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Recruiting the Next Generation


Michael Genova


One of CAMA’s goals is to ensure that we are providing new and existing municipal administrators with information and a network, that assists them in their role; encourages the next generation of leaders; and, promotes the importance of the Professional Municipal Administrator.

CAMA has been working on two particular projects related to recruiting the next generation of leaders in municipal government.



CAMA is pleased to launch the “Making Life Happen” toolkit to attract the next generation of leaders to local government.  The “Making Life Happen” program was created in partnership, with a mandate of raising awareness of local government with a specific focus encouraging younger Canadians to consider a municipal career.

The next time you or your staff are asked to speak to local community groups or businesses, explain local government and the role of the CAO, or talk to students about municipal government careers, “Making Life Happen” will give you the building blocks for a memorable presentation.  Tailor a message from your own municipality using the elements and main messages we have created, including a powerpoint presentation with speaking notes and handouts.  We are also pleased to have a bilingual website for this campaign:   

This initiative has been a Canada wide Association effort with six of our Provincial Association partners: Ontario Municipal Administrators Association, Local Government Administrators of Alberta, Association of Municipal Administrators of New Brunswick, Alberta Rural Municipal Administrators Association, Local Government Managers Association of British Columbia, and the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario. 

The key messages of “Making Life Happen” were built on qualitative and quantitative research. You can view the executive summary of the Insights West research or the full report.  This report has some interesting insights which you may wish to pass along to your Human Resources Department’s when recruiting your own employees.

We hope that you and your staff will use these resources to help us promote such a gratifying career to our next generation leaders.

Follow this link to find the following documents.  Please note that all promotional materials are print ready and are provided to you in separate English and French documents.

Promotional Postcards

There are five front options for you to choose from:

  • Are you a Change-Maker?
  • Are you a Transformer?
  • Are you a Connector?
  • Are you a Community Builder?
  • Are you a Social Entrepreneur?

The back of the postcard includes information on local government and the diverse fields that one can choose from.  There is also space to include your municipality’s logo if you wish.

Also included are some instructions to provide to the printer.

Powerpoint Presentation

Instructions:  This document provides some instructions on editing slides, font styles, removing and adding slides, inserting new formatted slides, changing an image, changing the timing of the word cloud, and disabling the animations.

Powerpoint Presentation:  There are speaking points included in the “Notes” section of the Powerpoint presentation that you can edit.

Speaking Notes:  Also provided to you are the same speaking points in the “Notes” section in a word document that you can also edit.

Logo Instruction Sheet

This document provides different styles of the Making Life Happen logo outlining the colors, fonts and any other information that your printer or graphic designer requires when customizing your promotional materials. 

There is also a zipped file including all of the logo options in different resolutions.

Bilingual Website

This website contains information on the following topics:

  • The Day in the Life of a local government professional.
  • Testimonials from local government professionals.
  • Job searching tips to jumpstart your local government career.
  • The option to ask a question about local government.



CAMA is also pleased to launch its  “Cultivating Leadership: A Guide for the Next Generation in Local Government” project.

Considerable research and a survey of the membership was undertaken to guide the development of our new Strategic Plan which was launched in April 2016.  From that information, it was determined that a number of trends are emerging that could impact local government in the future.  Over the next five years, municipal senior management and elected officials should therefore expect to operate in a context of radical, ongoing, and accelerating change, which will require strong leadership.  On the other hand, it is a unique opportunity to attract and retain talented people, committed to the mission of local government and ready to embrace a change.

There is a demographic shift happening in CAMA’s membership which will likely also result in different expectations.  Given the impending retirement of a significant number of municipal administrators, municipalities have an opportunity to promote the positive rewards of having a career in local government. 

This project was designed in recognition of the importance of providing useful career advice to the next generation of local government leaders, and to provide an opportunity for our more experienced CAMA members to give back to the profession.  It is our hope that it will help CAMA members at different stages of their career, students considering a career in local government, and potential future CAMA members.  This is also a great resource to share with direct reports and managers throughout your organization.

“What Advice Would You Give to the Next Generation of Municipal Leaders?” We posed this question to experienced CAOs from across the country to get their guidance on what it takes to make it in this profession.  We asked them to share their accomplishments, challenges faced, some of the most important lessons learned, and the key competencies and skill sets required now and in the future to be great leaders. 

It wouldn’t have been possible to produce this document without the leadership of our Chair Marc Landry (CAMA Second Vice-President and Representative for Alberta and the Northwest Territories), CAMA Staff, and the following nine CAMA members/mentors who have provided their great words of wisdom and advice:

  • Mike Pinsent, Town Manager, Town of Grand Falls Windsor NL 
  • Chris MacPherson, CAO, City of Fredericton, NB 
  • Duncan Campbell, Retired CA0, QC
  • Janice Baker, CAO/City Manager, City of Mississauga, ON 
  • Glen Davies, CAO, Town of Gravenhurst, ON 
  • Jim Toye, City Manager, City of Prince Albert, SK 
  • Robert Cotterill, City Manager, City of S pruce Grove, AB
  • Rhonda Stewart, CAO, Town of Virden, MB 
  • Gail Stephens, Retired CAO, BC

Here are some short video clips of some of our mentors offering their advice:

It is our hope that this wealth of information will assist all of us to create stronger municipalities and communities.  We want the next generation of leaders to be ready!
Marie-Hélène Lajoie 
CAMA President

Building better municipalities together.

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