Agility Program

Intergovernmental Cooperation
Gettysburg Borough Seal
Gettysburg Borough Seal

 “…The Agility Program is a great way to receive and offer quicker, better, and less expensive services.” (A local township official)

The Agility Program, conceived and instigated by PennDOT in  1996, is based on a premise of intergovernmental cooperation for public works projects so as to be an asset to all participants. The Borough of Gettysburg quickly recognized the potential financial benefits of such a program and signed on as a partner with Cumberland Township, Straban Township, Mt. Pleasant Township, and Hamiltonban Township, in addition to PennDOT itself. Historically, most of the Borough’s participation has been with the neighboring townships, benefiting all who are involved.

The Agility Program is an innovative approach to conducting business that can greatly enhance efficiencies for PennDOT and  local communities. It is an organizational strategy or a “way of doing business” that enables municipalities to respond quickly to its customers, partners, and continuously changing needs by exchanging services, equipment and staff instead of money. By doing this, Gettysburg makes the most of limited resources; while developing strong and rewarding intermunicipal relationships with other eligible partners.

Possible examples of some benefits of Agility service exchanges as a way of accomplishing needed work might be: offering use of Gettysburg’s street sweeper in exchange for use of a mulcher for Christmas trees, or perhaps the Borough might cut tree limbs and brush along PennDOT’s rights-of-way and in return, the Department might install a pedestrian crosswalk at a dangerous intersection.

Service exchanges should not be confused with “giving away” something. The receiving partner must provide a reasonably equal amount of services. Each party must believe that it makes good business sense for their municipality to be involved in an exchange. The exchange of services is a good deal if: more work gets done quicker, more work gets done within the same timeframe, the exchange allows each municipality to keep cash in its budget for other needed projects, and reliance on outsourcing of labor and equipment is reduced.

The most significant benefit of an Agility partnership is that it enables participants to use public works funds more efficiently and effectively. Other benefits include:

  • Improving response time on fixing road problems
  • Enabling participants to provide smoother and safer roads by reducing the number of outstanding maintenance needs.
  • Completing work that otherwise may not have been done.
  • Strengthening relationships between PennDOT and local governments, as well as among municipalities.
  • Expanding available resources (equipment, services, staff)
  •  Increasing effective use of resources
  •  Providing additional and improved services to the public.
  •  Helping improve response times during emergency situations.

In short, the Agility Program lives up to PennDOT’s description of providing “win-win relationships as the strategic justification for internal and external organizational cooperative ventures”. Financially, and in the use of equipment and manpower, the Borough gains much due to its participation in the program.


Follow these links for additional information from PennDOT’s perspective:

History of the Agility Program

PennDOT’s Guidelines for the Agility Program

Agility Program’s Partner Guide

Doing Business with PennDOT