Cal-ICMA Launches Talent Initiative

Cal-ICMA announces the launch of a new program which moves our Next Generation efforts to a new level.

ARTICLE | Dec 22, 2016

Cal-ICMA announces the launch of a new program which moves our Next Generation efforts to a new level. The Talent Initiative will be undertaken by the Cal-ICMA Talent Development Team, formerly known as the Preparing the Next Generation Committee / PNG.

The purpose of the Talent Initiative is to engage Chief Executives, HR Directors, and emerging leaders of cities, counties, and special districts in a conversation about three questions:

  1. What are the kinds of talent challenges that confound cities, counties and special districts local governments in California?
  2. What obstacles hinder our efforts to address talent challenges? 
  3. What are the best practices from public and private, culture-building strategies, and other resources so we can better attract, retain and grow talent?

Talent Initiative activities will include:

  • A survey of City/County Managers, HR Directors, and emerging leaders regarding talent development needs.
  • Five to seven focus groups with senior management leaders across the state.
  • A summary report, including recommendations on how professional organizations can help us address the workforce challenges.
  • A Cal-ICMA web page showcasing best practices and other resources.
  • Use of resources as part of existing training programs and conferences.

According to Dominic Lazzaretto, City Manager of Arcadia, California, and co-chair of the Talent Development Team, “As we deal with the big challenges, it is all about talent. We believe that the Talent Initiative will help local governments overcome major workforce challenges so that we can better recruit, retain and develop those who serve California communities.”

The focus groups will be conducted from January to April 2017, with a draft report completed by July 2017.

The Project Advisory Committee for the Talent Initiative includes 35 city, county, and special district managers, as well as emerging leaders from around the state. For more information about the Cal-ICMA Talent Initiative, contact: Dominic Lazzaretto, city manager, Arcadia, and co-chair of Talent Development Team, at, and/or Frank Benest, ICMA Liaison for Next Generation Initiatives, at