2015 Winter Conference Highlight: Danielle Mahoney & “What is Ahead for Us with FutureWork”

The North Carolina Local Government Budget Association (NCLGBA) is a professional organization of people interested in the exchange of knowledge for individuals concerned with budget and evaluation responsibilities of local government.  

The Association’s main goals are:
• To strengthen communications and provide opportunities for professional growth and development through the exchange of ideas
• To investigate, study, discuss, and recommend improvements in the application of budget and evaluation methods
• To collect, compile, and distribute pertinent information about the administration of budget responsibilities
• To promote, sponsor, or conduct training and education programs through the participation in Association sponsored events and meetings

Conferences offer a variety of sessions that will broaden you thinking about how local government budgeting impacts North Carolina’s communities.  Become a member today and don’t miss the 2016 Summer Conference.

Below is a recap of one of our keynote sessions from the 2015 Winter Conference from Danielle Mahoney, Local Government Management Fellow at Lee County.


One of my favorite sessions from the NCLGBA Winter Conference was What is Ahead for Us with FutureWork, presented by Anita Brown-Graham, Director for the Institute of Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University. The presentation (view here) highlighted technological innovations that will emerge in North Carolina in the coming decades, illustrating a job landscape that will be radically changed from the one we know today.

Ms. Brown-Graham shared data that showed, by one estimate, the state of North Carolina could lose almost half of its existing jobs to technology by the year 2040. We’ve already seen this trend with manufacturing, and additional fields that are susceptible to be lost to automation include telemarketing, auditing, accounting, retail, and customer service. Furthermore, she explained that only three counties account for all of the innovation economy in the state: Mecklenburg, Durham, and Wake. So, what does this mean for local governments and our communities?

Conf Highlight Mahoney 1

I work for a county – Lee County in central NC. Our county manager once told me that the reason he prefers county government to city/town government is that counties take care of people who cannot take care of themselves – children, the elderly, those with disabilities, the disadvantaged, etc. Throughout Ms. Brown-Graham’s presentation, all I could think about was the number of people who will be eventually put out of work if the estimates she spoke of come to fruition. How will local governments take care of those in their communities who cannot work due to increased automation/technological advances? Will new departments be created? What about in counties like Lee, counties who do not make up the 66% of innovation economy in the state? Will these counties experience net out-migration and lose majority of their populations to Wake, Durham, and Mecklenburg? How will this affect growth, infrastructure, workplace housing, jobs, etc.? Ms. Brown-Graham said “there will not be shared prosperity across NC if we do not do something.” She also stated that half the students in colleges today will have careers that include occupations not now in existence. So, what do we do? How do we prepare for something that we do not even fully understand?

Being an early career professional in local government, I certainly do not have the answer. I’m not sure anyone has the answer, at least not right now. But, it’s important to be aware of this data and begin to have conversations with our community leaders. In local government, we want to plan in a safe zone – typically one, three, and five years out. We need to start planning for ten and twenty years out. We need to engage our regional councils of government, as well as our partners in the private and nonprofit sectors in collaboration to begin thinking about these important issues and what we can do now to ensure our communities thrive in the future.

Conf Highlight Mahoney 2

While we may not have the answer, I’ve found that local government professionals are extremely adaptable. If the conversation can at least get started – if we are aware of this impending change and how it may affect our local communities – we will be prepared to adapt accordingly. I hope we see this information presented at more local government conferences, that regional task forces are formed from across the state to address this issue, and that our leaders in local government take charge before it is too late.

Final Winter 2015 Conference Update!

Yes, it’s the final Winter 2015 Conference update post! We had a great conference with attendance from 84 different agencies including 47 municipalities, 28 counties, 2 Sheriff’s Offices, and 2 universities as well as 5 other agencies and vendors.

Winter 2015 NC State Map with jurisdictions marked

Most presentations and other materials used in the conference sessions are available here.

Missed this conference or already looking forward to the next one?  The Summer 2015 Conference is already scheduled for July 13-15 at Shell Isle Resort in Wrightsville Beach, NC and more information will be available soon.  In addition, we’re looking for assistance with planning and will be publishing the date of the summer planning committee meeting in the next few weeks.

Accepting Applications for 2015 Winter Conference Scholarship

Apply now for NCLGBA’s conference scholarship for the 2015 Winter Conference!

The applicant:
– Must have an interest in a career in North Carolina local government.
– Must be an active Master’s level student in good standing OR someone who has never attended a NCLGBA conference.
– If you are a student, you are within two years of completing a Master’s degree as of Fall 2015.

The recipient will receive two nights hotel accommodation and covered registration fees for NCLGBA’s  2015 Winter Conference in Asheville, December 9-11th.

The application is available here and is due October 30, 2015.  Submission details are included on the application.

Registration Open & Keynote Speakers Announced

Registration for the Winter 2015 conference is now open.  The registration packet is available here and should be completed & submitted according to the enclosed directions.  Deadline for registration is November 13, 2015.  Hotel information is available on the conference page under “Accommodations.”

We are excited to announce that Zach Ward, the Executive Producer and Resident Instructor of DSI Comedy Theater will lead a hands-on and interactive session focused on the art of effective communication, active listening, and thinking on your feet. His presentation will open the conference on Wednesday afternoon. Zach will focus his presentation on effective communication techniques in a fun and interactive atmosphere. More information on this exciting presentation will be sent out later on the listserv.

We are also excited to announce that North Carolina State University’s Director of the Institute for Emerging Issues, Ms. Anita-Brown Graham, will be giving a keynote address to the conference on Friday morning. You can also expect economic and legislative updates, and many more intriguing and engaging general and concurrent sessions that the Winter Conference Planning Committee is hard at work developing as we speak.

2015 Winter Conference Update: Join the Planning Committee & Register

The Winter Conference might seem like a long time from now, but it will be here before you know it. Please check out two important announcements:

1) Go to NCLGBA.org for hotel room reservation information for the 2015 NCLGBA Winter Conference (December 9-11, 2015). We will be heading to lovely downtown Asheville this winter, and staying at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. You can make reservations online by clicking here or by calling the hotel (1-828-252-8211).

2) Join us on Thursday, September 10th at 12:00pm at the South Fork Recreation Center in Winston-Salem for the 2015 Winter Conference Planning Committee Meeting. The address is 4403 Country Club Road, Winston-Salem, NC.

A great conference depends on the great ideas and help of our conference planning committee. If you are interested in joining us for lunch and a (fascinating/intriguing/thought-provoking/riveting) discussion on potential budget related conference sessions, please contact Justin Amos (jamos@charlottenc.gov) or Stephen Hawryluk (stephenh@cityofws.org). Please respond by Friday, August 28th so we can make sure we have enough food, also let us know if you would prefer a vegetarian meal option.

Planning Committee responsibilities include selecting relevant topics, scheduling interesting and innovative speakers, and facilitating sessions during the conference. This is a chance to serve in a leadership role with the NCLGBA, contribute to an important professional development opportunity, and network with other local government professionals. If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, but would like to suggest topics or speakers, all ideas are welcome just send us an email.