First-of-its-Kind Regional Innovation Academy Launches

Applications are now being accepted for the Triangle J Council of Governments' (TJCOG) Regional Innovation Academy. This program is the first–of–its kind in the country, and it aims to offer local government leaders from communities of every size the opportunity to develop new skills, collaborate with peers, and learn data-driven approaches for creating efficient, future-ready public-sector solutions. Selected participants will engage in six virtual classes from January to March 2021 on building creative designs, identifying community needs, measuring outcomes, piloting new solutions, improving customer experience, and communicating results.
At a time when local budgets are tight and the most pressing challenges in the region cross community lines, the Academy will allow participating governments to share resources and expertise, build staff capacity, and create the relationships necessary to prosper. In the face of public health and economic crises, local governments are often forced to place innovation and collaboration on the backburner as they address pressing day-to-day concerns. The Academy will provide a space for participants to step back, think strategically about the way community needs are changing, and implement more effective solutions. Equally important, it will offer tailored opportunities for staff from small, medium, and large communities to reimagine their daily work and long-term strategic planning.
The Academy is an initiative of TJCOG's Strategy and Innovation Network, a collaborative group of government employees working on and interested in developing their knowledge of strategy and innovation skills. A task force comprised of network individuals representing the Towns of Hillsborough and Cary, the City of Raleigh, and Wake County has guided the development of the Academy application process and syllabus. 
How to Apply
Spots are first come, first serve. Local government employees must apply or nominate an individual for the Academy by December 10, 2020 through this application form. Individuals must be employed by a Triangle J Council of Governments member government to be eligible; complete member list.