Diane Hollenbach, manager of Maidencreek Township, and Jason Wager, manager of Union Township, recently completed the certificate and diploma programs, respectively, of the PSATS Municipal Government Academy (PMGA), a leadership and municipal education program of the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS).
The inaugural class of PMGA graduates received diplomas and certificates of completion during the Association’s Annual Conference in April.
“PSATS launched the Municipal Government Academy several years ago to give township officials and staff a leg up on performing their duties,” PSATS Executive Director David Sanko said. “In the academy, education in leadership and communication skills overlaps the training in four technical tracks: administration, planning, public safety, and public works.”
PMGA participants earn primary, secondary, and elective credits by attending classroom workshops and webinars and other PSATS educational opportunities, such as the Annual Educational Conference, Human Resources and Labor Management Institute, Boot Camp for Township Officials, and Grassroots Advocacy Day.
In this inaugural graduating class, eight individuals completed the diploma program by earning 60 credits from across the four tracks. Seven individuals completed the certificate program by earning 30 credits from the administration track.
Hollenbach said she appreciated the instructors and timely subjects covered in the PMGA courses. “I found it very beneficial to have the training given by people experienced in local government,” she said, “and every topic was relevant to the job I do daily.”
Just being in class with counterparts from other townships was beneficial, Wager said. The program gets you in the same room with township supervisors and your peers working in local government,” he said. “You find out quickly that what you’re going through on a day-to-day basis is what officials go through everywhere, whether you’re in a large or small community. Plus, the classes are informative and well-taught by professionals working with or for municipalities.”
That’s just what PSATS intended, Sanko said. “We didn’t want to just have courses on abstract local governance topics,” he said. “We wanted to make sure that students came out with practical and useful strategies and techniques to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. That’s our ultimate goal.”