Local Finance Commonwealth Fellowship Program

An innovative new program developing the next generation of municipal finance professionals

The Local Finance Commonwealth Fellowship is an internship program available to students currently in good standing at Massachusetts community colleges. Thirty participants will serve as paid fellows and gain an understanding of general concepts and practices related to municipal finance. The Fellowship provides career preparation — via a training program managed by the Division of Local Services (DLS) and supported by both the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association and the Massachusetts Municipal Auditors’ and Accountants’ Association — and a work-based learning experience via local government partnerships with host cities and towns across Massachusetts.

Challenges in local government

Municipal finance offices face workforce skills, recruitment and hiring challenges due to retirements, competitive labor markets, and a lack of candidates with specialized knowledge. To address the urgent need for qualified municipal finance officials, a task force was convened in 2017 to find solutions to these challenges. New strategies like the Local Finance Commonwealth Fellowship program and a continued strong partnership between the state and cities and towns will help attract and train a qualified, diverse workforce for a rewarding local government finance career.

Program benefits

Fellows will receive:

  • Career Preparation: Immersive Municipal Finance online training seminars, presented by subject matter experts from DLS, municipalities and professional associations, totaling 160 total hours of programming spread over 4 weeks (9 am-5 pm M-F). Fellows will receive a paid stipend ($25 per hour).
  • Work-Based Learning Experience: Paid internship ($25 per hour) on-site at a city/town hall. Full time for the months of July and August.

What will I learn?

Fellows will work with both state and local professionals who will share their knowledge and experience across a wide range of topics including:

  • Proposition 2 ½
  • public budgeting
  • municipal accounting
  • tax issuance and collections
  • debt management/cash management
  • data trends and forecasting
  • property taxes and assessment
  • policy development and implementation

Seminars will take place in June 2024, and internship placements will occur during July and August 2024.

Visit DLS' Municipal Finance Training & Resource Center for more on these and other topics.

Program qualifications

An ideal candidate for this Fellowship will be enrolled in an Associate Degree program in Accounting, Economics, or Business Administration. Students who have taken accounting, economics, statistics, management, computer application (Excel, Word, PowerPoint) and finance courses are highly encouraged to apply. Candidates should have an interest in public service and strong mathematic, organization, written and verbal skills.

How to apply

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with reviews beginning on December 22, 2023.

Students may apply by clicking here: https://webportalapp.com/appform/login/fellowship2024

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