Auburn Hills, Mich. – June 7, 2018 – Bob Kittle, president of Munetrix, a public sector solutions provider offering data management, analytics and reporting tools for states, local governments and public school districts, touts empirical evidence to support data that in less than a decade, nearly 40% of the public sector workforce may retire.
“I interact daily with seasoned professionals nearing retirement who have built a career in the public sector and have deep knowledge on how to get the job done while serving a variety of watchful constituents,” Kittle said. “It’s challenging work, but most of the customers I interact with love it and have found working in a municipality or school district very rewarding.”
Kittle says it’s easy to identify the issues associated with a shrinking workforce and dwindling candidate pool; but it’s not necessarily easy to implement a plan to address the problem.
“The term efficiency must be on the tip of every administrator’s tongue, and those awful words that policymakers in particular hate to hear, consolidation and outsourcing, will eventually need to be discussed with greater seriousness,” Kittle says. “There just won’t be enough people to do the work otherwise.”
As the president of a software company focused on the fiscal well-being and operational performance of the public sector, Kittle says the use of technology is a necessary and supportive backstop; but only one key element of defense.
“Considering the loss of institutional knowledge that will result as a natural phenomenon of the workforce exodus, local leaders must move succession planning to the top of their strategic goals if they have not already done so. Skill positions, including finance directors, assessors and administrators, are already in short supply, but think of where we’ll be when those who understand water and sewer systems leave. An organizational vacuum will soon be staring us in the face if we haven’t identified successors or created a plan,” Kittle said.
While finance professionals who have been on the job for decades have mastered the use of Excel, Kittle notes their homegrown files are not easily transferable to the next generation of government employees, who do not necessarily turn to MS Office products as a first choice.
“Imagine a new finance director coming in to replace a 30-year veteran. Where are the files located? Were the previous person’s naming and filing conventions logical? Will the new employee even be able to figure out or reverse engineer convoluted Excel files whose data integrity and formulas have no checks and balances? Where are the debt workpapers? Capital plans? Budget documents? Personnel summaries? The questions are endless. Excel was a great working professional’s tool, but it is not a sustainable product to withstand the sands of time,” Kittle said.
“Millennials, the NextGen municipal worker, use cloud-based Apps, mobile devices, Google Docs or other technology alternatives the “Boomer” generation hasn’t come to rely on. They also want instant gratification. Turn it on and voila, there it is,” Kittle said.
In response to the anticipated silver tsunami of government sector retirements, Munetrix has embedded a data management strategy into its online platform, one that institutionalizes relevant information, including compliance lists, to create a seamless handoff from retiree to new hire. Inherent in the strategy is assigning tools to the role – not the person. People may come and go, but the role generally stays the same.
Munetrix has also turned to an old-school solution: internships.
“Munetrix is located in the backyard of Oakland University, and we’ve used that proximity to provide paid internships to students who want to learn more about public sector careers,” Kittle said. “While the internships aren’t based in cities or schools, students get to work hand-in-hand with real people in real government jobs and be exposed to the issues these government units face. From budgeting and planning, to the economics associated with population and school enrollment trends, our interns get a pretty deep dive into the type of work local leaders perform; something not usually presented in college courses or at job fairs. We call this the Munetrix University, and it’s gratifying when one of our interns gets a direct call from a customer.”
Fifteen interns have come through Munetrix University since 2012. Some have gone on to graduate school, university jobs or traditional corporate careers, so the jury is still out on whether the internships will translate into more young adults entering the public sector. But no matter what direction they take, the interns leave with many skills they did not possess prior to their internship. There has also been measurable success for Munetrix.
“We’ve converted several interns to full-time staff members over the years, and that has helped us bring a millennial viewpoint to our own government-based work at Munetrix; these young adults are really smart and teach us a thing or two along the way as well,” Kittle said.
Since its founding in 2010, Munetrix has continued to build its reputation among government and school district leaders. It is one of only two approved vendors prequalified by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget to provide data analytics tools for reimbursement to both Michigan public school districts and cities. It is the only resource provider that generates a fiscal wellness measure – the Munetrix Score. The company has twice received “Readers’ Choice Top Products” recognition from K-12 leaders’ education trade publication, District Administration, and has been named a GovTech100 company for three consecutive years. GovTech100 is an annual index by Government Technology magazine that highlights the top 100 companies in the country serving government in unique, innovative and effective ways.
Michigan-based Munetrix, among the nation’s largest aggregators of municipal and school district data, promotes municipal wellness and sustainability through its cloud-based data management tools and proprietary performance management applications. In partnering with Munetrix, communities and school districts can manage their data and access cost effective products and advisory services to make meaningful and reliable budgets, financial projections, trend reports and forward-looking decisions. Learn more about your school or community’s Munetrix Score at the Munetrix website.