City Launches Leadership Institute

New Bedford, MA – As part of the continuing effort to modernize and professionalize municipal government, the City has launched a Leadership Institute so that department heads and senior managers refine skills needed to be more effective in their roles.

The initiative, managed by the Personnel Office with support from AllOne Health Employee Assistance Program (EAP), will provide city managers with professional development training through a series of six seminars over the next several months, with additional classes planned for Spring 2024. Topics include:

  • Creating a Culture of Excellence: The Role of Leadership
  • Moving from Manager to Leader: Inspiring Trust
  • Creating Vision
  • Executing Strategy
  • Coach Potential
  • The Role of Leadership in Navigating Change: A Leadership Roundtable

“The Leadership Institute will be a valuable and useful initiative for our managers,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “Although similar programs are common in large corporations, they are relatively rare in municipal government. I am pleased that this important leadership training is being offered to our department heads and managers.”

In addition to the leadership institute, the Mitchell Administration has pursued wide-ranging reforms across city government to bring municipal services into the 21st century and modernize the way local government serves its residents. Examples include:

  • The establishment of “The New Bedford Way,” the statement of city government’s organizational values.
  • The establishment of the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
  • Consolidation of municipal departments.
  • Reforms of the budgeting process that have resulted in the City’s receiving the GFOA award for nine years running.
  • The establishment of a See-Click-Fix app for municipal services.
  • Reform of the City’s procurement process.
  • Soon, the establishment of a city-wide 311 system.
  • A citywide performance management initiative in which all city departments establish operational goals based on extensive data collection and analysis.
  • A performance contracting partnership with Siemens Corporation which allowed the City to finance and retrofit municipal buildings with energy efficiency measures, modern heating and cooling systems, and climate controls. The partnership with Siemens Corporation also allowed the City to replace street lights citywide with high-efficiency LED fixtures.
  • The installation of one of the largest municipal solar initiatives, adjusted for population, anywhere in the United States. In all, ten major solar projects totaling more than $60 million in privately financed construction are saving City taxpayers nearly $1 million annually.

“Developing the leadership skills of municipal managers is fundamentally about providing better city services,” said Mayor Mitchell. “It is also a prime example of the kind of improvements we have been introducing to city government so that we operate more effectively, more efficiently, and ultimately put ourselves in a position to deliver more for our residents.”

Mitchell added, “I also want to thank our Personnel Director Judi Keating and Katie Gilfeather of AllOne Health who both were instrumental in developing the Leadership Institute.”