Course consistently show that they believe taking the course has improved the way they do their jobs.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The amount of sheer knowledge I picked up about how local governments function, and discovering an interest in these subjects.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Unfailingly spectacular. The office staff are knowledgable, friendly, and efficient at what they do, with clear ideas for the future of the organization. In addition, many speakers and presenters at educational programs are volunteers who truly believe in the worth and purpose of the organization.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Local Government Academy

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-9-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

22 people found this review helpful

I came in contact with the LGA last year at their annual internship fair. I was a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh in their GSPIA program, which requires their students to participate in an internship in order to graduate. Thanks to the LGA and the internship fair they offered, I found an exceptional site to do my internship and received great experience. The LGA also provided a number of workshops for its interns which were very useful for beginning the workforce and I made a number of contacts through the LGA. I am very satisfied with this program and very appreciative.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Working with the manager, staff, mayor and council members and getting experience in local government.

Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?

Brentwood Borough

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-8-01

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