A meeting of the EMO Cohort in Detroit, Michigan

Through May 10, applications are still open for ICMA's 2024 Economic Mobility and Opportunity (EMO) Peer Learning Cohort and Grant Program. With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ICMA is offering a unique opportunity for members to advance upward mobility in their communities—so that all residents can achieve economic success, feel a sense of belonging, and exercise autonomy over their own futures. ICMA plans to select teams representing 15 local governments to participate in networking and learning activities and receive a $20,000 grant for the implementation of an EMO-related process or project.

Not sure if your local government is a good fit for the cohort? If you’re like most local governments that responded to a survey conducted by ICMA earlier this year, there’s a chance your priorities and functions are more related to economic mobility than you might think. It was uncommon for local government respondents to report comprehensive strategic, budgeting, or staffing actions in the name of economic mobility. However, over 80 percent of respondents—including leaders of small communities—reported activities related to one or more specific issue areas known to influence upward mobility.

While the application deadline is fast approaching, there is still enough time to submit and gain support for ongoing or new efforts. Here are six reasons to apply for the Economic Mobility and Opportunity Cohort:

  1. Brief and Simple Application Process: The online application can be completed quickly and requires no additional documentation. Full application instructions are available here and applications can be revised until the deadline, March 10, 2024, 5:00 pm ET.
  2. Drive Real Change: This cohort provides a unique opportunity for participants to focus on what drives (or impedes) upward mobility for residents in their communities. ICMA has curated many examples for inspiration, but applicants are not limited to these. Creativity and original ideas are also encouraged! Especially if this work is new to prospective applicants, then a study, assessment, or engagement process to pinpoint priorities is acceptable and encouraged.
  3. Rapid Grant Funding: Each community selected will receive grant funding of up to $20,000. This funding is very flexible and requires no match. Upon selection, ICMA will work with each local government to finalize their scope of work. Local governments should anticipate expending grant funds by January 2025.
  4. Paid Travel and Networking: A small team from each local government selected will get to meet both in person and virtually with peers working on economic mobility and opportunity issues in other communities as well as with technical experts. Costs for travel will be covered by ICMA on top of the $20,000 grants.
  5. Member Benefit: The ICMA membership requirement can be satisfied by anyone on the applicant's team. This cohort also requires participation from the chief administrative officer or a similar position, whether or not they are an ICMA member themselves.
  6. ICMA Is Here to Help: ICMA's team is standing by to answer specific questions about applications and plans for the cohort. Email emo@icma.org.


New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!