The 2013 City Manager’s Award – The Toronto Urban Fellows Program

The 2013 City Manager’s Award – The Toronto Urban Fellows Program

Male: I definitely recommend the Urban Fellows
Program to other people. Louise Gorby: I first became involved with
the program in 2009, about a month after Joe Pennachetti said to his senior management
team that within one or two years he would like to see a program which brings in early
career professionals to the organization in order to revitalize the Toronto Public Service.
We’re able to attract global talent, and we bring them in for two six month rotations.
Adam Popper: I really feel so lucky to be part of this program just because of the learning
opportunities that it afforded for me and the exposure to two different work environments,
two different types of projects, and a strong network of colleagues that I was able to start
at the city with. Louise Gorby: Many Urban Fellows are attracted
to the organization and the program itself because it gives them an opportunity to have
a closer relationship to the customer. And they say that with other orders of government,
they’re not able to do that. Elaine Baxter-Trahair: The Children’s Services
Division has been a huge supporter of the program since its inception. We have a small
amount of funds in our budget which we earmark every year so that we can benefit from the
tremendous skills of these young professionals. Louise Gorgy: Urban Fellows are recruited
for their ability to think creatively and laterally, and I think this is their value.
Christine Chun: In our office we’ve had Urban Fellows since the inception of the programs.
I’ve been a project guide for all of those Urban Fellows, and I think the program is
just incredibly invaluable for the city. The main reason why I think that is just the level
and the calibre of the Urban Fellows that we’ve had at the city.
Elaine Baxter-Trahair: We try to pick initiatives that are cross divisional, are intergovernmental
to really maximize the exposure that our fellows get to opportunities within the public sector.
Adam Popper: You’ll be working on a project and you have Urban Fellows who come from recent
master’s or PhD, fresh ideas, you know, cutting edge research, you mix those people
with people who have deep operational knowledge, you get a much stronger project.
Louise Gorby: I’m very proud of the program. I think the fellows that we bring in are stellar.
They’re full of energy, full of enthusiasm. They’re very, very smart. They love their
work. And they want to make a difference.

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