The City of Newport News’ Summer Training and Enrichment Program (STEP) recently received a public safety award at the Virginia Municipal League’s annual Innovation Awards for Excellence in Local Government banquet. The statewide competition recognizes innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, increased citizen participation and improved services to citizens. Awards are given in five fields within local government: infrastructure, economic development, public safety, working with youth, and communications.
Projects and programs are judged on how well they demonstrate the following: innovative problem solving, improved quality of life, excellence in management, making the most of local resources, increased citizen participation, commitment to higher levels of service, long-term value to the community, adaptability to other communities. The projects typically demonstrate innovative ways of delivering services, address a community need, or significantly improving an existing service.
STEP is one component of the Building Better Futures - Youth and Gang Violence Prevention Initiative
to increase positive outcomes for youth and young adults between the ages of 16 to 24. The 10-week summer program provides meaningful work readiness training, offers participants paid work experience, workshops, financial literacy, and GED preparation classes. On hand to accept the award were Assistant City Manager, Alan Archer, Vice Mayor Tina Vick, Building Better Futures Program Coordinator Marhonda Echols, and Street Outreach Worker LaToya Delk.
The Virginia Municipal League is a statewide, nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city, town and county governments established to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services.