FAQ


1. What are the requirements for application?

Applicants must have received a Masters Degree in Public Administration, Public Policy or related field by the start date of the program (July). A bachelor’s degree and work experience does not qualify and proof of a Masters degree will be required prior to starting employment.


2. Is the Management Assistant Program an internship?

No, this program is not an internship. This program is a nationally recognized municipal management program that offers an intense and fulfilling paid one-year apprenticeship at the City of Long Beach.


3. What makes Long Beach's Management Assistant Program unique?

The City of Long Beach Management Assistant Program is a nationally recognized municipal management development program designed to attract, develop and retain innovative local government practitioners. Established in 1980, this program is the oldest municipal management development program in California with over 80 graduates. This program not only provides experience in multiple City departments, Management Assistants are considered key members of the City management team and are given assignments in critical areas that develop report writing, research, presentation and analytical skills to prepare them for a successful career in city management.


4. Is the program's start date negotiable?

Generally not, as the Management Assistant orientation begins in late June. However, on occasion some Management Assistants have extenuating circumstances that have led to a different start date. Conflicts with start dates should be disclosed before the conclusion of the Assessment Center.


5. How many Management Assistant positions are available?

In the past, the program has selected between one and four candidates annually.  Depending on our fiscal stability, the City Manager makes this determination annually.


6. How many applications do you receive each year for the Management Assistant program?

The City of Long Beach recruits nationally for the Management Assistant Program. Generally, the City recieves an average of 150 applications each year.


7. Do you accept applications from candidates who are not U.S. citizens?

Yes. The City of Long Beach is an equal opportunity employer and accepts all applications if they are postmarked by the due date and meet all other criteria stated in the brochure. However, since the program is only one-year long, the City has not provided sponsorship of resident alien work permits.


8. What are the application materials used for?

The application materials are extremely important. Applicants are judged on a variety of factors, including academic background, job experience, career goals and potential for excellence. The City's review panels use this information to select 8-10 top candidates to be invited to Long Beach for the Assessment Center. After the application materials are received, it takes about a month to review all of the applications. A committee reviews all the applications and narrows the field of potential candidates down to the top candidates and these top candidates are invited to Long Beach to participate in the final selection process, which consists of an overview and tour of the City and a day-long Assessment Center. Final candidate selections are made the day of the Assessment Center and job offers are made to the selected candidates at the end of the day.


9. What is an Assessment Center?

An Assessment Center is an evaluation approach and is a formal process that includes multiple exercises designed to assess an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities. The City of Long Beach uses an Assessment Center as the last step in the process to select each year’s Management Assistants. Skills that may be assessed during the City’s Assessment Center include budgeting, communication and writing, interpersonal skills and presentation skills.


10. Do you only hire Management Assistants from California?

No. Management Assistants have come from all over the United States. In recent years, Management Assistants have been hired from Arizona, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and California.


11. Do you only hire Management Assistants from California schools?

No. Management Assistants have come from many different graduate programs including California State University Fullerton, California State University Long Beach, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell, Harvard, NYU, Princeton, San Diego State, Seattle University, Southwest Texas State, Syracuse, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Arizona, University of Kansas, University of Michigan, University of Texas-El Paso, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USC, Washington University and Wichita State.


12. Do Management Assistants get to select their placements?

Not directly. Management Assistants will have one obligatory rotation each in the City Manager's Office and the Department of Financial Management. The other two rotations will be in areas where the City Manager has identified critical projects that the Management Assistant can help support while meeting the interests of the program participants.


13. What City Departments have hosted Management Assistants?

In the past, Management Assistants have had rotations with the Department of Development Services, Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine, Department of Gas & Oil, Department of Financial Management, the City Manager's Office, and the Human Resources Department.  Other department rotations have included the Airport, Department of Library Services, Department of Technology Services, Department of Public Works, Harbor Department and the Police Department.


14. What types of work do Management Assistants perform?

Each department rotation is unique and host departments involve Management Assistants in a range of projects and processes, from budget development and analysis to optimization projects and City-wide strategic initiatives. For example, the Management Assistant assigned to a rotation in the Department of Development Services may work on optimizing the permit process, whereas the Management Assistant assigned to the Department of Health & Human Services may work on coordinating bioterrorism efforts across the City. Another Management Assistant assigned to the City Manager’s Office may work on an implementation plan for the City-wide performance management initiative, whereas another Management Assistant assigned to the Department of Public Works may work on optimizing the City’s towing operations.


15. What is a typical day for a Management Assistant?

On a daily basis Management Assistants are asked to perform a variety of tasks. These may include attending meetings with staff at multiple levels of the organization, analyzing current City policies and procedures, writing memos to managers and supervisors, making recommendations, preparing council correspondence, researching best practices and other background material, coordinating meetings, preparing and making presentations, working with consultants, preparing Request for Proposals (RFP), attending community meetings, conducting site visits, or attending City Council meetings.


16. Do Management Assistants receive special training?

Yes. Management Assistants receive a two-week orientation at the start of the program to meet department directors and key staff members, learn the operations of each department and discuss the challenges and opportunities involved in a large municipal organization. The 2013-2014 orientation included a police ride along, tours of the City’s oil islands, water treatment facility and SERRF recycling plant. Management Assistants are exposed to training opportunities like the budget and purchasing system, the permit system, and other City-wide technology systems as well as City-wide training on Sexual Harassment and Ergonomics. Additionally, Management Assistants have the opportunity to participate in leadership training and attend professional conferences such as those held by the ICMA, League of California Cities and Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC).


17. What happens to Management Assistants after the program is completed?

The City does not guarantee a job at the conclusion of the program. Management Assistants who successfully complete the one-year program, however, are well prepared to compete for professional positions within the City of Long Beach, and are therefore encouraged to apply for professional Administrative Analyst (the highest classified professional position) or other job openings that they might be interested in and qualify for through the Civil Service process. Successful Management Assistants are highly recruited by City Departments to fill available City jobs.


18. How many former Management Assistants are still working for the City and what positions do they hold?

More than eighteen (18) former Management Assistants currently work for the City of Long Beach. These graduates have held many key positions in the City including Deputy City Manager, Director of Human Resources, Director of Development Services, Director of Government Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, Assistant to the City Manager, Assistant to the Director of Public Works, Leasing Officer, Budget Officer, Project Development Manager, Manager of Planning and Conservation, Community Development Analyst, and Administrative Analyst.


19. What is the annual salary of a Management Assistant?

The 2015-2016 annual salary for the Management Assistant Program will be approximately $53,900. The exact salary is subject to the FY 2016 budget approval process. All Management Assistants earn the same rate of pay during the program year. The salary is non-negotiable.


20. What benefits are Management Assistants eligible to receive?

Management Assistants are considered full-time employees and receive a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and life insurance for employees and dependents; membership in the State of California Public Employees Retirement System (PERS); personal holiday leave, sick leave, management executive leave and vacation (accumulated after one year of service).


21. Does the City pay for Management Assistant relocation and/or housing expenses?

No. Management Assistants are responsible for their own relocation and housing expenses. Relocation and housing expenses are not negotiable.