Writer: Austin Gibbons
City and county managers from more than 120 communities studied critical topics such as millennials’ impact on local government during the fall conference of the Georgia City-County Management Association (GCCMA).
Conference training sessions coordinated by the Institute of Government also covered other relevant topics such as change management, emergency preparedness and the benefits of effective employee wellness programs.
The conference included a presentation on “Millennials in the Local Government Workforce” by two millennials themselves, Douglasville Assistant City Manager Chelsea Jackson and Decatur Assistant City Manager Teresa Taylor. The millennial generation often is defined as those born between 1981 and 1996. Taylor utilized a survey of 85 millennials who work in local government to inform the presentation.
“Most presentations I’ve heard on millennials have been given by non-millennials,” said Taylor. “This GCCMA presentation was crucial because it allowed Chelsea and me to discuss work-life balance, highlight the efficiency that millennials bring to the decision-making table and dispel myths about our generation.”
The session helped managers and other local government leaders learn more about the experiences and attitudes of the millennial generation, according to Mara Shaw, the Institute’s Leadership Development Program manager.
“We are grateful for the presence of millennials who are bringing fresh perspectives and a value-add to communities across Georgia,” said Shaw.
GCCMA Vice President Marcia Hampton moderated the panel presentation and saw great value in the conversations it produced.
“Millennials are the first generation to grow up in the Information Age,” said Hampton. “They have spent their whole lives immersed in social media and technology, and they bring these firsthand experiences to the table in all sectors of the economy.”
The conference’s keynote address on leadership was delivered by Joe Torrillo, a New York City firefighter who survived being buried alive twice when the World Trade Center collapsed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.