The National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards recognize innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents in a variety of areas.
Broward County won a record 14 NACo Awards for innovation in County government and was recognized specifically for initiatives to promote environmental preservation and conservation; services to help customers connect with their County quicker, easier and more efficiently, including online; programs to help pets and persons experiencing homelessness; and internal activities related to purchasing, risk management and employee communications.
The award-winning programs include:
Environmental Preservation and Conservation
- Future Conditions Map Series: Groundwater Elevation Map - A new series of maps created by the Environmental Protection and Growth Management Department incorporates new planning and design standards into drainage and surface water management systems, which helps ensure the preservation of flood protection in Broward County communities under current and future conditions.
- Manatee Mobile App - The Environmental Protection and Growth Management Division’s new “I Spy a Manatee” app, developed by Broward's Enterprise Technology Services Division, provides an intuitive, easy way for residents and visitors to capture images and report details about manatees and their movements. The app captures the GPS location and a geocoded address of a reported manatee. It also includes maps of manatee protection and boating safety zones.
- Upland Mangrove Enhancement - Broward County’s Port Everglades is adding much-needed new cargo ship berths after working with environmental organizations to develop a thriving wetland habitat that supports wildlife and ecological quality to mitigate the expansion. The project was a collaborative effort between Port Everglades, the environmental community, Port users and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
- Marine Environmental Education Center - In a partnership between Parks and Recreation and Nova Southeastern, the Marine Environmental Education Center was opened with the desire to educate and engage locals and tourists alike through the eyes of a live green sea turtle, Captain, and the splendor of the coastal environment in South Florida. The facility is located on the historic grounds of the Carpenter House at Hollywood North Beach Park. The site features an interactive Interpretive Center with displays ranging on topics from sea turtle conservation to marine debris.
Employment Assistance Programs
- Transitional Employment Pilot Program – This program was implemented as a partnership between Broward County Transit (BCT) and two local nonprofit agencies, Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of South Florida and ARC of Broward, to provide job training and employment opportunities to ex-offenders, individuals with disabilities, and residents of the Broward Municipal Services District. The program was successful, improving the cleanliness of BCT buses and increasing rider satisfaction. Today, buses are cleaner, two participants who met the criteria are now full time Coach Service Attendants with BCT and the program has been extended for two more years.
- Community Recovery Aides Program - This program, a partnership between the Office of Economic and Small Business Development and CareerSource Broward, provided employment opportunities to at-risk residents whose employment was lost or interrupted as a result of a nationally-declared disaster. It matched residents in need of employment, including some from the Broward Municipal Services District, with jobs that assisted the community with disaster recovery efforts.
Helping Residents Connect with County Government
- Veterans Connect Program – This program helps veterans transition from active duty military service to civilian life by offering them free, portable Internet “hotspots” providing access to the internet from anywhere for technological, educational and employment resources. In addition to receiving a NACo Achievement Award, the program was named an Urban Libraries Council 2017 Innovations Initiative.
- Active Learning Center – A new area at Broward County Libraries features child-sized replicas of stores, a kitchen, a boat, a train and more. Children can access fun, educational computer games and activities at Early Learning Stations. There are free events and programs including story times, baby and toddler yoga classes, S.T.E.M. activities and arts and crafts workshops.
- Free Music Partnership Program – Broward County Libraries partnered with Broward County Transit and the Parks and Recreation Division to offer bus riders and park visitors “Free Music – Right Here, Right Now.” The interagency partnership resulted in extended use of the library’s free music service, to the benefit of bus and park patrons.
Public Health and Safety
- Wide-Area Spray Truck Larvicide Technology – Broward County’s Mosquito Control team, part of the Public Works Highway and Bridge Maintenance Division, optimized turbine engine sprayers and developed a unique mobile mixing operation to deliver an organic, safe and biodegradable product to kill larvae of the mosquito known to transmit the Zika virus.
- Special Needs Registry App – Broward County Emergency Management Division and Broward County Transit partnered with Broward's Enterprise Technology Services Division to design a registry app through which adult residents with special needs can pre-register for shelter and Paratransit services that would be available to them in an emergency. The app helps the two divisions work together to ensure that the needs of Broward County’s most vulnerable residents are met during a hurricane or other emergency situation.
Internal Training Programs
- “Recording” – This award-winning 6-week training program is offered by the Records, Taxes and Treasury Division to provide new employees who will be recording numerous types of important documents with hands-on learning in a live environment. Broward County records more than 2,000 Commission meeting documents annually.
- “Recording Negotiable Instruments/Know Your Money” – This employee learning initiative standardizes training for new and existing Records, Taxes and Treasury employees who accept and/or work with negotiable items that are at risk for counterfeiting, including U.S. and foreign currency.
- “Climate Change Toolbox” – This training program was created by County employees for County employees, so they could learn from staff experts at the Environmental Planning and Community Resilience Division how global climate change translates to local challenges and opportunities. A series of engaging activities