Assistant to the County Administrator Jill Jolicoeur said she “fell in love” with local government while pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree at the University of Kansas. “Local government impacts every aspect of the community. It impacts people’s daily life, but often is the least appreciated and recognized.”
Jill grew up in the Kansas City area and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Her first job was working for the late Karen McCarthy, who served as a U.S. Representative for Missouri’s fifth district. Jill then worked for Dennis Moore, who served as a U.S. Representative for Kansas’s third district. “By working in their district offices, I began to really appreciate local government,” she said.
In 2005, Jill earned her MPA degree at KU. She then worked for Johnson County, KS, government for six years as a management and budget analyst. In that position, she supported departments in developing and managing their annual budgets. She also provided consultation and support for the day-to-day programs and services along with capital improvement projects.
In May 2016, she was hired as Douglas County’s first Assistant to the County Administrator to help with special projects. She currently is coordinating the housing efforts for the new behavioral health campus, which will be located near Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, 200 Maine Street, and LMH Health, 325 Maine Street. She is also coordinating a community work group that’s working to help the Lawrence Community Shelter become a sustainable and impactful resource for homeless individuals and families.
She’s also leading the effort to implement a new care coordination platform in Douglas County called MyResource Connection (MyRC). MyRC enables case workers to better serve clients by sharing information and connecting case workers across agency boundaries. So far, 105 case workers have been trained to use MyRC. They are employed with: DCCCA, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Lawrence Community Shelter, LMH Health, Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical, Douglas County Criminal Justice Services and District Courts. Additionally, MyRC serves as a community resource guide for assistance.
Jill serves as coordinator of an entrepreneurship program called Douglas County E-Community. Douglas County works with Network Kansas and community partners, such as the Eudora and Baldwin City Chambers of Commerce, to create and cultivate an entrepreneurial environment in Douglas County. E-Community meets monthly and hosts an annual Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge for junior-high and high-school age students in Douglas County.
Jill describes her job as helping the county administrator and commissioners wherever needed. “I like being in a supportive role, and my happy place is project management. I don’t enjoy being in a decision-maker role,” she said. “The saying, ‘Planners of Change’ fits me to a tee.”
When she’s not working, Jill enjoys spending time with her husband and their children: Sadie, 9, and Henry 4. She also likes to cook, exercise and read.
* Story by Communications Specialist Karrey Britt