Henrico wins National Association of Counties awards for 28 programs

Two initiatives recognized Best of Category

Henrico County departments and agencies have earned 28 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), plus two Best of Category honors, for a series of home-maintenance workshops and a firefighter wellness program.

Fairfield District Supervisor Frank J. Thornton will accept the awards July 24 at the 2016 NACo annual conference in Long Beach, Calif. The NACo Achievement Awards Program recognizes groundbreaking programs and initiatives in 21 service categories, including children and youth, county administration and management, libraries, emergency management and response, and human services.

Henrico’s 28 awards, which stemmed from 35 entries, are the most of any county in Virginia for the 11th consecutive year and the sixth most nationally, behind Maricopa County, Ariz.; Los Angeles County, Calif.; San Diego County, Calif.; San Bernardino County, Calif.; and Montgomery County, Md. Each of those counties has 1 million to 10 million residents; Henrico has about 325,000 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

“Henrico County’s departments and employees provide outstanding service for residents and others in the community every single day,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Our continued success in the NACo awards program affirms the strong work ethic and culture of excellence that has long been a hallmark of Henrico government. Our employees are challenged to identify and solve problems, to innovate and to find better ways to meet the needs of our dynamic community.”

The Department of Community Revitalization won an Achievement Award and a Best of Category honor for “Home Maintenance Workshops,” a series of free classes that targeted low-income homeowners and provided money-saving tips for property upkeep. The workshops, held in 2015-16, covered such topics as weatherization, basic plumbing and electrical repairs, patching holes in walls and ceilings, landscaping and yard maintenance, and hiring a contractor. The effort was designed to help homeowners remain in their homes as they age and to decrease the demands on public and nonprofit service providers.

The Department of Human Resources won an Achievement Award and a Best of Category honor for “Fire Fit: An Intensive Focus on Firefighter Wellness.” The program was developed with the Division of Fire to help more firefighters pass an annual evaluation of the physical requirements needed to perform their duties. The number of firefighters who satisfied the benchmark increased 15 percent in 2015, after the wellness program was introduced.

Henrico has earned 576 NACo awards since 1985. The awards in 2016 recognize the efforts of 11 general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). HCPS collected nine awards, while Henrico County Public Library and Human Resources each earned or shared three awards — more than any other Henrico department or agency. Human Resources also earned at least one award for the 30th consecutive year, a feat unmatched by any other human resources agency in the country.

Henrico’s award-winning programs and their submitting agencies are listed below. Detailed descriptions of the programs are available at henrico.us/manager/programs/naco-awards.

  • Home Maintenance Workshops, Department of Community Revitalization
  • Homeowners’ Association Website and Lookup, Community Revitalization
  • Parcel Project & HOPS, County Manager’s Office
  • Trash Time Capsule, Department of Public Utilities (DPU) and Keep Henrico Beautiful (KHB)
  • Social Media Video Education, DPU and KHB
  • Expanding Payment Options for Cash Paying Constituents, Department of Finance
  • Entry-Level Firefighter Hiring Process, Division of Fire
  • Virtual Operations Support Team Program, Fire
  • Energy Saving Projects Initiative, Department of General Services
  • Homegrown Diesel Tech: A Partnership of Schools and Central Automotive Maintenance, Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS)
  • Instructional Technology Website, HCPS
  • ZippSlipping into Libraries, HCPS
  • Parchment: The eTranscript and Credential-Management Solution, HCPS
  • PowerSchool: An Elementary School Parent-Portal Pilot Program, HCPS
  • Teacher Scholars’ Program, HCPS
  • The Locker: Developing a School Intranet, HCPS
  • Using Zippslip to Improve Pupil Transportation and Parent Communication, HCPS
  • Instructional Design Website: Making Instruction Easy for Teachers, HCPS
  • Creating a Living Culture of High Performance, Department of Human Resources (HR)
  • Fire Fit: An Intensive Focus on Firefighter Wellness, HR
  • Summer Camp Staff Orientation: Creating a Culture of Leadership, HR and Division of Recreation and Parks
  • Focus and Function Group Initiative — Breaking Down Barriers, Recreation and Parks
  • 3 Books 4 Me, Henrico County Public Library (HCPL)
  • Literacy and Math Nights at the Library, HCPL
  • SuperHero Science, HCPL
  • The Danray Home, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (MH/DS)
  • Moral Reconation Therapy Group, MH/DS
  • Faith Community Coalition, Police Division