Henrico wins National Association of Counties awards for 28 programs

Two initiatives recognized as Brilliant Ideas at Work

Henrico County departments and agencies have earned 28 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative programs, with two also recognized in the new 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work category.

The County Manager’s Office received an Achievement Award and a 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work honor for an initiative to offer virtual town halls. The effort, led by Board of Supervisors Chairman Patricia S. O’Bannon, of the Tuckahoe District, allows residents to watch and participate in public meetings via a live stream over the internet.

The Henrico County Public Library collected both honors for a program that gives young library patrons an intuitive way to find books of interest. The Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections effort organizes books by subject matter in the children’s section and by emotion and mood in the teen section, reflecting how those young users tend to browse for titles.

Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Frank J. Thornton, of the Fairfield District, is expected to accept the awards July 22-23 at the 2017 NACo annual conference in Columbus, Ohio. The NACo Achievement Awards Program recognizes groundbreaking programs and initiatives in 18 service categories, including children and youth, county administration and management, libraries, risk and emergency management, and human services.

Henrico’s 28 awards, which stemmed from 33 entries, are the most of any county in Virginia for the 12th consecutive year and the seventh most nationally, behind San Diego County, Calif.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; San Bernardino County, Calif.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Los Angeles County, Calif.; and Montgomery County, Md. Those counties have between 1 million and more than 10 million residents; Henrico has about 326,000 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

With two programs recognized in the Brilliant Ideas at Work category, Henrico tied Loudoun County for the most in Virginia.

“Henrico is recognized across the country as a great place to live, and it’s no accident that the county’s general government also stands among the best,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Each day, our employees accept the challenge to do all they can to improve the quality of services to our residents. NACo’s annual awards program gives us a chance to gauge how well we are innovating and adapting to the needs of our dynamic community.”

Henrico has earned 604 NACo awards since 1985. The awards in 2017 recognize the efforts of nine general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). HCPS collected nine awards, while Henrico County Public Library earned four awards — more than any other Henrico department or agency. Human Resources earned at least one award for the 31st 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.

  • Field of Dreams, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Loving: A School’s Behind-the-Scenes Role in a Major Motion Picture, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Springer Preschool Academy: Summer with Friends, Henrico County Public Schools
  • The “One Lunch” Menu: Improved Learning, Collaboration and Community, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Local Government 101: Youth Educational Program, County Manager’s Office
  • The Zika Working Group and Pick-a-Day to Fight-the-Bite Initiative, Department of Public Works
  • Crisis Intervention Team Mentoring Program, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
  • Fire Command Officer Exchange Program, Division of Fire
  • Pre-Sentencing Jail Diversion Program, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
  • Residential Fire Risk Identification, Division of Fire
  • Streamlined Business Tax Non-Filer Resolution Process, Department of Finance
  • The Role of the LPN in Community Education, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Client Art Project — An Initiative of the Health and Wellness Committee, Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services
  • Coding for Success: Web Development and Programming Collaboration, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Digital Citizenship Program, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Schoology, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Students Giving Back: Technology Training and Refurbishment Program, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Virtual Town Halls: Government at Your Fingertips, County Manager’s Office
  • Children’s and Teen Neighborhood Collections, Henrico County Public Library
  • Community Authors Showcase: Library Promotes Local Authors With “Self-Serve” Events, Henrico County Public Library
  • Heritage Wall: A Personal Interaction with Local History, Henrico County Public Library
  • Nature Study: Connecting Families to the Outdoors Through the Public Library, Henrico County Public Library
  • Creating a Culture of Leadership: Public Works Leadership Discussion Group, Department of Public Works
  • Employee Academy: Engaging Employees at All Levels of the Organization, Department of Human Resources
  • Unified Workforce Environmental Awareness Training, Department of Human Resources
  • Continuing, Cooperative and Comprehensive Transportation Report Process Improvements, Department of Planning
  • A Focus on Customer and Employee Safety — Critical Incident Response Program, Police Division
  • Fire Apparatus Diesel Particulate Filter Reprocessing, Division of Fire