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Posted on: September 26, 2022

Newport News Receives Two Innovation Awards from Virginia Municipal League

Each year, the Virginia Municipal League (VML) recognizes the outstanding work being performed by local governments across Virginia. Through their Innovation Awards, the VML highlights inventive problem-solving, excellence in management, citizen participation, and improved services to citizens.  VML received nearly 80 entries for the 2022 awards, and volunteer judges selected one winner in each of eight categories. The City of Newport News is being honored in two categories – Public Safety and Working with Youth. Newport News is the only municipality to receive two awards.

The Newport News Community Assistance Response (CARE) Program is being recognized for excellence and innovation in Public Safety. In July 2021, the city launched the CARE Program to provide initial support for those experiencing mental or behavioral health issues within Newport News. This progressive program is the result of a partnership between the Newport News Fire Department, the Newport News Police Department, and the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board. When the Newport News Emergency Communications Center receives a call for service indicating a need for crisis intervention or other mental health supports, they dispatch the CARE team, which consists of a Newport News Fire Department paramedic and a qualified mental health provider from the Hampton-Newport News Community Services Board. When evaluating the CARE program, the judges from VML stated that it is “a great program that demonstrates compassion and consideration for both the individuals experiencing mental health episodes and those who seek to assist them.”

Newport News YouthBuild is the 2022 recipient of the Innovation Award in the Working with Youth category. This workforce development and education program helps young people ages 16-24 earn money while gaining valuable hands-on experience in in-demand industries. Participants gain work-based education including vocational and basic academic skills training that leads to industry-recognized credentials, employment placement, or apprenticeships, and prepare them for post-secondary education programs. While evaluating the program, the VML judges said this is “a wonderful program that shows how a locality can build on an initial success to create a truly transformative experience for young people. The trifecta of city, business and volunteer resources means that participants are supported throughout and can really feel invested in creating their own future.”

The awards will be presented during VML’s Annual Conference in October. During the event, one of the category winners will be chosen to receive the President’s Award.

The Virginia Municipal League is a statewide nonprofit association of city, town, and county governments established in 1905 to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education, and other services. The membership includes 38 cities, 170 towns and eight counties. For more information, visit www.vml.org.

 

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