Who will train Maryland's next generation of leaders?

A recent finding that the federal government has not done enough to develop the next generation of senior leaders is an area of interest for Maryland as well ("Agencies should be developing next generation of Senior Executive Service, study says," July 26).

Maryland's 345,293 state and local government employees and 263,373 nonprofit employees provide services that are essential for the education, safety and well-being of our residents. While our expectations for government and nonprofit organizations and their employees continue to rise, little has been done to invest in the development of the next generation leaders in Maryland's public and nonprofit sectors.

Today's and tomorrow's complex environment includes myriad issues that promise to test the most seasoned and experienced leaders. To successfully respond to changes brought on by new realities, new and seasoned managers alike must learn to adapt and acquire new skills and knowledge.

The University of Baltimore's Maryland Certified Public Manager Program provides public organizations an affordable way to build their management capacity. Currently, we are working with partners from local and state government and the nonprofit community to provide a wide range of employees — including those who have not completed a college degree — with the skills and training needed to meet 21s-century public sector challenges.

We believe that by collaborating with nonprofit and government leaders to provide a strong, academically grounded program to a wide range of mid- to upper-level employees, we can positively affect the future.

Ann Cotton, Baltimore

The writer is director of the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore.

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