Twice each year, the Massachusetts Human Resources association offers a six-day Supervisory Leadership Development Program for local government managers and employees.

The interactive learning opportunity is for municipal employees to develop and refine the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for effective supervision while also sharing their own knowledge and experience.

This spring (2021), the MMHR Supervisory Leadership Development Program will be offered in a virtual format in order to ensure the safety of participants and staff during the ongoing COVID-19 emergency. The course will be offered as six two-hour sessions conducted via Zoom on Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26 and Apr. 9, 16. All sessions will be held from 9-11 a.m., with an optional bonus hour at the end of the final session for additional Q&A.

• Online registration for the spring 2021 SLDP session will open early January.

The program represents a collaboration of the MMHR, the Collins Center for Public Management at UMass Boston, and the Department of Workplace Learning and Development at UMass Amherst. The class-style program is open to any municipal staff or manager interested in developing or strengthening his or her management or supervisory skills. It is applicable to many municipal departments, such as administration, conservation, facilities, finance, human resources, public safety and public works.

The course will focus on managing self, managing others, managing the work, and managing the system. Specifically, it will cover:

• communication
• respectful workplace practices
• organization
• delegation
• coaching and performance management
• labor relations
• supervising in a unionized environment

Please note, each session will include independent prep work.

SLDP is designed for current municipal supervisors and managers who want to grow and/or hone their management and supervisory skills who are currently supervising at least one employee or moving into a supervisory role in the next three months. It is designed for participants to engage in hands-on-learning (i.e., small and large group discussions, interactive learning activities.)

“The MMHR program developed with UMass has been a progressive training program for municipal employees that is unique in Massachusetts,” said Vanessa Hale, assistant town manager in Southborough and vice chair of the MMHR. “The coursework is built on managing public sector employees, working with elected officials, navigating the labor relations process, developing a cohesive team, and building an efficient municipal organization – in a finely tuned syllabus that does not exist in any graduate program. Being able to bring municipal employees together with their peers, whether they are new to local government or have recently been promoted, is a bonus that every participant has raved about.”

The class can accommodate up to 26 students, and the cost is $825. The registration deadline is Feb. 16. Payment is due to MMHR, One Winthrop Square, Boston, MA 02110. Refunds will be issued only upon written request for all cancellations received by Feb. 9. After this date you will be obligated to pay, regardless of attendance.

The application process is first-come, first-served, but participants will be vetted. If you have questions about the registration process, contact Isabelle Nichols at

We will be mailing course materials to all participants prior to the start of the first class. When registering, if you would like your materials to mailed somewhere other than your work address, please send your mailing address to: Margaret Arsenault,

Upon registering, you will receive an automated confirmation email. This email will not contain the Zoom access information. You will receive Zoom access information directly from the UMass trainers for this program. If you are registering someone other than yourself for this event, please provide that individual’s email address when completing the form.

Cancellation policy: Refunds will be issued upon written request for all cancellations received by Feb. 9. After this date you will be obligated to pay, regardless of attendance.