#MACoCon Looks to the Future of Public Service, Hiring the NextGen County Workforce

County leaders at the 2023 MACo Summer Conference explored trends in academia and the workforce in the public sector and best practices to attract the next generation of public servants.

Governments at all levels are challenged to hire and retain staff, tackling issues like multi-generational differences and hybrid working environments. Local governments face a unique obstacle as society reconsiders what public service is and what it means to be a public servant today.

The 2023 MACo Summer Conference general session “NextGen Public Service: Recruiting and Retaining Tomorrow‘s Workforce” examined the evolution of public service and best practices for recruiting and retaining the next generation.

Panel speakers

  • Paul Monteiro, Secretary, Maryland Department of Service and Civic Innovation
  • Quinton Herbert, Baltimore City Human Resources Director
  • Robert C. Orr, Dean, University of Maryland School of Public Policy

Moderator: The Honorable Senator Shelly Hettleman

The panel kicked off with analysis from University of Maryland School of Public Policy Dean Orr on the trends of students pursuing graduate degrees in public policy and how those trends should inform governmental recruitment and hiring. Notably, Maryland produces more public policy students than most of the country…but it’s still “a very small number for the needs of the state.”

Secretary Paul Monteiro of the newly formed Department of Service and Civic Innovation discussed new opportunities to partner with the State to fill local government vacancies and strengthen the public service pipeline. These included the newly established Service Year Option and the revived Maryland Corps program.

Baltimore City HR Director Quinton Herbert discussed why county governments should care about the “next generation” of workers. He talked about the innovative ways the City is attracting diverse workers and how to best meet the “next generation” of public servants where they are — like by offering flexible schedules and hybrid office environments.

More about MACo’s Summer Conference: