Henrico County has received 20 Achievement awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo), more than any other Virginia locality this year. The awards were presented at the 2012 NACo annual conference, held July 13 – 17 in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Visit the National Association of Counties’ Web site

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.


2012 Award Winners


Historical County Data Book

The Historical County Data Book is a new, cumulative collection of historical data representing statistics from as far back as 1790 through present day in Henrico County. This is a first-ever compilation of historical Henrico County data brought together in one location. County departments and State agencies contributed historical information which evolved into an arrangement of eight categorical sections consisting of 48 tables of meaningful facts that include footnotes and references. The Data Book is available on the main county website to be easily accessed by county residents and the general public, and will be updated each calendar year.

The Data Book was created from the request by the 2011 Commemoration Advisory Commission, due to the county’s upcoming 400th anniversary in 2011, which sought to collect historical information back to 1611 when the Henrico Shire was originally formed. Since 1611, 13 counties and cities were formed out of the Henrico Shire and now neighbor Henrico County to our south and west. The Historical County Data Book will be a legacy known for its informative and educational content for many years to come.

Agency: County Manager’s Office


Sustaining Civic Education Throughout A 400th Anniversary Commemoration

2011 marked the 400th anniversary of Henrico County, Virginia, the second English settlement in the New World. The Board of Supervisors appointed a 2011 Commemoration Advisory Commission to plan and implement a significant historical program to celebrate 400 years. The Commission with County staff assistance, created a multi-faceted program that focused on civic education, public information, partnerships, historic research, and tourism. They developed a Strategic Public Relations & Marketing Plan, a Tourist Information Center, a 400th Website, twelve “hosted” events that set record- breaking attendance, three bus tours, exhibits, and a “2011 Room.” The Henrico County Public Schools created an Explorers’ Passport program, compiled 69 school histories, produced a School History DVD, and involved students in reading Henrico native, David Baldacci’s books for the “All Henrico Reads” event. The program successfully sustained citizen and business involvement for 16 months and the components of the program could be a checklist for communities planning anniversary programs.

Agency: County Manager’s Office


iBusiness System

Misallocation of local sales and use tax revenue has been an ongoing problem within Virginia. The tax is administered by the state, but a portion of the revenue is allocated to the locality where the sale was made or the product was delivered. It is likely that misallocations will continue unless changes are made to the filing requirements.

Henrico has been aggressive in identifying and correcting errors. A new position was created with the sole responsibility of auditing sales and use tax. The audit processes, however, were completed manually and a major change in the state tax system to which localities have access made their completion even more cumbersome.
To improve the auditing function, Henrico created a new system, iBusiness. It has greatly improved the efficiency of the Sales and Use Tax Audit Program by automating nearly all of the manual processes and by capturing and utilizing more relevant data. iBusiness also has the capability to track taxes within a specific area or for a certain event.

Audit measures after the creation of iBusiness show that the process is much more efficient resulting in an increase in total revenue from corrections as well as a higher average correction per account.

Agency: Department of Finance


Henrico Advantage Card

Communities throughout the country encourage local citizens to use their money to support local businesses. One innovative way Henrico County has sought to ensure local dollars are spent in the county is through the Henrico Advantage Card program. This initiative was established by county officials, area businesses and industry associations, including the Eastern Henrico Business Association, Henrico Business Leaders and Lakeside Business Association. This effort provides rewards and discounts at participating Henrico stores, restaurants, and businesses.

BB&T Bank is the title sponsor along with other businesses. Cards are free at county offices, libraries, and sponsors’ locations. Registered card holders view deals through a dedicated website where participating businesses post deals and rewards.

More than 100 businesses across the county, offer a wide variety of products and services, participate in this initiative. As of May 2011, cards were distributed to over 20,000 citizens.

The program is a win for everyone who participates. Companies of all sizes have received a welcomed financial lift during challenging times; local residents receive discounts and incentives while shopping at Henrico businesses; generating increased economic activity and revenue for the county. This revenue has been used to enhance the many services that Henrico provides to its citizens.

Agency: Department of Finance


Competencies in Action: Preparing Employees for the Workforce of Tomorrow

Today’s work environment has changed; it is more complex and unpredictable. The skills employees need to be successful have also changed. The new learning organization doesn’t have the luxury of only high –level employees mastering complex skills. All employees are expected to be competent at decision-making and political astuteness, and exhibit leadership behaviors. Previous performance dimensions had been elitist, assuming only top leaders were required to develop these competencies. Henrico County developed a set of core competencies that represented the new skills and behaviors required of all employees. We did this by asking “What skills do employees need to flourish in this new world of work?” “How do we spread the concept of leadership throughout the organization?”

This era of rapid change meant we needed new approaches to developing the skills of employees and managing performance. This initiative created a culture of high expectations and managers reported that the competencies significantly increased their ability to attract, retain and develop high-performing employees. More importantly, the competencies have dramatically changed the way employees see themselves: the custodian is viewed as a leader, the secretary understands the importance of political savvy, and the executive views managing and transferring knowledge as important as budgeting.

Agency: Department of Human Resources


EBooks Launched At The Public Library

Henrico County Public Library began an extensive planning process in January 2011 that included a variety of focus groups, community meetings, individual interviews, as well as online and print surveys. Of the 7,000 responses, an overwhelming number of our community members specifically asked, “When was the public library going to get eBooks?” A collection of downloadable books for computers was already offered through NetLibrary (approximately 7,000 – 10,000 titles), but had no digital copies that were specifically designed for downloading to portable devices had been purchased. Since then, on June 16, OverDrive was launched and has become the library community’s hottest new product. With the company’s national digital bookmobile visiting one of our public libraries for a weekend, we saw the public demand for these new formats, as well as significant misinformation in the public’s mind about what these formats were and how they could use them. It was realized that extensive training would be needed for the library community. Talking about such a variety of devices with many different features made the ease of use challenging for our library users.

 

Agency: Public Library


A New Lease on Life

A New Lease on Life is a joint project between Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services (HAMHDS), a Community Services Board, and CrossOver Ministry, a private non-profit health clinic. The project began in 2010 with grant assistance from the Virginia Healthcare Foundation and filled a significant gap in the availability of existing services. Funding from the Virginia Healthcare Foundation represents HAMHDS work to tap into new revenue sources during a significant economic downturn.

The goal of the A New Lease on Life project is to address the needs of patients with diabetes and co-occurring depression. The project involves placing a full time HAMHDS clinician and ten hours of psychiatric services per week in the health clinic setting. This public/private partnership has resulted in positive outcomes for patients being served. In 2011, the mental health therapist saw 237 patients who had been diagnosed with diabetes and depression or were at significant risk for these conditions. Seventy-two percent (72%) of the patients served demonstrated significant improvement on the Becks Depression Inventory. Patients also demonstrated significant improvement in A1C levels, a test that measures blood sugar levels over a several-month period.

 

Agency: Department of Mental Health and Developmental Services


3-C Report Base Data Update

The Henrico County 3-C Report Base Data Update significantly improved the baseline data of an annual report essential to the demographic resources compiled by the Planning Department. While the compilation of the report fulfills eligibility requirements for transportation funding from the joint Federal Highway Administration/Federal Transit Administration (FHWA/FTA), the report is regularly used by other county agencies and the public. This project updated every component of the 3-C (Continuing, Cooperative and Comprehensive) Transportation Report, including its population, housing and land use data. Not only did the update recalculate the population and housing data based on the 2010 Census, it included the calculation of new land use baseline data, and a reapportionment of all data into the new 149 traffic zones from the previous 156. The 3-C Report Base Data Update utilized a variety of data sources and technological components to produce a more accurate data set and a more reliable report used by both external and internal clients in making key decisions, which have a significant impact on the citizens and operations of Henrico County.

Agency: Department of Planning


Henrico Police Logistics Regional Incident Response Unit

This program introduces a new way for law enforcement to parallel techniques adopted under Homeland Security. The Logistics Regional Incident Response resource allows total sustaining support of long term emergency situations whereas other critical emergency resources can be made available as needed. This resource, as defined, is expected to respond to requests from other entities within our region to provide critical scene support. This resource allows the opportunity to reduce the number of emergency personnel and equipment dedicated to one incident. As proven on recent call-outs, our response resource has provided remote lighting, rehab services, specialized equipment, and food and hydration services. We also teamed with the American Red Cross for extended scene support during an incident where hundreds of law enforcement officials converged on Henrico County in pursuit of armed subjects that had attempted to murder pursuing officers. Working in conjunction with the Red Cross and Henrico Fire, we were able to ensure all needs of those officers were met which assisted in the successful resolution of the incident. This resource has recently been called to support local efforts in evidence collection and area illumination during a residential fire, searches, and traffic check point operations.

Agency: Division of Police


400th Anniversary Employee Training and Support

In 2011, Henrico County celebrated its 400th anniversary as the second oldest English settlement in the New World. To mark this monumental occasion, the county conducted its first year-long countywide initiative to commemorate 400 years of history and share its rich and diverse heritage with the community, the region and beyond. Before the commemoration officially got underway, it was crucial that county employees, particularly those with direct public contact (front line staff), were knowledgeable about the upcoming anniversary and where to go for additional information. With the County Manager’s support, front line employees were directed to attend special training for an overview of the county’s history, the commemoration and marketing plans. In late 2010, the Division of Recreation and Parks held four identical training sessions for 224 employees. Each employee received an information packet and was encouraged to share the information and materials with co-workers, visitors and callers. They also received additional information throughout the year about upcoming events through county email. This information helped empower employees, promoted the anniversary activities and encouraged involvement. The training was successful; a survey showed that nearly 90% of the respondents who attended the training found the information and materials helpful.

Agency: Division of Recreation and Parks


Henrico African-American History Initiative

To collaboratively precede and encircle Henrico County’s 400th anniversary year, the Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks advantageously used the historical timing to generate immense civic awareness of the African-American History that exists in Henrico County, Virginia, and to accomplish historic preservation simultaneously.

The shared objectives of the History Initiative, the Board of Supervisors, the Henrico 2011 Commemoration Advisory Commission and the African-American Sub-Committee resulted in the following achievements: the renovation and the re-opening of the Museum in Memory of Virginia Randolph; a “Remembering Our Legacy: African-American Trailblazers of Henrico County” panel exhibit and opening reception; a citizen planned two day “African-American History of Henrico County in Music and Stories” tribute; the relocation and preservation of Springfield School; and the first African American heritage bus tour.

The Initiative developed a cohesive governmental / community partnership that provided the support needed to further preserve and interpret African-American history as a cultural asset to Henrico County tourism. The Henrico African-American History Initiative united, for the historical anniversary of Henrico County, a collective, “commemoration” of history, with a “celebrated” commemoration of achievement.

Agency: Division of Recreation and Parks


Capturing the History of Henrico County Public Schools

Understanding the history of Henrico County Public Schools will allow for a successful blueprint for future generations. For the first time ever, Henrico County Public Schools began a division-wide focus to capture and digitally maintain the history of its schools (past and present) during the 2010-2011 school year. Each school, and its school community, was asked to conduct research using oral histories, documents, photographs, school registers, school newsletters, and yearbooks, along with historical organizations to jointly compile a comprehensive overview of their school’s history for generations to come.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Hallway of Hope – Bringing Light & Joy to Cancer Patients Through Children’s Art

This project, a partnership between Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and Henrico County Public Schools, is entitled “Hallway of Hope.”

The project’s inception arose from the experiences of Tracy, a mother of two Henrico County elementary students. Last year, Tracy battled stage three breast cancer. As her treatment period came to a close, Tracy received radiation therapy at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. Every day for six weeks, Tracy walked the long hallway to and from the parking garage to the radiation oncology unit; to her, the walk seemed long and lonely. The bare hallway didn’t help matters, and it led Tracy to come up with an idea–a way to brighten the hallway while simultaneously distracting patients and directing their thoughts to happier, hopeful places.

What has emerged is the Hallway of Hope. Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, partnering with the arts education department of Henrico County Public Schools, has installed a permanent art exhibit in the hallway leading from the garage in the hospital. The exhibit features art by Henrico County Public Schools students on a rotating schedule. Twenty original works are featured for two months at a time.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Henrico Federal Credit Union: A Financial Education Partnership

Henrico Federal Credit Union (HFCU) has served county employees since 1967 and has played an active role in developing financial education for Henrico’s students as well. This unique and robust partnership commitment is a result of a collaborative effort between HFCU and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS) and includes the successful development and implementation of three student-run high school satellite branches of HFCU (to date), and, a Henrico Federal Credit Union full-time Financial Literacy Specialist (teacher-liaison) dedicated to teaching lesson-specific financial education opportunities. The three student-run high school satellite branches are available to all school-based personnel and students. The student-run branches are not open to the general public.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


On-Time Graduation in Henrico County

There are a number of indicators we use to determine the success of Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). There is not a single measure that is more important than our graduation rate, which signifies how well we are teaching all children and preparing them for the future. As a result an on-time graduation initiative was created that keeps students in school and earning credits toward graduation day. Henrico County Public Schools’ on-time graduation initiative includes individualized support, student specific interventions, and nine different credit recovery options. This initiative has already significantly decreased the County’s dropout rate and will continue to pay even greater dividends as this affects all 9-12th grade students.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Partnership with FLiPM and Henrico business and marketing classes

Henrico County Public Schools’ business and marketing teachers have partnered with PM Harmony, Future Leaders in Project Management (FLiPM),and the local Project Management Professionals’ chapter to enhance Career and Technical Education’s Workplace Readiness Skills (WRS) using Project Management Institute’s globally recognized standards, terminology, and methodology: Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

The first 21 tasks and competencies taught in each Career and Technical Education (CTE) course are the WRS; many of which are taught in industry as part of PMBOK standards. The PMBOK standards provide additional rigor and relevance to the CTE curricula. By providing this vital foundation, students, upon successful completion of the twelfth-grade Certified Associate in Project Management component, have the opportunity to take and pass the globally recognized Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) test. Passing the CAPM® test which will enhance students’ employability skills whether they choose to go directly to college or pursue a career.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Reflective Friends: A Measure of 21st Century Instruction

Henrico County Schools is on a journey to create 21st century learning environments to ensure our students have the skills needed to succeed in an ever-changing world. The ideal 21st century learning experience is created by leveraging the synergy of relevant content, engaging teaching, and the support of high quality technology tools to both deliver content and allow students to interact with and create their own material in a global environment. In the past, schools pursued this individually, and there was no data on the effect of this initiative or the change it was making to instruction and ultimately to student engagement and learning.

The Reflective Friends process is designed to provide participating schools with objective data on their efforts to build 21st century learning environments. Through a series of systematic classroom observations and interviews with teachers and students, a profile of trends in classroom instruction (content, pedagogy, and technology) will emerge. These data will become good information to be used for professional development and the future development of the school program.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Succession Plan for School Leaders

Objective 1.1 of Henrico County Public Schools’ Strategic Plan is to recruit, hire, train, and evaluate personnel to ensure they are effective and accountable. To that end, the HCPS School Board adopted a new policy and regulation in October 2010 around a formal Succession Plan. The purpose is to ensure a cadre of well-prepared leaders within the district. The first step in the HCPS Succession Plan was a focus on the preparation of individuals aspiring to the most critical leadership position in the school – the principalship. To accomplish this, a training position, Associate Principal, was created. Eligible employees are required to possess a state Administration/Supervision certification endorsement and have leadership experience in a school beyond the classroom teacher position. Further, potential candidates were expected to participate in the HCPS Leadership Assessment Center, launched in January of 2011, in which specific job-related skills were observed and assessed. Based on the results of the Leadership Assessment Center, along with previous performance evaluations and observations of job responsibilities, Associate Principals were selected by July 1, 2011. 38 candidates were chosen for the Associate Principal program and immediately began a structured training program along with the principals assigned to supervise them.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Young Henrico Historians & Explorers

One of the ongoing tasks of a county government is to provide quality services to their citizens in an effective and fiscally prudent manner and to accentuate the gems of their community. Henrico County Public Schools is one of those gems. It strives to become the premier school division in the United States by providing the 48,000+ students with a quality education regarding their local community, state, nation, and world.

Commercially-developed resources are available to teach students the history of the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world. But what about the histories of the local community, Henrico County, where the students live, work, and play? How are they to learn the many historical contributions and significant events that occurred within Henrico County? Local history is not included in state or national curriculum standards.

For the first time ever, a collection of information that includes the geography, history, economy, government, and school system of Henrico County was researched and developed by Henrico County educators and local historians. This information is clear, concise, and age-appropriate for fifth grade students to learn and appreciate the history of Henrico County.

Agency: Henrico County Public Schools


Summer-Student Basic Academy – *BEST IN CATEGORY*

The Henrico Sheriff’s Office and the Henrico County Department of Human Resources in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Virginia Union University (VUU) offer students the opportunity to attend a Summer Basic Jailor Academy. Students who are currently enrolled at the junior and senior level, majoring in Criminal Justice and who are in good academic standing at either university are eligible. Participation in the Basic Jailor Student Academy will award each student with up to nine (9) college credits (of which three (3) are mandatory for the course, with option of obtaining up to an additional (6) internship credits) and certification as a correctional deputy by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.
• Students interested in attending the Basic Academy are required to sign up for “Jails and Issues in Short-Term Detention” course taught online by Dr. Blythe at VCU.
• The VCU-Online Course is designed to supplement academy instruction.
Upon successful completion of this course, students will receive (3) course credits.

Agency: Henrico Sheriff’s Oiffice