ICMA Economic Mobility and Opportunity Cohort

ICMA's Economic Mobility and Opportunity (EMO) Initiative will host several sessions at the ICMA Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Join us for free training from experts on economic mobility issues and to hear how local governments participating in ICMA's EMO cohort are working to boost upward mobility of their own residents. 

Heading to Austin? Earmark these sessions in your schedule for a chance to learn and network with others interested in ensuring all residents of their communities have a chance to thrive. Workshops will include refreshments and all space is first come, first served. 

For more information on ICMA's EMO initiative, visit the website


Affordable, Climate-Friendly Housing as a Pathway for Economic Mobility (Free Breakfast Workshop)

October 2, 7:45-9:45 a.m. CT, Austin Convention Center, Meeting Room 4

This workshop will equip participants with an understanding of potentially untapped solutions to address the vexing challenge of a lack of affordable housing, the disproportionate climate burden borne by low-income communities and residents of affordable housing, and how to capitalize on resources and opportunities made available through the Inflation Reduction Act by leveraging new and unexpected partners. Topics will include the state of affordable housing in the United States; the full array of direct and indirect housing costs and how they impact households’ economic well-being; best practices in climate-friendly affordable housing; and Inflation Reduction Act opportunities that can bolster affordable housing and increase resilience of existing housing stock. Learn what you can do as a municipal or county manager to advance local policies, partnerships, education and outreach efforts, and more that support safe, stable, affordable housing for your residents.

Fuel up for the morning as you dig into some urgent, intersectional issues—and opportunities—facing your community. The workshop and breakfast are supported by ICMA’s Economic Mobility and Opportunity initiative and space is first come, first served.

Local Government Leadership for Economic Mobility

October 2, 2:45-3:45 p.m. CT, Austin Convention Center, Meeting Room 15

ICMA’s Economic Mobility and Opportunity Cohort includes teams from 10 diverse local governments across the United States—small and large, urban and rural, cities and counties—working on local challenges related to housing, job opportunities and business development, reaching vulnerable populations, ensuring support for working families, and more.

In this session, members of the cohort will share stories about what motivated their local efforts and actions taken over the past several months to understand and dismantle barriers to upward mobility. They’ll highlight where it was necessary to reimagine approaches based on data and resident perspectives, as well as catalytic community partnerships that helped diffuse responsibilities and build momentum.

Join this session for inspiration from ICMA members about outreach, research, and programmatic approaches your community can emulate in fostering increased economic mobility and opportunities for your residents.

Boosting Upward Mobility Workshop

October 3, 3-5 p.m., Austin Convention Center, Meeting Room 4

Everyone deserves the chance to improve their lives: to move up and out of poverty, be valued and feel they belong, and have the power and autonomy to shape the decisions that affect their future. But people striving to achieve upward mobility face a web of interconnected barriers that often impede or undermine their best efforts. For most people experiencing poverty in the United States today, opportunities to achieve greater economic success, power, autonomy, and dignity are blocked by long-standing structural barriers, not by a failure of individual effort.

Local government managers are uniquely positioned to implement policies, facilitate partnerships, and effect conditions that break down these barriers and promote overall well-being and upward mobility for their residents. Bringing about systemic change to boost upward mobility is no simple task, and large-scale change cannot be made by government alone. But counties and cities have powerful data, policy levers, and capacity that can catalyze this change.

This training, grounded in research and tested with local governments, will help you better understand impediments to upward mobility and identify some initial steps your local government can take to plan, advocate for, and implement a set of systems changes focused on bringing all members of your community out of poverty and creating more equitable results. This free training is led by staff from the Urban Institute’s Boosting Upward Mobility Initiative. Refreshments will be served. 


New, Reduced Membership Dues

A new, reduced dues rate is available for CAOs/ACAOs, along with additional discounts for those in smaller communities, has been implemented. Learn more and be sure to join or renew today!