As part of the program, Larson earned the International City and County Management Association’s “Government 101” certificate, while interning with Elbert County, learning the day-to-day …
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As part of the program, Larson earned the International City and County Management Association’s “Government 101” certificate, while interning with Elbert County, learning the day-to-day operations of local government.
“I want to take my dedication to having the government do good things and move that over to a local government,” said Larson. “I want to continue in public service, just in a different way.”
During his time with Elbert County, Larson worked on open records and records management, economic development, the hemp permitting ordinance and learned administrative duties of the county. Larson said he saw similarities between his work on policy issues while with the Pentagon, and bureaucratic processes he experienced at Northern Command. He also feels the program made him aware of areas he needed to improve in.
“I learned I need to work on budget, finance and economic development,” said Larson.
Elbert County Manager Sam Albrecht said Larson is the third intern they’ve had come through the program, and both the county and the intern benefit from the program.
“Eric has been working on economic development and finishing up a project on industrial hemp that the intern before started,” said Albrecht. “The nice thing about the military is they are used to jumping in and getting business done. They can walk right in and they’re not opposed to jumping into the middle of a project that someone else has started.”
Larson made a conscious decision to take several weeks off after retiring, and has not yet decided where or what his next job will be. His wife is still active in the military, and he is adjusting to the new title of “military spouse,” and said several transfers are still in his future. He is working on his second master’s degree, in community development, and hopes to eventually work for a small municipality.
“I want to be a city manager, a leader, in a municipality or county,” said Larson. “I think the best way to continue giving back to fellow Americans is through local government.”
The program is part of the Department of Defense Career Skills Program that offers retiring military members up to 180 days to learn new skills or take education and training classes that enhance their ability to be hired in the civilian sector. The program helps with technical skill certifications, including helping military medics get EMT or paramedic certifications, and military mechanics get certifications necessary for civilian employment.
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