June 19, 2019
Contact: Victoria Davis, Public Relations Specialist, Henrico County Public Relations & Media Services, (804) 501-4933, email@example.com
Henrico wins NACo awards for 27 government, school programs
Henrico County’s general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools have earned a combined 27 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative programs and initiatives.
The 27 awards stemmed from 32 entries for 2019 and are the most of any county in Virginia for the 14th consecutive year. Henrico’s total is the seventh most nationally, behind San Bernardino County, Calif.; Los Angeles County, Calif.; San Diego County, Calif.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Montgomery County, Md.; and Maricopa County, Ariz. Those counties have populations between 1 million and 10 million residents; Henrico has about 330,000 residents, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
NACo will present the awards July 14 at its 2019 Annual Conference and Exposition in Clark County, Nev. The 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 outstanding performance in the NACo Achievement Awards program year after year provides another metric that places the county among the finest and best-governed communities in the country,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Every day, our employees are challenged to solve problems through creativity and innovation and to provide excellent customer service to residents and others in the community. The NACo awards show how our workforce is meeting these challenges head on.”
Henrico has earned 655 NACo awards since 1985. The awards in 2019 recognize the work of six general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). HCPS collected 13 awards; Henrico County Public Library, four; Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services and the Division of Fire, three apiece; the Department of Community Revitalization, two; and James River Juvenile Detention Center and the Department of Planning, one apiece.
Henrico’s award-winning programs and their submitting agencies are listed below.
• “Youth Experiencing Healing Through the Arts,” James River Juvenile Detention Center
• “Opiate Jail Diversion,” Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (MH/DS)
• “Reducing Re-hospitalization Rates: Same Place Access,” MH/DS
• “Life Enrichment for those Aging with Developmental Disabilities,” MH/DS
• “Highland Springs Historic District Website,” Community Revitalization
• “Vacant Housing Tracker,” Community Revitalization
• “Caregivers Kits,” Henrico County Public Library (HCPL)
• “Closing the Distance Between Us,” HCPL
• “Music and Memory,” HCPL
• “Sensory Storytime,” HCPL
• “Route 5 Corridor Study Public Engagement Portal,” Planning
• “Basic Life Support Transport Program,” Fire
• “Firefighter Individual Record of Exposures (FIRE) Program,” Fire
• “Fiscal Program Appraisals,” Fire
• “Tech the Halls: Reaching Our Community with a Holiday Event,” Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS)
• “Building Book Nooks, Building Community Literacy,” HCPS
• “3-Es of K-12 Education: Enrolled, Enlisted, and/or Employed,” HCPS
• “A Conference Room Renovation Meets Needs of Students and Their School,” HCPS
• “Driven for Success: A New Kind of Open House,” HCPS
• “Learning Carpentry While Supporting a Local Elementary School,” HCPS
• “Setting the Bar High: CTE Letter-of-Intent Signing Day,” HCPS
• “A Practical Nursing School Collaborates for a Healthier Community,” HCPS
• “Helping First Responders and Visitors Find Their Way,” HCPS
• “Specialty Center Partnership Shares Expertise,” HCPS
• “Partnership with Roofing Professionals Gives Students a Broader Career View,” HCPS
• “Making Peer Socialization a SNAP,” HCPS
• “#TheALEXProject,” HCPS
June 14, 2019
Mark Brickey, Rapid Response Coordinator, Virginia Employment Commission, (804) 393-2137, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Brian K. Davis, Executive Director, Capital Region Workforce Partnership, (804) 652-3220, email@example.com
Job fair set for June 21 following Colortree plant closure
Virginia Career Works-Capital Region and its network of partners will hold a job fair and resource event Friday, June 21 following the closure of the Colortree Group printing plant in Henrico County.
Dozens of local companies have contacted local workforce and economic development agencies in hopes of hiring some of the 240 employees displaced by the plant closure. The job fair is open to all job seekers, not just those formerly employed by Colortree.
The job fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Community College Workforce Alliance’s Workforce Development & Conference Center at Reynolds Community College, 1651 E. Parham Road.
“The fact that our region’s employers are reaching out to recruit these individuals has been very encouraging,” said Brian Davis, executive director of the Capital Region Workforce Partnership. “It’s a testament to our business community and the Richmond region’s business climate, as well as the strength of the relationships within our workforce system.”
Employers interested in registering for the fair are encouraged to contact the Virginia Employment Commission at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 652-3233.
Virginia Career Works-Capital Region assists individuals with unemployment compensation, conducts workshops on résumé writing and interviewing skills, and provides other support for job readiness. It also offers grant-funded training toward certifications in high-demand occupations, helps participants obtain and keep health care, and provides other assistance. For more information, go to vcwcapital.com.
Davis applauded local employers for stepping up to help the displaced workers and other job seekers.
“We are committed to serving our stakeholders on all sides of workforce development issues such as this,” he said. “The ‘supply’ and the ‘demand’ sides of employment both spoke, and we listened.”
June 13, 2019
Contact: Linda McBride Master Gardener,
(804) 672-7433, email@example.com
Henrico County Office of Virginia Cooperative Extension,
Henrico County Master Gardeners to hold butterfly festival and plant sale
Henrico County Master Gardeners will hold a butterfly festival and plant sale from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at Short Pump Park, 3329 Pump Road.
Henrico Master Gardeners will answer questions and lead tours of the park’s Pollinator Garden, which attracts butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, songbirds, bees and other pollinators.
Children’s activities will include crafts, planting seeds, coloring and a caterpillar crawl tunnel.
Master Gardeners will sell plants, including milkweed, parsley, fennel and purple coneflowers, that attract butterflies. Proceeds will support maintenance and expanded programming at the Pollinator Garden. Junior Master Gardeners will sell garden gloves to support their programs.
Master Gardeners are volunteers who act as educators within the community on behalf of the Henrico office of Virginia Cooperative Extension. They receive training in environmental horticulture through programming with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Information about how to become a Master Gardener will be available at the butterfly festival. For more information, go to henrico.us/extension.
June 11, 2019
Contact: Pam Kempf, Marketing Specialist, Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks, (804) 501-5149, firstname.lastname@example.org
Henrico’s Red, White and Lights celebration to return to Dorey Park on July 4, Independence Day event to again feature Richmond Symphony, fireworks
Henrico County will present its annual Red, White and Lights community celebration of Independence Day on Thursday, July 4 at Dorey Park, 2999 Darbytown Road.
The free event, produced by the Division of Recreation and Parks, will begin at 4 p.m. and provide an evening of family entertainment, including a performance by the Richmond Symphony and fireworks with a light-show finale.
Henrico has organized a community celebration for Independence Day each year since 1981. This is the fourth year the county has partnered with the Richmond Symphony for an evening event and the second year that Red, White and Lights will be held at Dorey Park. To help with traffic flow, Henrico is constructing an additional road into the park from Darbytown on the property’s western side. The nearly half-mile road is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The Richmond Symphony will perform at 8 p.m. under The Big Tent, a state-of-the-art mobile stage that allows the orchestra to take its music into communities. As a grand finale, low-level fireworks and a light show will accompany the symphony’s performance.
Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs and to arrive early to enjoy DJ Lonnie B, interactive crowd games and roving entertainment by juggler Jonathan Austin, Miss Sherri the Clown and Uncle Sam on Stilts. A carnival-style family fun zone, with games and inflatables for children and their families, will be open from 6 to 8 p.m. Kelli Lemon, RVA’s “social entrepreneur” and a personality for Radio One Richmond, will serve as emcee for the evening. Food trucks also will be onsite to provide a meal or snack.
In addition to Independence Day, Red, White and Lights will celebrate the 50th anniversaries of Henrico Recreation and Parks and the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan of Virginia Tourism. The event will include an area where attendees can share what they love about Henrico and Virginia, with a special photo opportunity, giveaways and more.
June 8, 2019
Contact: Neil Luther, Director, Henrico County Division of Recreation and Parks, (804) 501-5119, email@example.com
Henrico kicks off construction on cricket field at Deep Run Park
Henrico County held a ground-breaking ceremony today to commemorate the start of construction on a cricket field at Deep Run Park.
Crews started site work this month on a $648,900 project to renovate three existing multipurpose fields to create a cricket field that includes a clay pitch and meets the standards of the International Cricket Council. The playing fields are currently terraced, with each measuring 180 feet by 330 feet.
“Deep Run Park is truly one of the jewels of the Henrico County parks system and a great location for cricket,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Tommy M. Branin, who represents the Three Chopt District, where the park is located. “Cricket is not just a game; it is a community and family event. The idea here is to create a community feel for everyone.”
In addition to regrading the site, the 7-acre project will install a new natural grass surface and an irrigation system. It also will upgrade walkways and paths; install cricket batting cages; provide grassy, banked seating; and include storm water drainage and other improvements. Construction is expected to be finished in September. The new field also will accommodate soccer and other activities. Deep Run is located at 9900 Ridgefield Parkway.
Henrico officials initially discussed constructing a cricket field at Deep Run as projects were being planned for the 2016 bond referendum. Officials ultimately decided to accelerate the project, with the Board of Supervisors awarding a contract for construction in May.
In addition to Deep Run, Henrico has cricket fields at Holladay Elementary School, Dunncroft/Castle Point Park and Capital Park. The field at Holladay is expected to close in September as part of construction to expand the school. The field at Dunncroft/Castle Point is slated to undergo improvements beginning this winter through next June.
June 6, 2019
Contact: Ed Olsen, Associate Extension Agent, Agriculture & Natural Resources/Horticulture, Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension, (804) 501-5160, firstname.lastname@example.org
Henrico Extension opens enrollment for SMART Lawns program
The Henrico County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is accepting enrollments in SMART Lawns, a program that provides customized plans for growing attractive, healthy lawns.
For a $30 fee, Master Gardener volunteers will visit a home, analyze the lawn and prepare a plan for improving its condition, appearance and health. Participants will receive recommendations for fertilizer and lime as well as suggestions for environmentally friendly weed control, mowing and watering practices.
The SMART Lawns program follows the concepts of SMART — Soil test, Measure, Aerate, Right fertilizer and Trouble-free maintenance — which emphasize basic steps for lawn care.
Extension encourages enrollment now to ensure plans will be in place for the fall, which is the most critical season for lawn care. The deadline to sign up is Thursday, Aug. 15. Go to henrico.us/extension/services to download an application or call (804) 501-5160.