Begun in 1970, the annual National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Achievement Award Program is a non-competitive awards program which seeks to recognize innovative county government programs called County Model Programs. Created as a part of NACo’s New County, USA Campaign, the Achievement Award Program continues to embody the grassroots and local government energy the program was designed to promote. The main emphasis of the New County, USA campaign was to modernize and streamline county government and to increase its services to its citizens, goals that are still the main emphasis of the Achievement Award Program today.

County governments across the country, working alone and in cooperation with other governments at the municipal, state and national levels, continue to develop innovative and successful programs in a wide range of service areas, including arts and historic preservation, children and youth, community and economic development, corrections, county administration, emergency management, environmental protection, health, human services, libraries, parks and recreation, transportation, volunteers and much more. The Achievement Awards Program gives national recognition to county accomplishments, and has enabled NACo to build a storehouse of county success stories that can be passed on to other counties.

This year, Henrico County is proud to note that six of its agencies have been recognized by NACo with eleven Achievement Awards.


List of Award Winners

 

 

 

 


Business, Professional, Occupational License Tax Reforms

Beginning in 1996, Henrico County’s business, professional and occupational license (BPOL) tax structure was drastically reformed in order to create a more favorable economic climate. A five year plan was devised to reduce the overall tax burden on our corporate citizens and simplify the filing and payment requirements associated with the program. Both of these initiatives have been widely hailed by our business community as an innovative approach to making the BPOL tax more equitable while simultaneously enhancing our prospects for future economic growth.

Agency: Department of Finance

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MH/MR Services Central Virginia Foodbank Work Training Experience

 

A cooperative project between Henrico MH/MR Services, the Central Virginia Food Bank and the Department of Rehabilitative Services provides a work experience / training program in the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen. This opportunity allows persons with either mental retardation or mental illness to participate in an eight-week work training program to prepare them for a job in a local restaurant. The program provides an opportunity for participants to work beyond the traditional entry-level jobs and includes safe food handling, how to get along with coworkers and respond to supervisors.

Agency:Henrico Area Mental Health and Retardation Services

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Radford Program

The Radford Program is an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility specifically designed to meet the needs of the adult criminal justice population. The treatment program consists of several phases or options with a wide range of available services. These, along with a change in location, closer partnering with referral sources and faster turnaround time, has resulted in a sharp increase in “show rates,” consumers who are much more focused and benefits to them that cannot be provided by traditional therapies.

Agency: Henrico Area Mental Health and Retardation Services

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Matching Employee Career Interests with County Jobs

In an effort to enhance its Career Enrichment Program, Henrico County has developed a process to match employee career interests with County job classifications. As a result, employees have been able to explore jobs that match their specific career interests. The program’s advisors work with the employees to identify gaps in skills and experiences and job requirements. They then work together to develop strategies to either enhance their current jobs or to be competitive candidates for jobs in their areas of interest. Note: This program was also recognized with a “Best of Category” award in the Personnel Management, Employee Training and Benefits category. It was one of only fifteen such awards conferred by NACo.

Agency: Department of Human Resources

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Customer Service Certification Program

As Henrico becomes more competitive in its efforts to attract companies, families and individuals, it needs to be first in customer service. The Customer Service Certification Program is designed to create a workforce whose main focus is excellence in customer service. Participants are required to take fifty hours of training in the areas of customer orientation, problem solving and analysis, leadership, external awareness, technology, interpersonal skills and self-management. Participants also do a supervisory-approved independent study. The purpose of this requirement is to demonstrate a practical application of the learning that has taken place.

Agency: Department of Human Resources

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Connect at the Library

The Library worked with Henrico’s Mental Health and Retardation Services’ CONNECT Program to encourage reading and introduce children enrolled in the program to the Library and its services. CONNECT is an after-school, community-based program that provides prevention services to youth in grades K through 8 and their families. CONNECT centers are located in subsidized housing communities with high numbers of juvenile arrests and related problems. Efforts included the Bookmobile involving children in the Summer Reading Program, library visits, Internet experience and registering children for library cards.

Agency: Henrico County Public Library

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Linking Global Residents to Global Library Resources

To become settled in the County, locate housing, enroll their children in local schools, become familiar with the English language and secure employment, new immigrants must draw on many resources. The Henrico Public Library has used a combination of traditional methods and electronic services to assist immigrants. These have included orientation tours, classes on the Internet and electronic resources, personal assistance with the Library’s catalog, email accounts, Internet access and searching. Library materials in print, video and audio that target language and life skills have been purchased.

Agency: Henrico County Public Library

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Saving Henrico’s Past – A Historic Preservation Awareness Video

 

Saving Henrico’s Past is a video designed to promote the rich heritage of the County and raise public awareness of the historic preservation efforts of both the County and the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee. The project was a collaborative effort between the Division of Recreation and Parks and the Henrico Public Schools. The video focuses on five main elements of historic preservation: identification, interpretation, protection, rehabilitation and preservation. The video is beneficial for residents new to the County as well as those who have lived here for many years.

Agency: Division of Recreation and Parks

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The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen

 

 

Glen Allen School, built in 1911, was preserved and renovated to form the Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen, a state-of-the-art cultural arts center. This 50,300 square foot facility opened in March 1999 and offers a diverse schedule of programs in performing, visual and literary arts. The Center is operated as a public-private partnership between the County and the Cultural Arts Center Foundation. Over 47,500 individuals have either attended or participated in events at the Center since its opening, a reflection of community interest and the great need for a regional arts facility.

Agency: Division of Recreation and Parks

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Truancy Initiative

School personnel, working with Henrico Police, launched a truancy initiative during the 1998-99 school year. The initiative involved a series of internal sweeps by Police “rounding up” students who were truant from school. Schools are contacted and the students, as appropriate, are taken by parents back to their assigned schools and meet with an administrator. Follow-up services are provided by the school social worker, a counselor and an administrator. Subsequent to actual sweeps, word spread rapidly throughout the schools and the community. Compared to the first, subsequent sweeps resulted in a 65 percent reduction in the number of truants picked up.

 

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools

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Donated Cars Program

The program is an innovative partnership between the Richmond Community Action program (RCAP) and Henrico County Regional Jail Educational Services automotive technology inmate students. The inmate students utilize high technology equipment and professionally certified training to repair used vehicles donated to RCAP, a non-profit community organization. To date, the inmate students have successfully repaired 29 automobiles and saved RCAP thousands of dollars in labor and parts. The repaired vehicles are put in operating condition for qualified Social Services client-buyers. Inmate students get excellent training and a realistic hands-on experience working on a wide variety of problematic vehicles, preparing them for future opportunities in a high-demand field.

Agency:Henrico County Public Schools

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Visit the National Association of Counties’ Web site