Big changes for the Piqua Government Academy

Bill Lutz

December 15, 2013

Since 2012, the City of Piqua has offered the Piqua Government Academy for our residents to learn more about the amazing work that has done by the men and women here in the City of Piqua. From police officers to wastewater treatment operators and everyone in between, our participants have been thoroughly impressed by the dedication and knowledge of the nearly 200 employees we have here serving you in your local government.

To say that the Piqua Government Academy has been a success would almost be an understatement. Earlier this year, the Piqua Government Academy was honored with a Program Excellence in Citizen Engagement Award from the Ohio City/County Management Association. Other communities from around the country are looking to the Piqua Government Academy for guidance; we have received inquiries from Colorado, Rhode Island and Vermont asking us how we make our program as successful as it is. It is becoming obvious; our community is becoming a recognized national leader in developing citizen engagement programming.

The Piqua Government Academy has become the flagship program of the city’s citizen engagement programming. The academy started in 2012 based on the idea that it was important that the community’s residents have a strong working knowledge of the city’s operations. Through this experienced based program, our residents would be immersed in the inner workings of each department’s operations. In the program, our residents have seen a taserdemonstration, they have taken a ride in a fire truck, they have seen how the city’s wastewater and water plants work, they have seen how electric power is distributed throughout the community, they have had the chance to drive a snow plow and they have had countless other experiences as well. All of these experiences provided by knowledgeable and dedicated city employees that are here to serve our residents.

As each academy has progressed, the quantity and the quality of the programming have increased as well; what started out as a ten week program has mushroomed to a sixteen week program. At a time where individual city departments were worried that there would not be enough information to provide to residents, we now have departments that want to take up to two weeks to provide an inside look at their operations for our residents.

By the end of 2012, the City of Piqua will have hosted for different academies and have had 72 residents go through this program and we are looking for more residents to participate as we look to kickoff the 2014 Piqua Government Academy. In order to meet the concerns of the community and to provide new opportunities for our departments to provide more information, we are re-formatting the 2014 academy to run all year long with a new twist, the introduction of learning modules.

Think of the modules as a way for you to pick and choose what you would like to learn. Each module will focus on a certain aspect of city operations (Administration and Communication, Public Safety, Utilities, Infrastructure, Finance and Technology and Citizen Participation) and provide participants an opportunity to only sign up for those modules that they would like to enroll; you can enroll in just one module, all six modules or any number of modules, the choice is completely yours! Each module will last three to four sessions (which equates to a time commitment from one month to six weeks) and provide participants an in-depth look into the work done here at the City of Piqua.

It is important to recognize that our Piqua Government Academy is an award winning program not just for the information we provide, but for the experiences that we try to impart. The Piqua Government Academy experience is based on the notion that involving our residents and actually allowing them to participate and interact with our great employees and our equipment gives them a level of understanding that they could not get anywhere else.

If you haven’t had the chance to be a part of our Piqua Government Academy, now is the time to do so. You can register for the academy online by going to the city website at www.piquaoh.organd clicking on the “Citizen Engagement and Involvement Program” link in the upper right hand corner and then clicking on the Piqua Government Academy logo. Residents can also register by calling William Lutz, Academy Director at 937.778.2062. We hope to see you in February!