By Aila Boyd
Jim Farmer, the director of Botetourt County’s Department of Recreation and Facilities, was recognized by the Board of Supervisors during its monthly meeting this past Tuesday for completing the Graduate Certificate in Local Government Management at Virginia Tech.
“It will make me a better co-worker and make me work better across this entire organization,” Farmer said of the program. He explained that it “connected a lot of dots” by giving him insight into aspects of local government that he otherwise wouldn’t have been very knowledgeable about.
He started the program in January of 2018 and just recently completed the four required master’s level courses for the certificate. The program consists of the following courses: Local Government and the Professional Manager, Advanced Topics in Public Management: Human Resource, Financial, and Performance Management for Local Government Managers, Advanced Topics in Public Organizations: The Context of Local Government Management in Virginia, and Local Government Economic Development Planning.
The courses are taught by current and former county administrators and city managers and gives students an understanding of the responsibilities and requirements associated with being a municipal executive.
“Thank you to the board for supporting the employees to further their training,” Farmer said. He added that he hopes his experience in the program will help the county.
County Administrator Gary Larrowe explained that the county has been supportive of the program since its inception. He noted that Botetourt County had two employees in the inaugural class. Since then, a handful of other county employees have participated in the certificate program.
“Jim continues the tradition of building up leaders in our profession. It makes Botetourt a better place,” Larrowe said.
He went on to say that the county is thankful of the job that he does in his current position.
“He does a fabulous job there,” Larrowe said of Farmer’s work in the Department of Recreation and Facilities.
Botetourt County Board of Supervisors Chairman Billy Martin said, “I would like to say congratulations. We appreciate the hard work you’re doing. It’s good to see our employees that want to keep doing better progress and get promoted.”