2022-2023 Host Sites
Lead for North Carolina (LFNC) is the first state affiliate program of Lead for America. It is being run by the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government (SOG), in partnership with the NC City and County Managers Association (NCCCMA), NC League of Municipalities (NCLM), and NC Association of County Commissioners (NCACC).
The goal of LFNC is to implement a fellowship program for recent college graduates that:
- Provides added capacity to economically distressed local governments across the state that have difficulty attracting and retaining talented young employees;
- Serves as a bridge between local governments (specifically in economically depressed communities or communities with special needs) and the School of Government and professional associations;
- Increases the diversity within local governments to better reflect the diversity of the communities they serve;
- Creates a pipeline to MPA and other graduate programs in NC;
- Fosters the development of young talent in local governments across NC, particularly in areas that have historically (or are projected to have) a difficult time attracting and retaining sufficient talent; and
- Promotes a greater sense of civic responsibility and encourages fellows to leave the fellowship with a deeper appreciation and dedication to their personal communities and our civic institutions.
Through the LFNC program, fellows will gain a new perspective and appreciation of local government, understand the most pressing issues facing our communities, establish relationships with partner universities and organizations, and gain opportunities to engage with a growing alumni network of similarly minded individuals.
Meet the Host Governments for our 2022-2023 Cohort and the proposed work scope! Please note, the work scope may change based off the candidate’s strengths and the needs of the jurisdiction.
**Please check back as we update the below host site’s work scopes**
The Fellow will perform a variety of developmental-level professional administrative work, research, and analysis in support of the Buncombe County Manager’s Office, but also in coordination with various departments. The work performed by the Fellow will be highly visible and have a direct impact on the organization and the community. Proposed projects include the following:
- Homelessness Solutions – Policy and program research and planning
- Racial Equity Action Plan – Implementation and Community Engagement
- Countywide Apprentice Program – Research and program development
Fellow Title: GAME & ARPA Assistant
The City of Hickory is excited to host a Lead for NC Fellow! The fellow will work under the supervision of the Budget Office in conjunction with the City Manager’s Office. While their project work will give them a basic understanding of how different departments operate in local government, they will also have the opportunity to meet our executive team and department heads while touring their places of work. The fellow’s duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Assisting in the preparation and execution of the City’s operating and capital budgets
- Assisting in the development, formatting, and production of the City’s annual budget document; recommending changes as needed according to Government Finance Officers Association guidelines
- Working with the Finance Department to ensure budget and financial transactions are processed in a timely manner
- Assisting in the administration of the School of Government’s North Carolina Benchmarking Project for the City of Hickory
- Assisting in the project management efforts related to the City’s $40 million bond projects
- Evaluating internal use of performance metrics in relation to the City’s strategic goals and objectives
- Assisting in the development of revenue estimates and evaluating the impact of economic variables
- Mapping multiple administrative processes to assist in the City’s change to a new enterprise resource platform system
- Reviewing and analyzing the City’s use of Socrata open data software for the City’s annual budget and financial documents while recommending changes as needed
The pandemic has changed the way our communities expect to engage with their government. Prior to 2020 the City of Lexington did not have a designated staff member for communication or Public Relations. We need massive overhauls to the user experience of our website, constant need for video and social media content that is engaging and informative.
One specific project could be creating a “Local Government 101” educational initiative to not only educate on how governance works, but also the wide range of services our organization provides and the amount of hard work and dedication our employees give to provide those services. The Fellow could really make this project their own, and have the potential to really impact the brand of our organization within our community. In addition we have a number of DEI initiatives in the pre-planning stages that would be an opportunity for a Fellow to create transformational change within our organization and our community.
The City of Wilson is seeking a fellow to work on the following projects:
- Engagement with Neighborhood Associations
- Assistance with revitalization of Committee for Persons with Disabilities
- Co-planning the Wilson Youth Council events
- Assignments that interest the fellow in the fields of community relations, race relations, accommodations/advocacy for the disability community, etc.
Foothills Regional Commission will be embarking on several major projects in 2022, including starting up a HUD HOME Consortium, developing a Consolidated Plan, updating our CEDS, and completing four Digital Inclusion plans.
I would anticipate that the Fellows would be implementing these plans–from reviewing HOME proposals for affordable housing or housing rehab to working with our Counties to use Dogwood funds to do Digital Inclusion work.
Rural Broadband Access
- Assist with RFP process for CAB grant application round (anticipated to open mid-2022).
- Identify other viable broadband expansion methods proposed by smaller providers.
- Identify grant opportunities and prepare grant application materials for small recreation projects.
- In accordance with the County’s 5-Yr Strategic Plan objectives, assist with identifying underutilized assets within the county and work to develop partnership opportunities for recreation and leisure.
- In line with the 2022/2023 update slated for the County’s Recreation Master Plan, coordinate public involvement sessions through public workshops, surveys, etc.
- Promote and solicit sponsorships for new wall sponsor sign at the Granville Athletic Park.
- With a goal of bringing Granville County in line with best practices, research Region K and other local government resources for county fee structures, automation, and human resource practices (pay plan, benefits, performance management, policies/procedures, non-formalized practices, etc.).
- Assist with reviewing new outsourced payroll provider for cost and ability to meet County’s needs.
- Assist County Administration and Department Heads with annual updates to the 2021-2025 strategic plan.
- Compile written and/or oral reports and recommendations based on findings.
ADA Transition Plan
- Coordinate with consultant to develop ADA Transition Plan which complies with NC DOT requirements.
- Work through website pages to enhance ADA compliance.
- Organize and monitor media in WordPress Content Management system (removing outdated forms/photos, properly labeling existing media, etc.).
- Assist Public Information Officer to implement consistent style/branding throughout the website.
- Assist Public Information Officer with topics and scripts for employee training videos (i.e., safety, IT, benefits enrollment, timesheets, etc.).
Harnett County’s Lead for NC Fellow will assist the County in managing its American Rescue Plan funding plan, helping to coordinate projects, assisting with documentation and reporting. The position will also be responsible for searching for and identifying additional grant opportunities through the State and Federal government related to ARPA. The position will work under the supervision of the County Manager’s Office, but will have frequent engagement with Budgeting, Finance, Legal, and various other departments throughout the County. This position may be required to coordinate and assemble the County’s ARPA team, and provide regular updates to the County Manager and to the Board of Commissioners.
The Fellow in Hyde County will work on the following projects:
The Fellow will work with the Hyde County Health Department to work on a NC Division of Public Health funding initiative titled, “National Initiative to Address COVID 19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High Risk and Underserved, Including Racial and ethnic Minority Populations and Rural Communities” hereafter known as the Advancing Equity grant. The Fellow will work directly with our Health Educator to ensure equity is integrated into services and resources by establishing policies and procedures to promote equity. Activities will include training for staff on health equity, racial equity and other determinants of health. The ultimate goal will be to establish an organizational equity plan that extends to all county departments.
The fellow would work in conjunction with the Planning Department and County Manager’s office to work on special projects. This position would be great for someone who has general interest in planning, but who also would enjoy being able to gain experience in an array of local government projects.
Presently, the City and County are working together through an interlocal agreement to manage their planning and inspection departments. The County Planning Director is the manager of those departments; with this connection, it is also likely that this fellow would be able to work in both the City and County context, providing benefits to both organizations, giving the fellow an even wider array of experience.
The Lumber River Council of Governments, or “Region N” is a regional planning and service agency representing 36 local governments in Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties. The purpose of the LRCOG is to assist its local government members with issues they deem appropriate. The LRCOG serves as planner and administrator for a number of federal administrative programs to support older adults, worker training, and transportation planning. The LRCOG is also a direct service agency for several programs such as older adult nutrition, caregiver resources, housing rehabilitation, and focused worker training initiatives.
The LRCOG also serves as a local and regional planning arm for its membership. The agency provides technical assistance and planning services such as grant writing and administration, ordinance writing, census data analysis and studies. The agency is also the facilitator/planner for a number of regional initiatives addressing water resource sand infrastructure. The LRCOG is seeking a fellow to assist the organization in its work with member governments on a variety of planning projects and activities including administration of American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding, regional resiliency planning, and human resource policy development.
The LFNC fellow hosted by Mecklenburg County Community Support Services will assist with projects related to domestic violence data. Specific project examples include:
1) Mecklenburg Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team Data Analysis: The LFNC fellow will collect, organize, and analyze de-identified data from domestic violence homicide cases to identify patterns, trends, and indicators that will inform domestic violence prevention and intervention efforts.
2) Domestic Violence Participatory Research Coordination: The LFNC fellow will implement a participatory research project with domestic violence survivors and service providers to enhance development of informed consent protocols in the context of institutional data sharing agreements.
3) Mecklenburg County Domestic Violence Data Warehouse Update: The LFNC fellow will collect, organize, and disseminate current domestic violence-related data indicators in partnership with local service providers. Indicators include domestic violence protective order filings, police calls for service, victim services utilization, abusive partner services utilization, hotline call volume, child protection reports, strangulation incidents, emergency shelter capacity, and homicides.
4) Charlotte-Mecklenburg Violence Prevention Data Collaborative Projects: The LFNC fellow will participate in operational and strategic planning for the integration of domestic violence-related data into the Community Violence Data Dashboard and other initiatives of the Violence Prevention Data Collaborative.
5) Victim Services Programmatic Data Support: The LFNC fellow will assist with program-specific data projects related to measuring and projecting client volume, assessing client needs, and evaluating program impact. / Mecklenburg County Community Support Services’ Prevention and Intervention Services Director will provide direct training, supervision, and consultation to the LFNC fellow. The Prevention and Intervention Services Director and LFNC fellow will work together to select and prioritize projects based on community need. The fellow’s work will directly benefit the Mecklenburg County community by providing updated data to inform policies, programs, and funding decisions. Sharing data findings with community stakeholders through written, verbal, virtual, and/or in-person methods will be a key part of the fellow’s work.
We envision our fellow working to lead both internal and external projects that will result in increasing capacity of the Council to meet the needs of our region and, more importantly, increase capacity for our member governments.
Externally, our fellow will work with several of municipal governments that operate under the Mayor-Council form of government. It is envisioned the fellow will provide support normally undertaken by managers and administrators in other jurisdictions – developing budgeting processes, developing short- and long-range revenue and expenditure plans, modernizing administrative processes, and many other “basic” needs small jurisdictions do not have the resources to address.
Internally, our fellow will work with the Council’s leadership team to modernize, update, and develop administrative processes to help address challenges presented by our recent rapid growth. The fellow will be highly involved in our transition from a one-county workforce area to a three-county workforce area, the examination of the Council’s overall organization structure, the development of standard policies and procedures that comply with state and federal regulations, and the analysis of a local government services needs assessment.
We have a variety of projects for which a Fellow could take the lead or have a key supporting role in completing. We would like to align our priority projects with the Fellow’s interests and skills set. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of possibilities:
1) Update Emergency Operations Plan and Continuity of Operations Plan (Emergency Services), 2) Develop Digital Inclusion Plan (Administration), 3) Develop and deliver Citizen’s Academy (Administration), 4) Support Economic Development efforts (Economic Development), 5) Update policies and procedures (Human Resources), 6) Support implementation of several NEOGOV modules (Human Resources), 7) Develop and track organizational performance measures (Administration), 8) Develop public information strategy and support public information efforts (Administration), 9) Support Parks and Stormwater projects (Recreation, Arts and Parks and Planning), 10) Support broadband expansion (Administration).
The Rockingham County Fellow will become an integral part of the County Management Team, with direct supervision from the Assistant County Manager. The Fellow will be responsible for preparing important documents and reports, such as a comprehensive departmental performance measure report, budget-related documents, countywide surveys, and internal employee newsletters. If interested, the Fellow may work on basic graphic design projects, including revamping official documents to be more user friendly and improving the look and layout of countywide templates for things like presentations. The Fellow will have the opportunity to work in any department(s) they would like and be given broad flexibility on the projects they work on.
The Town of Boiling Spring has a recently adopted Downtown Master Plan. It’s a big, broad project with lofty goals and a long time frame. After it’s adoption in late 2020, we have started to chip away slowly at it. Our limited budget means we have to get creative when it comes to implementing little pieces here and there while searching for funding opportunities in between. The Council is committed to the plan and is committed to paying for the revitalization of downtown, but it all has to make economic sense.
In addition to the downtown plan, Boiling Springs had a moratorium placed on it’s wastewater expansion back in the mid-90’s. This has left many neighborhoods in the town (some satellite annexations) without city sewer services. These septic systems are reaching the age of failure and we expected the Town to receive requests to tie on to our system in the next 5-10 years. Extending sewer to these areas, in addition to many other water and wastewater improvements, is all part of a 20-year Capital Improvement Plan that we have also recently adopted.
These two plans would be the focus of the work for a Fellow. Whether it’s applying for grants, talking to residents about right-of-way acquisition, or coordinating the construction of any of these, we expect to have a variety of challenging work available.
Our town has a number of funding needs in our Water, Sewer, Electric and Streets departments. We could really use an individual who could focus on identifying and capitalizing on available grant opportunities as a full-time grant writer.
The Town of Liberty is on the verge of potential growth with Toyota coming to the Greensboro-Randolph Mega site. This brings things that have been on the to-do list for years to the fore front. Some of the projects in mind are:
Planning for growth in water/sewer infrastructure – coordinating with Randolph County and Randolph County EDC on creating a vision for the future of growth and supporting the new Toyota Plant
Downtown revitalization – We have a new downtown Heritage Museum that moved into a downtown building to help bring life back to the area. We need to get more local businesses involved and engaged – we have some Town wide programs we are planning allowing with a CEERI grant that looks at sustainability for the future of Liberty.
Liberty is a Town where you can work on big projects but also have small projects that impact the citizens on a day to day.
Below is a list of our priority projects. Time spent on Priority #2 & #3 (if at all) would be dependent on the time consumption of Priority #1
GIS & Data Collection (Main Priority Cemeteries)
Database building of assets primarily in city cemeteries to include GIS scanning, filing, photos & ground probing. Would work with maps, excel, camera & GIS related programs. Work includes indoor & outdoor activities.
Short Term Rentals & Ordinance
Background: Along with the national rise of AirBnB, Vrbo and other short term rental websites, Morehead City has seen increased interest and concern over short term rentals (STR). Morehead City being a coastal community sees an influx of tourist in the summer looking for a week or longer.
Goal: Morehead City does not currently have the resources to address STRs and is looking to understand the current atmosphere surrounding regulations and enforcement of them.
Please describe the research methods that the project will entail (surveys, interviews, content analysis)?
Staff would encourage using Census data, available studies and research and mapping software to aggregate where current STRs are located in the Morehead City’s jurisdiction, where they might be appropriate and what the demographics of the owners and if possible, renters of STRs are. A literature review of neighboring community’s Unified Development Ordinances (UDO) as well as court decisions on regulating and enforcing those regulations regarding STRs. If time allows, a survey of the overall community’s perception and attitude towards STRs.
What will be the final product/deliverable of the project you are proposing?
The final product of this project would be a presentation before the City Council concluding the nature of the study, the findings and the recommendations on addressing Short Term Rentals in Morehead City. The format of the presentation (i.e. slideshow, video, or website) would be at the discretion of the student. Within the final product, Staff would hope to include proposed regulations and UDO language for Morehead City’s Council to consider.
Who is the intended audience of this deliverable?
The intended audience for this project is Town of Morehead City Council and staff.
A citizens academy1 (also known as a city 101 program) is, usually, a seven-to-eight week program where 15-25 residents are given the opportunity to meet with various local government staff and elected leaders and gain insight into local government services and operations.
Unlike citizen police and fire academies, the citizens academy looks comprehensively at the role and structure of local government in the community, which may include public safety.
Alumni often become informal ambassadors for the local government, share information with their neighborhoods, and often go on to serve on advisory boards. Some even run for elected office.
Program Goals for Priority #3:
Reasons for creating and sustaining a citizens academy vary from community to community. However, three broad goals are present in most programs.
1. Knowledge: Improving citizens’ understanding of local government while learning more about community issues and concerns.
- Citizens get a hands-on and behind-the-scenes look at how services and programs are provided.
- Citizens better understand what is needed to run a municipality or county.
- Staff members hear directly from citizens about the realities of programs and operations.
- Staff members have the chance to hone their presentation skills.
2. Involvement: Improving the quality and quantity of citizen participation in local government.
- Citizens learn how they can be more involved.
- Many citizens go on to become volunteers, including service on an appointed advisory board or committee.
3. Public Relations: Improving the lines of communication and relationship between citizens and their local government.
- Citizens have the opportunity to connect with other citizens.
- Citizens and staff create relationships that foster enhanced communication.
Alumni become informal ambassadors for the local government
Develop a plan for bids for a local Farmer’s Market that will include: Open air seasonal and year round space for local farms to sell produce and products produced on local farms. The market will include a farm to table full service restaurant and will house small scale retail and office spaces for rent. This project has been discussed for over three years as a need in this community that will help provide healthy food sources in a rural setting and will provide much needed retail and commercial space that is not currently available in the immediate area. Fellow will assist with identifying best practical uses of ARPA funds based on needs identified by the town council and town administrator. Fellow will be expected to review and critique current festival planning processes for annual community funded events. Fellow will be expected to research, identify and apply for any grant funded sources that may be available to the town when implementing the plans listed above
The town of Red Oak is an agricultural community that is experiencing an insurgence of growth and increasing need to provide more amenities in a bedroom community while protecting the agricultural integrity of the area. Our current population is approximately 3500 total based on the 2020 Census. The town is governed by a Mayor, Council form of government. The Clerk serves as the Town Administrator, Chief Financial Officer and Zoning Administrator. The person chosen for this assignment will benefit by being exposed to the complexities small town administration practices can provide. Fellows may be assigned other projects based on their expertise and experience and the demands on town staff during the program year assignment. The person assigned will work under the direction of the town Clerk/Administrator, Tracy Shearin.
- Assist with policies and procedures for best use practices and use of ARPA funds based on needs identified by Council, Town Administrator, and the Red Oak community. This process may involve assisting with writing policy and designing spreadsheets and other documents as needed to assure project goals and federal compliance are met
- Research and develop an RFP for a local Farmer’s Market to include:
Open air seasonal and year-round agricultural vending spaces for local farm operations, small retail and office space for lease and a full-service farm to table restaurant – this project will provide healthy food options in an area not currently served in this capacity and provide needed commercial space not currently available in the immediate area. This project is not intended to be funded with grants, however; the fellow will be expected to research and recommend available funding based on the scope of the project
- Review, critique and improve upon current festival and event processes for annual town funded and coordinated events. Evaluate marketing, vendor recruitment, volunteer recruitment and coordination processes
- Assist in automating and digitizing services offered by the town
- Other duties based on need during time of assignment
We have a major storm water project awaiting grant funding in Sept 2022, and several smaller storm water projects in very early stages of planning. This Fellow would assist the Town Manager in all of these, and on the smaller projects would likely be our staff lead,
The Town recently adopted a revised strategic plan. We have a list if implementing actions we want to get of the ground in FY 22-23. The Fellow would be our staff lead for many of these.
We are at the final stages of approval from FEMA for $3.2M in resilience-centered expenditures. The Fellow would be very involved in ensuring that federal Uniform Guidance and state bidding requirements are followed during procurement.
We will be in the storm season by the time the Fellow arrives in August. This person would be heavily involved in all disaster preparation and response should the Town be impacted.
**Check Back for Work Scope**
The fellow would mainly work in Town Hall. Our downtown needs attention. One of the first items would be to reach out to all vacant property owners downtown and see if they want to sell, etc. If they do want to sell, the fellow would work to get the property information available to potential buyers. We could advertise on the town website and social media The fellow also would work on our property ordinances and try to get owners to comply with them. We hope to apply for the National Historic Registry and the fellow would help us with this process which is quite involved. They would also help with our event planning which takes place in our downtown area. We are also fortunate to have a Mountain to Sea Trail Day Hike in our town. We need to work on advertising this for our citizens and visitors and make it more visible. The trail goes through the heart of downtown.
Our fire department is part of our town. We desperately need a new fire department building. I would like this person to search for grant opportunities and write a grant with input from the safety commissioner and fire chief. Also, we have been asked by the county if we would extend sewer lines to an industry that is outside our ETJ. The only way this could happen is with grant money. I would like for them to research and work on this.
POSITION TITLE: CASE MANAGER GENERAL ADMINISTRATION – OPIOID NAVIGATOR
GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES:
This position is a supportive position working with the Turning Point Workforce Development Board
(TPWDB), and the Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging (UCPCOG AAA). The case manager will
provide substance abuse navigation services to citizens residing within Edgecombe, Halifax, and
Northampton Counties. The case manager will also serve as a link between NC Works Career Centers,
area employers, aging and senior service network partner organizations, local governments, and offender
SPECIFIC DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES AND EXAMPLES OF ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:
• Accessing client needs, and developing strategies to help the client navigate resources available
for prevention, recovery, and employment
• Identify resources and resource networks within Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, and
• Assist clients with accessing and navigating resources across multi-jurisdictional boundaries
• Providing support and resources for clients; good working relationship with support networks,
government resources, and community resources
• Follow-up with calls to determine whether needs were met, when appropriate
• Researching and referring client resources such as healthcare, substance abuse, treatment and
recovery, and workforce development services
• Organizing and influencing community and policymakers to develop programs, policies, and
services to assist in prevention, treatment, and/or recovery
• Advocating and raising awareness on behalf of clients and the needs of the community and local
• Work with the WIOA Business Services Manager in improving employer access to education,
recovery, and treatment services to assist employers and employees with treatment and recovery
• Assists in marketing, education, and outreach with the WIOA On the Job Training Program (OJT)
• Attends Board and committee meetings as needed and as requested
The town of Vass is a growing town located in Moore County. As with many towns, US Hwy 1 used to run through the heart of our town. In 2005 NCDOT expanded the highway creating a by-pass to Vass. The bypass coupled with a a sewer expansion project that has been on hold with the county for over twenty years has driven businesses away from Vass. Over the past 5 years we have been actively working with Moore County to expand sewer and expect the project to begin this spring/summer. We are conveniently located to Fort Bragg which has allowed our housing market to grow substantially. At this time the town government is focusing on economic development to bring life back to our business district as well as establish a strong parks and recreation program. I envision a fellow working on development of an economic development plan or helping with the establishment of programs that will engage town residents and business owners to stay in Vass for all of their needs. Vass has also received funds from the state budget under HB 105 as well as ARPA funding. Being a small municipality assistance with oversight of these various funds is also needed. All in all, with a budget that can only afford administrative staff of 1 full-time person and 1 part-time person, I would appreciate the help from a fellow in several areas.
Washington County is open to fully exploring and attempting in good faith to pair the work scope of this position with the skillset, strengths, areas of greatest interest, and professional development desires of the selected fellow balanced against the needs of the County.
Select opportunities for impact within our organization include:
- Human Resource Program Development:
- Leading the revision of key personnel policies and forms.
- Developing and implementing safety, technology, and department specific skills training programs.
- Facilitating better communications throughout our organization including survey development and analysis, website or HR software utilization, and newsletter development.
- Community Civic Engagement Development:
- Developing, conducting, analyzing and presenting various surveys to obtain additional information about desired services and prioritization of county services/projects for key programs/projects such as recreation, broadband, water services, and etcetera.
- Developing our external facing content including the county website and social media platforms.
- Planning Department Program Development:
- Working with the Planning Director and Code Enforcement Officer to continue revising existing policies and practices in the aftermath of NCGS 160D implementation.
- Assisting with moving the department from one facility to another.
- Developing external communication strategies to increase the quality and effectiveness of information provided to citizens about services offered by the County.
- Landfill/Sanitation Program Development:
- Developing and leading the implementation of a plan to help this department transition away from static paper documentation to a more technology based system of collecting and reporting information.
- IT/Technology Upgrade Projects:
- Assisting with the conversion of several legacy systems to more modern platforms within individual departments.
- General countywide computer technology systems upgrades and modernization.
- Airport Administration
- Recreation Administration
- Senior Center Administration
The fellow will work within the County Manager’s Office under the supervision and mentorship of the County Manager, who has experience with fellowship programs.