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The original item was published from 11/30/2016 11:29:37 AM to 1/31/2017 12:00:04 AM.

News Flash

A - Town General

Posted on: November 30, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Message of the Week (11/30)

Drawing Millennials to Public Service
Dawn Francis, Town Manager

The City Manager of South Burlington and I were asked to meet with the Burlington Young Professionals group on the topic of how we might attract millennials to local government as a career choice and as volunteers. In preparation for the meeting I surveyed the Town of Colchester’s younger employees about why they like working for local government. Their responses were thoughtful:  

  • “It’s rewarding work—I make a difference and improve people’s lives.”
  • “I enjoy helping solve residents’ problems; my work makes a positive impact.”
  • “I want to help ensure everyone’s interests are represented.”
  • “I feel that I’m making a contribution to society.”
  • “We do work at a cost that the private sector can’t match and still remain profitable.”
  • “My parents were in public service—I’m just carrying on the tradition.”

At our meeting we learned that the Young Professionals were not aware of the scope of work and variety of skills that are needed to run local government. Town jobs encompass fields such as:

  • Medical / emergency services
  • Law enforcement
  • Environmental protection, alternative / sustainable energy, water quality
  • Economic development and job creation
  • Community design and planning; housing; building/septic/health inspection
  • Emergency planning for floods, epidemics, ice/snow storms, earthquakes, etc.
  • Infrastructure engineering/design
  • Heavy equipment operation and maintenance
  • Finance / accounting
  • Property valuation, land and property records
  • Literacy /Library Science/
  • Parks and Recreation program planning; marketing; event planning
  • IT

The Town recently initiated the Get Engaged Program to educate and draw high school students to our board and commission volunteer opportunities that may be a path to a successful career in the public sector. We’re happy to report that response has been positive. We will continue our efforts to inform all residents in Colchester about local government and encourage participation.

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