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Henrico departments, HCPS earn NACo awards for 52 programs

County’s total shines among Virginia localities, 7th most in nation

Henrico County’s general government departments and Henrico County Public Schools earned a combined 52 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties (NACo) for innovative programs and initiatives in 2024.

The total represents the most awards won by Henrico in the annual competition since at least 1999. It also is the most of any county in Virginia for the 19th consecutive year and the seventh most in the country in this year’s competition. With 52 awards from 62 entries, Henrico’s total followed only those of San Bernardino County, Calif.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Los Angeles County, Calif.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; Howard County, Md.; and Cook County, Ill.

Henrico had about 335,000 residents in 2023 – far fewer than San Bernardino’s 2.2 million and comparable to Howard’s 336,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

NACo’s Achievement Awards recognize groundbreaking programs and initiatives in 18 service categories, including children and youth, financial management, county resiliency, libraries, parks and recreation, and human services.

“Year after year, the outstanding and innovative work of employees of Henrico County and Henrico County Public Schools shines under the spotlight of the NACo Achievement Awards,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Our 52 awards in 2024 are, quite possibly, our highest total ever. I applaud our employees for their energy, dedication and creativity and for putting their hearts into doing all they can to make Henrico the best place it can be to live, work, play and visit.”

Henrico has earned 829 NACo awards since 1985. The 2024 awards recognize submissions from nine government departments and Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS). HCPS collected 22 awards; Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Services, nine; Division of Fire, four; Economic Development Authority, Emergency Communications, Henrico County Public Library and Division of Recreation & Parks, three apiece; County Manager’s Office and Department of Finance, two apiece; Department of Public Utilities/Keep Henrico Beautiful, one. Many of the recognized programs reflect collaboration with other departments.

The programs and their respective nominating agencies are below.

  • Small Business Boost, Economic Development Authority (EDA)
  • Pop Up Mentoring Program (PUMP) for Small Business, EDA
  • Live Your Best 2023 Campaign, EDA
  • Enhanced Engagement Process for Remote Business Taxpayers, Finance
  • Henrico County Virginia Transparency and Efficiency 21st Century Contract Management, Finance
  • DEC Internship Program, Emergency Communications
  • 911 Wellness Initiative, Emergency Communications
  • Tactical Dispatch Program, Emergency Communications
  • Studio at the Springs, Recreation & Parks
  • Canoeing with the Community, Recreation & Parks
  • Henrico United, Recreation & Parks
  • BH Equity Working with the LGBTQIA2S+ Community, Mental Health & Developmental Services (MHDS)
  • Comfort Boxes, MHDS
  • Substance Use Overdose Response Program, MHDS
  • Strengthening Supervisory Intercultural Competence 2024, MHDS
  • Forensic Discharge Program, MHDS
  • Suicide Prevention Series, MHDS
  • Conflict Resolution Groups for Youth in Juvenile Detention, MHDS
  • CARE (Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement) Training, MHDS
  • Mobile Response Team, MHDS
  • Interview Preparation Program, Fire
  • Regional Water Response, Fire
  • Hazardous Incident Team Awareness Program, Fire
  • Expansion of “Whole Health” to include Cancer and Cardiovascular Screenings, Fire
  • Cook & Book, Henrico County Public Library (HCPL)
  • Connecting Communities with Quilts, HCPL
  • Hamilton Glass Mural Workshop, HCPL
  • Teen Summit RVA, County Manager’s Office
  • Taking it to H.E.A.R.T., County Manager’s Office
  • Birds, Butterflies and Biodiversity, Public Utilities/Keep Henrico Beautiful
  • Glen Lea Telehealth Clinic, Henrico County Public Schools (HCPS)
  • Becoming Kings, HCPS
  • Próximos Pasos (Next Steps), HCPS
  • Black History Month Poetry Slam, HCPS
  • Educational Excursion: Aviation Day, HCPS
  • Building Tomorrow’s Teacher Pipeline, HCPS
  • Generative AI Initiative: Preparing for a New Digital Age, HCPS
  • Microcredential Program, HCPS
  • Student Government Day Program, HCPS
  • Teacher Licensure Cohort Program, HCPS
  • Expanded ESL Summer Academy, HCPS
  • Combating Absenteeism before It Starts: McKinney-Vento Team Summer Cookouts, HCPS
  • Language Instruction Education Program Microcredential Courses, HCPS
  • Teacher Fellow, HCPS
  • Preparing Life-Ready Students in Elementary School, HCPS
  • Students Build Race Car at Richmond Raceway, HCPS
  • Winter Wonderland, HCPS
  • Trade Skills Applied to Memorialize Veterans and First Responders, HCPS
  • Re-envisioning Hallways, HCPS
  • Behavioral Health Interpreter Training Program, HCPS
  • Sparking Interest into Fire Prevention Careers, HCPS
  • PreSchool Sign, HCPS
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