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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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 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.
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 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 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.