The Recorder – GCC, FRCOG join forces to offer training in municipal accounting
Posted: 06/29/2021 4:29:31 PM
GREENFIELD – Greenfield Community College is working with the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) to offer an online municipal accounting course that organizers say will help address the growing shortage of qualified accountants in Massachusetts municipalities.
According to a press release from the CCG, FRCOG offers a municipal accounting program that serves 12 cities in the region with a staff of seven or eight accountants. However, whenever a staff member leaves, FRCOG Regional Services Director Bob Dean said it was extremely difficult to find replacements with the right skills and willing to work part-time and travel between cities. .
Franklin County was not the only region facing this challenge. The Local Government Workforce Skills Gap report, released by the Baker administration in 2018, showed a need for training in many local government positions across the state, including accounting. In response, Dean suggested that the FRCOG develop its own training program. After securing funding through an Efficiency and Regionalization grant and a Community Compact grant, both donated by the state, Dean enlisted the help of GCC to administer the course.
Offered as part of GCC’s Workforce Development and Community Education program, the Municipal Accounting course is online and asynchronous, allowing people from across the state to participate. According to the statement, an orientation took place on June 14 and since then students have been allowed to take the course at their own pace. Students who complete the course will be awarded a certificate of completion from GCC.
“We are delighted to partner with FRCOG to provide this essential training in municipal accounting,” GCC Director of Workforce Training Programs Kristin Cole said in the press release. âWe have filled 32 places in the course in less than two weeks and already have several names on a waiting list. The interest has been enormous. ”
While most of the interest has been among accountants already employed by municipalities, Dean also hopes the course may provide an opportunity for people pursuing new careers.
âI would like to get to a point where people who are looking for a new career and have skills in numbers and accounting, but haven’t really thought about municipal accounting, continue with the training,â Dean said. in the press release. “I think this type of program is where GCC fulfills a vital role for Franklin County.”