Established in the early 1980s to attract and develop talented employees for the organization, the Management Fellowship Program exposes participants to the challenges confronted by local governments, as well as the innovative approaches used to address these challenges. Although based in the City Manager's Office, Fellows work on projects throughout the organization including the City's award-winning Budget & Research Office. Fellows are also invited to observe and participate in high-level management meetings, gaining exposure to department directors and division leaders. Assignments are matched to the particular Fellow's interests and skill set but the duties typically include:
- Reviewing policies and procedures and implementing improvements based on best practices
- Participating in professional development meetings and conferences
- Assisting with City Council and District Advisory Board meetings
- Serving as the Manager's Office representative for the Board of Bids and Screening Selection Committee
- Coordinating the Mayor's Youth Council
- Participating in the development of the City Budget and Capital Improvement Program
Throughout the course of the Fellowship, Fellows are supervised by the City Manager and the Assistant City Manager. Fellows also have the unique opportunity to meet with the Manager on a weekly basis to discuss assignments, receive feedback on their performance, or simply ask questions. Additionally, Fellows have access to valuable ICMA sponsored learning opportunities as a result of the City of Wichita's partnership with the Local Government Management Fellowship.
Fellows are continuously tasked with challenging, high-level projects and even have the opportunity to identify their own projects. The following are examples of just some of the projects previous Fellows have completed.
- Managed the vendor selection process for the City's state and federal lobbying consultants.
- Developed a comprehensive marketing strategy for the Housing and Community Services Department.
- Coordinated an airport celebration, cultural parade and closing ceremony for Olympic Bronze Medalist Nico Hernandez.
- Supported the City's summer youth employment program that hosts 140 youth, and oversaw a pilot program for 20 returning youth.
- Created an inventory of over $3 billion worth of City assets and worked on a team to develop an innovative City-County comprehensive plan.
- Coordinated multiple departments to use more than $160,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to pave city blocks at no cost to residents.
- Managed the assessment and implementation of sustainable community rating tools to support budget and Capital Improvement Plan development.
- Produced an internal web-based work order application that supports the City Council, City Manager, and Department Directors
- Developed an operational cost assessment of a proposed centrally located library.
- Researched and drafted an annual report analyzing the performance of the City's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts.
- Staffed a stakeholder-driven process to create a first-of-its-kind combined city-county code inspection and enforcement agency.
- Assisted with restructuring the Recreation Division resulting in improved service delivery while reducing expenses by $1 million.
- Led a parking meter modernization pilot project at a downtown parking facility.
- Assisted with the merger of the Public Works and Water City's Utilities Departments.
- Led the successful effort to revise the City's existing taxi ordinances, fees, and regulations.
- Assisted the Aquatics Division with development of a Comprehensive Master Plan to guide the future of Wichita's aquatics facilities.