About The Program
A Local Government Academy or Institute is a program of classes, offered by a community college, intended for employees and elected and appointed officials of localities in that college’s service region. These programs are called Local Government Academies or Local Government Institutes.
The structure of a Local Government Academy varies depending on the needs of the locality(ies) involved. Here are some possible formats: an open-enrollment program offering several semester-long classes designed for all levels of employees from localities in a specific region; an open-enrollment, one-day seminar of morning and/or afternoon classes for employees and elected officials; or a one-day class offered at the request of a locality for selected employees. Classes are held either at the college; onsite at a local government training facility; or at a regional educational center, like the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon.
A college’s Workforce Development or Business and Industry Center works with human resources directors and administrators of area local governments to determine the curriculum. The program’s focus can be diverse, covering core skills like customer service, supervising employees, and communication; leadership development; and specialized knowledge, such as emergency management and land-use regulations. Topics are selected based on the expressed needs of the localities.
The Institute's Role
The Institute’s involvement can include participating in curriculum discussions; enlisting trainers who specialize in developing classes for and delivering training to local governments; acting as liaison between the community college and the locality; identifying sources to assist with content development; and providing general advice.