Earlier this year, together with strategic partners including the N.C. League of Municipalities, the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, and the N.C. City and County Management Association, the School of Government launched Lead for North Carolina. The goal of this new program is to recruit the most promising young leaders in the state and provide them with training and placement in two-year paid fellowships in local governments. The ultimate goal is to strengthen public institutions, support local communities, and cultivate a new generation of public service leaders.
Many local governments find themselves addressing increasingly complex issues with few resources. Many are also anticipating staffing difficulties stemming from impending retirements and talent pools that do not necessarily reflect the diversity of their communities. At the same time, young people often have few opportunities to learn about local government or the many career options it presents.
In its first year, Lead for North Carolina will recruit and select 25 fellows—most of them either native North Carolinians or graduates from UNC system schools—and place them in local governments across the state beginning in August 2019. Fellows will be placed in small towns and counties, where the challenges are many and the need for young talent and ideas is significant.
At the School of Government, faculty member Kara Millonzi will lead the training for these young fellows before they are placed in different communities.