Partners and Responsibilities

It is essential that all of your partners have clearly defined roles and responsibilities before designing and launching the Pipeline!

A successful Pipeline requires two key partners: a local government and a local university. Your pipeline might have other partners, such as unions to provide civil service preparation or local organizations to provide training and programming. In either case, all of the partners need to understand how they contribute to the success of this program.

Local Government

Role: Program Operator

One partner ultimately has to be responsible for the operations of the program. Since local government will be doing the hiring in this model, we recommend that government has ownership of program management for the Pipeline. The Pipeline is still a partnership, though, and government will need to work very closely with the university partner.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Program Design and Management:
    • Determing the budget for the program
    • Creating a workplan that leads to the launch of a pilot
    • Managing the contributions of each partner
    • Updating all stakeholders on progress

  • Placement Recruitment:
    • Conducting the workforce analysis to assess departmental needs
    • Drafting descriptions of the program's career pathways
    • Educating department staff about the program
    • Developing program placements at departments

  • Participant Hiring:
    • Identifying the mechanism for hiring the participants
    • Proposing any rule changes to a civil service commission
    • Developing and posting job descriptions
    • Selecting, hiring, and onboarding the participants

Local Public University

Role: Recruitment and Training Provider

Where the local government partner brings program management and insight into its own operations, the public university is the expert on its students and their needs. The university needs to weigh in on most of the program design components, with a particular focus on student recruitment and the pre-placement training.

You may also decide that the public unversity partner should be in charge of program management, whether from a budget or sustainability point of view, which is also a fine decision! However, an external program manager may not have the same internal political power to ensure that departments fully participate in the program.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Program Design:
    • Conducting the student analysis
    • Designing the pre-placement training
    • Generally partnering on the design of the pipeline

  • Student Recruitment:
    • Developing dynamic recruitment materials
    • Reaching out to department heads, career centers, student clubs, and faculty to amplify the recruitment

  • Training Delivery:
    • Running the pre-placement training for participants
    • Running the ongoing training for participants

Other Potential Partners


Role: Civil Service Preparation

Unions may or may not play a big role in your city. If they do, consider engaging the union as a partner in educating the participants on the civil service process and preparing them to take civil service exams.

Companies and Non-Profit Organizations

Role: Training Provider

The pipeline program is a great opportunity to engage other stakeholders in your city! Consider having companies, non-profits, and other groups offer training or programming for the participants throughout their program.

Case Study: New York City

We engaged a large number of partners to get New York City's pipeline up and running.

The Mayor's Office led project management through the program design phase, in order to make sure that this project was prioritized and to bolster the capacity of the government and university partners. The Mayor's Office's affiliated non-profit also raised private funding to support the development of the pilot.

CUNY's main role in the pipeline was to recruit students and provide supplemental programming throughout the program, but not the training itself.

The NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services delivered training to the participants, drawing on the agency's deep library of existing training courses.

Finally, District Council 37 (DC37), the largest municipal union, was engaged early on in the process to get the union's buy-in and to work closely with the partners on preparing the participants to take civil service exams.