The Private Sector Approach to the Public Sector

This short series from Next American City looks at the emerging trend of entrepreneurs applying their own private-sector business savvy to the world of local government.

1 minute read

July 3, 2011, 11:00 AM PDT

By Nate Berg

One program focuses on luring new young talent into city positions -- the majority of which are staffed by soon-to-retire baby boomers.

"The Teach for America-style program pairs employment in high-level offices with training to enhance fellows' skills and understanding of the social context of their host cities, which include San Francisco, Houston and Baton Rouge, La.

The program recognizes that young people tend to view city government as overly bureaucratic, scandal-ridden and ineffective. When recruiting applicants, Henderson challenges young people to improve their understanding of how city government works. "How many of you in the room have gone home and told your parents, ‘My mission in life is to work for the city's sewer department'?" she asks. Seeing little to no response, Henderson reveals that this seemingly unglamorous department actually oversees many of the environmental issues that young people care strongly about. "

Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Next American City

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