The prospect of there being a shortage of local government professionals who are ready to take over leadership roles for retiring managers is a very real and significant issue for the local government profession. This is an issue that is also widespread, as it is estimated that half of the 20.6 million government workers in this country are forty-five years of age or older (Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government).  Since its formation in 2001 and through the dedicated leadership of Frank Benest, the PNG initiative has developed valuable resources for current managers to prepare, develop, and motivate the next generation of government workers.

Local Governments Preparing the Next Generation: Successful Case Studies” was assembled for the purpose of showcasing all the hard work being done by cities to help attract and prepare the next generation of local government professionals. The guidebook highlights programs being used by local governments who believe it is their responsibility to mentor young and mid-career professionals. It is our goal for this guidebook to be used as a resource for cities to use when inspiring their own programs designed to prepare the next generation.

Ken Pulskamp
City Manager, City of Santa Clarita
February 2007

Table of Contents


  • Introduction from Ken Pulskamp, city manager of Santa Clarita, California
  • Introduction from Frank Benest "A Demographic Tsunami", city manager, City of Palo Alto, and Co-Chair of the Preparing the Next Generation Committee

Mentoring and Coaching

  • City of Fairfield / Mentor Program
  • City of San Luis Obispo / Mentoring Program
  • City of Santa Clarita / Mentoring Program
  • San Mateo County / Mentoring Program

Employee Attraction and Retention

  • City of Long Beach / Management Assistant Program
  • City of Brea / Why Brea?
  • City of Beaumont / Student Government Day
  • City of Walnut Creek / Employer of Choice
  • City of Sausalito / Program to Attract and Retain Employees
  • City of Santa Clarita / Workforce and Organizational Plan
  • Alameda County / Leadership Academy

Succession Planning

  • City of San Bernardino / Management Development Program
  • City of Thousand Oaks / Succession Planning Program
  • City of Sacramento / City Management Institute
  • City of San Luis Obispo / Employment Opportunity Program
  • City of Daly City / Workforce Management Program
  • City of Santa Ana / Succession Plan Pilot Program
  • City of Palo Alto / Strengthening the Bench Initiative

Leadership and Workforce Development

  • City of Sacramento / City University
  • City of Sacramento / Career Development
  • City of Anaheim / Leadership Development Programs
  • City of Elk Grove / Executive Development Review
  • City of Huntington Beach / Leadership Development Program
  • City of Roseville / Workforce Development Strategy
  • City of Covina / Emerging Leadership Team
  • City of Santa Rosa / Leadership Program
  • City of La Palma / Leadership Book Club
  • City of Santa Clara / Leadership in the 21st Century

Download the full document at ICMA's Resource Center.

Special thanks are extended to those organizations that helped to underwrite the production of this document:

  • Cal-ICMA Coaching Program
  • California Contract Cities Association
  • Municipal Information Systems Association of California
  • City of Palo Alto
  • City of Huntington Beach
  • City of Santa Clarita

The Cal-ICMA Coaching Program is funded through the generosity of:

  • California Communities Joint Powers Authority
  • ICMA
  • California City Management Foundation
  • Municipal Management Assistants of Northern California
  • Bob Murray & Associates
  • Comcast
  • CPS Human Services