RICHMOND (VR)—The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) is pleased to announce the 29 recipients of the 2022 Achievement Awards, which recognize excellence in local government programs. VACo received 100 submissions.
Winning entries focused on addressing issues of the pandemic, connecting citizens, and other challenges that counties face daily.
Winning Achievement Award Submissions
Winning Program Descriptions
20th Anniversary of the Achievement Awards Video
“I want to thank all who participated in the 20th year of the Achievement Awards,” VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch said. “This is an anniversary year, and I was encouraged to see that we had 100 submissions, our third-highest total ever. This tells me that the VACo Achievement Awards program’s mission of identifying and celebrating the innovative work by local government officials continues to resonate with our counties. We thank all who participated and recognize those who won an award.”
Tedd Povar, retired Associate Director of the Virginia Institute of Government; Dr. Sheryl Bailey, Visiting Professor of Practice at Virginia Tech and former Chesterfield County Deputy County Administrator; and Larry Land, retired VACo Director of Policy Development, served as judges for this year’s statewide competitive awards program.
Chesterfield County and its Connecting All Community Residents to Public Schools program won this year’s Best Achievement Award.
“Connecting All Community Residents to Public Schools is a program we need now,” Dr. Bailey said. “Chesterfield County believes its schools can be a foundation for a successful community but with 65 percent of households without children 18 or younger, the county knew it had to expand its outreach to the greater community. The results have been very positive and has proven correct the adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ I speak for the judges when I say we are honored to give this program the Best Achievement Award.”
The judges also selected a Best Small County Achievement Award (50,000 or less population) and a Best Large County Achievement Award. Orange County and its Whole Blood Project program captured the Best Small County Achievement Award while Prince William County and its Early Diversion Program in Domestic Violence Cases program earned the Best Large County Achievement Award.
“Congratulations to Orange County for winning its third-ever Achievement Award, and for such an excellent program,” Land said. “To deliver the best possible outcomes for patients, the Orange County Fire & EMS Department carried lifesaving ‘whole blood’ units aboard on-duty response vehicles. This project required extensive training as well as other new protocols and procedures. But now Orange County can provide treatment quickly to help prevent a leading cause of patient mortality – blood loss.”
Povar, who has served as judge since the Achievement Awards inception in 2003, said Prince William County’s winning program reflects an important criteria for the VACo Achievement Awards. “As judges, we look for how a county uses innovation or ideas to solve a problem,” Povar said. “Prince William County’s program has an excellent success score, including a zero percent recidivism rate and 98 percent of those charged accept the diversion opportunity instead of going to court or possibly trial. Congratulations to Prince William County for a tremendous program and for continuing to be a leader in the VACo Achievement Awards program.”
Chesterfield County tops the all-time Achievement Awards list with 44. Chesterfield County has won an award in each year of the 20-year history of the program. Henrico County is second on the list with 38 Achievement Awards while Loudoun County is third with 27.
The VACo Achievement Awards is a competitive program open to local government members of the association.
The Virginian Review has been serving Covington, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County and Bath County since 1914.