NCACC County Management Fellowship Program

Links for County Managers

The past several years have seen a wealth of county management knowledge and experience exit the workforce. Having a pipeline of tutored talent ready to take the reins from these veteran professionals is essential to maintaining North Carolina’s place as the top state for county government management.

The Association is committed to helping develop the next generation of county management stalwarts. Through its County Management Fellowship Program, the NCACC seeks to place a handful of recent Master of Public Administration (MPA) program graduates who have interest in North Carolina county management careers into full-time, 1- or 2-year salaried fellowships with seasoned N.C. county managers.

The program is modeled after the Local Government Management Fellowship administered by the International City-County Management Association (ICMA), which partners with the NCACC on the County Management Fellowship Program.

Opportunities to serve as a host county
The Association is interested in speaking with potential host counties for placements that begin in the July 2016 timeframe. Counties selected to participate as hosts will receive NCACC assistance with salary and other potential incentives (handled on a negotiated, individual basis). The NCACC requires a minimum $35,000 salary and recommends employment benefits, and an employment year that follows the fiscal year.

Any interested county will need to demonstrate a commitment to providing a rewarding career experience for the Fellow in the application process by indicating potential projects, activities and responsibilities for the Fellow. A Memorandum of Understanding and host application (linked above) that provides a detailed work plan are required.

How it works
ICMA provides the NCACC with a pool of pre-screened, North Carolina-based applicants from its fellowship program, ensuring high-quality talent for participating counties. The Association will then share those applications with interested host counties, which can then choose which applicants to interview. The host county controls offers of employment, start and completion dates of the fellowship, and other employment details.

ICMA has completed its finalist selection process for 2016-17 placements. If you are a current MPA student with an expected graduation date of spring 2016 and you are interested in a fellowship but did not apply through ICMA, send your resume and letter of interest to Jason King, Associate Director of Education with the NCACC, at

Fellowship hopefuls for 2017-18 can apply online via ICMA’s website beginning in mid-September 2016.

Cohort benefits for Fellows
Fellows enjoy a network of mentoring and support through the relationship with the county manager and county employees, as well as a cohort experience with other NCACC fellows and ICMA fellows based in North Carolina. NCACC and ICMA fellows will be invited to participate in statewide and regional Association events, such as the Annual Conference, County Assembly Day and district meetings, to receive a larger networking experience as well as exposure to state government. The Association will also fund each of its fellows’ North Carolina City and County Management Association (NCCCMA) membership dues and seminar registration fees for the year.

The NCACC Board of Directors approved the program in June 2012 to help counter a decline in the number of young professionals pursuing careers in the public sector.

  • Article from February 2013 issue of CountyLines (page 5): Managers can get back and give back