County officials today operate in a complex, ever-changing environment. Effective governance depends on constantly monitoring this environment and learning new ways to meet these challenges. Education is an important tool local officials have in making decisions about policy and delivery of constituent services.
The Certified County Officials program (CCO) was developed by the Illinois Association of County Board Members and Commissioners (IACBMC) in collaborative partnership with the University of Illinois Extension. More than 300 local officials are active participants in this educational programming series
“I believe the requirement that County Officials maintain and expand upon their knowledge is very important. Keeping current with their field provides officials with the ability to plan and react in today’s world. The Certified County Official Program gives an avenue to obtain this information and comply with statutory obligations. The designation also can give a Citizen confidence that the Elected Official asking for their support has invested the time and effort to learn more about the office to do a better job for them,” comments a recent CCO program participant
“Today’s county government officials should possess a broad array of skills to lead effectively,” says Dr. Ryan Hobson, U of I Extension Interim Program Leader – Community and Economic Development. “The Certified County Officials Program is designed to strengthen the leadership capacity of county officials by providing core educational and professional development opportunities.”
Participating county officials take classes covering topics such as financial management, risk management, the Open Meeting Act, land use, ethics, emergency preparedness, and economic development. The classes are offered throughout the year in a variety of venues, including teleconferences and on-site meetings.
To learn more about the CCO Program, please contact a Community and Economic Development Educator in your area.