The United States has long benefited from the service of highly qualified local government managers. Unfortunately, many members of this cadre of public managers are approaching retirement, and currently there are too few young professionals entering and rising in the ranks who will be ready to replace them. It is vitally important to develop the next generation of able public managers who will provide leadership for local governments and local agencies. The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) has identified leadership development as one of the most important issues that local governments will face in the coming decade.
The Virginia Tech Center for Public Administration and Policy (CPAP), in partnership with the Virginia Local Government Management Association (VLGMA), has developed a new graduate certificate program in local government management that helps to address this pressing workforce development need. The central goal of the program is to offer graduate-level training in local government management that both prepares pre-career students for capable public service at the local level and enhances the capacities of existing local government employees who aspire to be town, city, or county managers or assistant/deputy managers.