Our Changing Workforce and Emergency Management Plans
By: Wanda Kimsey, Student
St. Petersburg College, Public Policy and Administration Program
As city and county managers you are very familiar with the ever changing dynamics in the public sector workforce. Communication and collaboration between agencies is extremely valuable, as is the sharing of institutional knowledge among the leaders of the Florida City and County Management Association. Therefore, I would like to share my Capstone Project with you for your review and consideration. The City of Tarpon Springs Emergency Management Plan is a model that provides a designated shelter space solely for the families of city government employees required to work before, during, and after emergency and disaster events. In response to the required commitment of their city employees working during an emergency situation, Tarpon Springs has adopted a Policies and Procedures Section in their Personnel Manual to address a real concern where employees’ families and pets will stay during an emergency.
Specifically, government employees responding to emergency situations are front-line workers restoring order and services to citizens in the community during disaster and crisis situations. The Center for State and Local Government Excellence has conducted recent studies projecting trends for our state and local government workforce and the future of our workforce. These studies reveal the importance of implementing succession plans that include using approaches that will attract and retain millennials in the government workforce. Offering a designated shelter space solely for families and pets of government workers required to work during disaster or emergency situations is an excellent marketing and recruiting tool when hiring new employees. Having worked in government for more than 30 years, and being a baby boomer myself, I also understand the demographic changes occurring within the workforce, and the importance of recruiting and retaining qualified personnel to replace retiring baby boomers.
Ultimately, the goal of any governmental agency is to have a strong workforce that provides excellent customer service to their citizens. One of the action strategies listed in the December 2015, Executive Summary, conducted by the State and Local Government Excellence, is to “Revamp antiquated policies and practices to meet the needs and expectations of a changing workforce and to compete successfully in the talent race.” As such, I respectfully encourage you to review the model adopted by the City of Tarpon Springs that provides designated shelter space solely for the families and pets of city government employees required to work before, during, and after emergency and disaster events. If you would like additional information about Tarpon Springs Policy Number 24 you can reach, Mark LeCouris, City Manager of Tarpon Springs at 727.938.3711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my Capstone Project with you. It has been a rewarding experience to assimilate the data incorporated into my paper.
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