MuniServices LLC, a business of debt-buying giant PRA Group, in partnership with the California City Management Foundation and Saddleback College, plans to offer aspiring municipal leaders a chance to learn about strategic financial administration through the newly formed Municipal Financial Management Certification Program.
Designed for staff, analysts and managers who work in local government, the five-course program will be offered through a series of web-based and in-person classes. Course offerings will include tax policy and revenue streams, accounting and budgeting, strategic financing and leadership. Through the program, students desiring leadership positions in local government will learn the basics of municipal finance, "giving them the tools and skills municipal leaders use each day to maintain fiscal accountability and control over department and program spending,” according to MuniServices. Julia Erdkamp, program chair and client services manager for MuniServices, said, "Working intimately with municipal entities, MuniServices is keenly aware of the unprecedented pressure our public agency partners face on a daily basis to manage finances effectively. The Municipal Financial Management Certification Program is about empowering agencies to meet these growing challenges by providing current and future leaders with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complex terrain of local government finance." A primary goal of the program is to teach government finance and leadership best practices that students can observe, understand and apply in their jobs, according to MuniServices. The program is made possible by the partnership of the California City Management Foundation and Saddleback College and the support of the Municipal Management Association of Southern California. The foundation provides access to key senior talent within the California city manager ranks and Saddleback College provides the academic rigor, course delivery platforms and educational expertise to ensure the program delivers on its promise of education. "The California City Management Foundation is dedicated to supporting retired, current and future city managers throughout the state," said the foundation's Executive Director Ken Pulskamp. "Managing the finances of a city is no easy task and will likely become even more complicated over time. This partnership with Saddleback College is a perfect opportunity to assure that the next generation of leaders has the skill set needed to meet financial challenges head-on." Israel Dominguez, director of economic development and workforce development at Saddleback College, added, "Saddleback College is proud to partner with MuniServices and [California City Management Foundation] to provide such a crucial program to local government agencies. Expanding the knowledge of decision makers in local government is truly a win-win that benefits the students and the communities they will go on to serve. It is exactly the kind of role that a community college can fill."