The City of Arvada is a proud Partner in Progress for the Arvada Works program. To help launch Career Exploration Week, April 22-28, 2019, members from City of Arvada’s Emerging Leaders Program, Annie Swan, Greg Strong, Derek Nesladek, Shawn Tichota and Ryan Norton, offer an inside perspective at a career in local government.
At first glance, working for a local government may not be the most appealing industry when searching for a career. When comparing counterpart salaries to the public sector, it may deter many job seekers from even applying. However, looking short term and long term, a career in local government can be very lucrative, it just takes some understanding of what municipalities, specifically the City of Arvada, have to offer.
These are the top reasons to choose a career in local government:
Diversity of Jobs: Municipalities have multiple departments that work together to support the organization as well as the community. These connected departments are also referred to as a work system. Because of this, you may be exposed to new opportunities and can transfer skills into different roles or even other departments. What other place of employment can you start as a Police Officer and end up in Human Resources as a Business Partner, or start as a Restaurant Manager and end up in Finance?
Work-Life Balance: Municipalities provide a foundation within the organizations that flexible working encourages a culture which values performance over time spent at work or doing a task. This idea allows employees the time needed to take care of the everyday events that are non-work related. If your son or daughter is a future musician or a three-sport athlete, the balance that municipal government provides allows you the time to not have to miss those important events. Municipal government just gives employees the option to de-stress their professional lives a bit with flexibility, allowing time to deal with other life stressors.
Retirement Benefits: Working for the government, it is common practice to have an alternate retirement outside of Social Security. Working at the City of Arvada, civilian employees participate in a 401a defined contribution plan that serves as a replacement for Social Security. In general, employees contribute 8% of their salary to their retirement, and the City of Arvada contributes 10%. If you are able to combine this with your social security, this can help a lot when reaching retirement age. If you are married, you will need to check on your Social Security spousal benefits eligibility to see how that will also contribute towards your retirement. While considering your social security eligibility, you may also want to think about the requirements for disability benefits too. You can find assistance for this from the likes of Crest SSD so that you will know whether you can successfully qualify or not, so as to avoid disappointment.
The City of Arvada also offers a supplemental 457 deferred compensation option for employees to contribute additional funds to their retirement. The City of Arvada also offers money management opportunities on a regular basis through Fidelity Investments and its associates.
Benefits Package: Careers in local Government can provide robust options for benefits that private sector organizations may not offer to their employees. Some additional benefits that the City of Arvada offers its employees include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Paid leave for vacation(s), holidays, and sick leave which are accrued based on the number of hours employees work and their position (e.g. sworn vs. civilian)
- Medical benefits through UMR via the United Healthcare Choice Plus network
- Free wellness clinics and access to physicians and medical professionals through Paladina Health for city employees and their dependents
- Dental coverage through Delta Dental
- Vision coverage through VSP Choice Network
- Life and Long Term Disability insurance through The Hartford Life Insurance Company
- Tuition reimbursement of up to $2,000 per employee per year on job-related classes
- Employee training and development for certifications related to career advancement
- Required safety equipment and/or uniforms (and cleaning) provided by the City of Arvada
- Free access to fitness centers and workout equipment for all city employees
- Discounts on annual passes at Apex Parks and Recreation facilities
- Discounts on events, performances, and classes at the Arvada Center
For more information regarding additional benefits, please refer to the City of Arvada Employee Benefits brochure.
Serving the Community is Meaningful Work: Government jobs can be rewarding in many aspects. Working for a local government means that you are supporting your community. Many employees live and work in the same town. This gives you an opportunity to engage with your neighbors and build relationships within your community as well as within the workforce. We are the backbone of our community and we provide a lot of services that are essential to the success of our municipality.
Job Security: Local governments are generally very well established and sturdy organizations to work for. Most governments have been in operation for several generations and have endured many recessions. Municipalities understand the importance of retaining employees and building a strong workforce that will help them maintain a high level of service. Municipalities invest in their workforce with several opportunities for education as well as opportunities to grow and promote within the organization. The City of Arvada has many career models that allow for advancement based on years of experience and certifications.
Ready to improve our local talent pipeline? The Arvada Works program relies on the varied contributions of our community employers, educators and partners. If you’re interested in helping us close the skills gap in Arvada, there are many ways for you to get involved today! Click here to learn more about the program, sign up to receive updates, and discover how you can help make impact.