County Solutions and Innovation Blog
|Phases of FUSE: Planning and Implementing Successful Supportive Housing|(read more)2 days ago | 0
Written by Kathy Rowings, NACo Justice Associate.
Did you know that individuals who are released from jail without housing are:
- Seven times more likely to violate parole;
- More likely to suffer from mental illness or substance abuse issues; and
- Face increased rates of unemployment, risk of re-arrest and risk of relapsing into substance abuse?
From those statistics alone, it is easy to see how the cycle of incarceration and homelessness and back again is hard to break for individuals and costly for counties. As the provider of many services used by those stuck in this cycle (jails, shelters and emergency rooms, to name a few), counties can see substantial savings and improved human outcomes by providing supportive housing to frequent users of these services.
Frequent users are individuals who repeatedly come into contact with these services; they are a small but select group of the highest-risk, most vulnerable individuals who utilize a disproportionate amount of health, human services and public safety resources. The Frequent Users System Engagement (FUSE) model of supportive housing uses housing coupled with wrap-around services to intervene and break the cycle of homelessness, incar...
|New NACo Fact Sheet: Creating Consultation Zones for Pipeline Safety |(read more)9 days ago | 0
Written by Jen Horton, NACo Program Manager
Each day vast quantities of hazardous liquids and gas are transported via pipelines to provide energy to homes and businesses, fuel automobiles and planes and fertilize crops, just to name a few. Overall, more than 164,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines and more than 295,000 miles of natural gas pipelines are moving energy throughout the U.S. daily. Despite the presence of active pipelines in all fifty states, most people are unaware of their existence, let alone their location.
County governments maintain a number of public facilities (including water and sewer systems, roads and transit) and make local land use and development decisions that can interact with existing pipeline infrastructure. As a result, a local government’s ordinances, policies and practices can impact pipeline safety in a community. Although counties do not have the regulatory or enforcement authority to propose pipeline transmission safety standards, local governments can apply their land use and development authority to reduce pipeline safety risks to overall public health.
NACo just released the Creating Consultation Zones for Pipeline Safetyfact sheet to introduce pipeline consultati...
|Green Government Initiative Newsletter: February 2014|(read more)10 days ago | 0 Welcome!
Welcome to the NACo Green Government Initiative’s monthly newsletter! Each month you'll receive updates about programming and events to keep you up-to-date on all things GGI-related. To make sure you're caught up on all of our workshops, forums, webinars and other items, click here to sign up for the Green Government Initiative Newsletter
REGISTRATION OPEN! County Renewable Energy Solutions Forum
GGI will be hosting the Powering County Resilience: Renewable Energy Solutions Forum in Santa Barbara County, Calif., from March 20-22, 2014 . Hear from county leaders and industry experts about how they’ve implemented innovative sustainable energy solutions, including geothermal heating and cooling and landfill-to-gas conversion, and learn how you can help y...
|Juvenile Justice Reform: What, Why, and How?|(read more)2 weeks ago | 0
Written by Kathy Rowings, Justice Associate.
Anyone who knows children knows one thing: Kids are different than adults. Adolescents often make impulsive, immature, and dangerous decisions. Recent research has begun to provide answers to why juveniles make such choices. For example, research has shown that the average human brain isn’t fully developed until age 25, especially in the areas of controlling impulses and judging consequences. Essentially, what the latest research says is that kids are less responsible for their behavior than adults, so it follows that kids should be treated differently.
In part because of this ongoing development, the teenage years are a time of great change and continuing growth. “What you do to a kid at this age has a long-term impact on what they are going to do as an adult,” says Elizabeth Cauffman, psychology and social behavior professor at University of California, Irvine, in this video about adolescent development and juvenile justice. This rings especially true for the 4,208 children arrested every dayin the United States. In fact, for some youth, exposure to the juvenile justice...
|County Innovation Network Online Community|
Written by Bert Jarreau, NACo Chief Innovation Officer.
To kick off 2014, we are pleased to announce the County Innovation Network (COIN) at www.CountyInnovation.US. COIN is a private, managed online community for local government leadership and staff. The goal of COIN is to enable counties to share the wisdom of the crowd nationally, for learning, discussion and decision-making.
COIN brings the following opportunities to extend collaboration:
- Beyond the county elected officials to include staff members from counties, state associations, NACo affiliates, economic development authorities and municipalities.
- To all 3,069 counties.
- Beyond conferences, with knowledge-sharing all-year round.
(read more)3 weeks ago | 0
The COIN community includes services for:
A simple registration process, with rules that ensure and maintain the sanctity of the membership, and define members’ information needs. See https://www.countyinnovation.us/wapps/user/register.
Member-to-Member Connection to search and communicate with local government members locally or nationally.
Information Exchange to share relevant documents and media files.
Helping Hands get local government’s questions answered online by subject matter experts.
Groups that organize subject-specific sub-communities to support NACo practice areas and your special interest groups.
Community Hot Topic Conversations foster open discussions among local government members about practice areas and special interest topics.
Top of Mind for public discussions among counties and the corporate community.
Supplier Zonefor suppliers to present relevant products, service...
|Registration is Open for NACo Renewable Energy Solutions Forum|4 weeks ago | 0
Is your county looking to expand its energy portfolio or
develop a renewable energy program? Renewable energies have become more
efficient, reliable and affordable, and technology has allowed for renewable
energy to be developed from once-unused sources.
To help you understand how renewable energy can help your
county meet its sustainability goals and save money, NACo’s Green Government
Initiative will be hosting the Powering County Resilience: Renewable
Energy Solutions Forum this March 20-22 in Santa Barbara. The
one-and-a-half day forum will bring together county leaders and industry
experts to share how they’ve implemented sustainable energy solutions,
including geothermal heating and cooling and landfill-to-gas conversion.
Through presentations, panel discussions and site visits, you will learn new
ways to help their counties reduce environmental impacts while cutting energy
If you’d like to read more about the forum and look through
the preliminary agenda, you can do so here.
If you have questions regarding the forum, please contact
Rob Pressly, Green Government Initiative Program Manager at 202.942.4224 or by email at email@example.com
|Coastal Resilience Planning Guide Now Available for Great Lakes Region|(read more)5 weeks ago | 0 Written by Alyssum Pohl, NOAA Digital Coast Fellow.
The Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide (GLCR) is a website that provides regionally relevant resources related to natural hazards and climate change resiliency to county and municipal communities in the Great Lakes region. Jeff Stone, project manager for the Association of State Floodplain Managers (one of many partner groups involved in the GLCR’s creation) says, “We created a resource which is regionally transferrable from one community to another, all around the Great Lakes.” The GLCR is a versatile tool, neatly organized into several sections that allow you to learn about and help mitigate the issues at hand from whatever background you may come.
For instance, if you are new to the area or wish to brush up on some of the issues in the Great Lakes, you might start with the Climate and Environmenttab. There, you will find a brief introduction to the hydrologic and climatic forces affecting the region. It includes links to more educational pages that expand on hazards and risks, the people in the Great Lakes, natural proce...
|NACo Corporate Partners Share Their Solutions for County Government|(read more)5 weeks ago | 0
Written by Coleman Davis, NACo Innovation Coordinator.
NACo’s Premier Corporate Membership Program offers a very special opportunity for county leaders and private sector innovators to work together in improving the services provided by counties, and creating solutions to make the county budget stretch farther. The program is about building relationships based on an understanding of county issues, priorities, and the importance of timeliness.
NACo is excited to launch a completely revamped resource center on the NACo website focused on corporate innovations and solutions. The purpose of these pages is to provide quick access to a number of resources, white papers, and case studies about the many solutions and innovations for county government developed by NACo Corporate Premier Members. The Corporate White Papers and Case Studies database houses resources ranging from county recycling plans to video conferencing solutions.
In addition to quick access to white papers and case studies, the resource center looks to promote opportunities for county leaders and NACo Premier Members to meet face to face. To this end, the News and Upcoming Eventsis a place for NACo Premier Members to post their upcoming events, and a place for county leaders to find events in which they can build relationships an...
|Upcoming NACo Webinar: Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience: County Leadership in Action|(read more)6 weeks ago | 0
Written by Jen Horton, NACo Program Manager
Brookings County, South Dakota supports the Research Park at South Dakota State University to help its labor force obtain necessary skills for pursuing jobs in the agricultural technology sector.
In a past CSI blog post, we introduced a recent NACo publication, “Strategies to Bolster Economic Resilience: County Leadership in Action,” that overviews how counties across the country are pursuing creative and innovative policies, partnerships and initiatives to create healthy, safe, vibrant and economically resilient communities.
For counties interested in learning more about local economic resilience strategies, NACo is hosting a free webinar on Thursday, January 30th from 2:00-3:15pm ET. The webinar will overview findings from the report and showcase three county leaders, highlighted in the report, who are pursuing innovative programs and initiatives to encourage economic growth and lasting resilience by:
- Pursuing long-range planning efforts,
- Growing and supporting local entrepreneurs and businesses, and
- Engaging in workforce development programs and education.
Webinar presenters include:
- Kathy Nothstine, Program Director, National Association of Counties (NACo)
- Brett Schwartz, Program Manager, National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
- Nate Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development, Cuyahoga County, Ohio
- Walter Sprouse, Executive Director, Augusta Economic Development ...
|Environmental Purchasing Programs: Buying Green to Save Some Green| (read more)6 weeks ago | 0 One of the most effective ways for a county to meet its triple bottom line is by changing what it purchases. A sustainable purchasing program, or an environmentally preferred purchasing program (EPP), can help counties purchase goods that reduce their impact on the environment and public health without compromising on quality or cost.
Through an EPP, a county considers a number of aspects about the goods and services it purchases, including the production, manufacturing, packaging and distribution, maintenance, reuse and disposal. EPPs can help counties save taxpayers’ money through reducing water and energy usage, lowering pollution rates, increased recycling rates, and decreasing the amount of waste sent to a landfill. The materials that counties purchased are often verified and certified by third-party organizations as meeting specific environmental standards.
Alameda County, Calif., offers one example how creating an EPP to change what goods are purchased can have a significant impact on both public budgets and the local environment. Through their EPP, the county has:
- Purchased and installed a 2.31-megawatt photovoltaic system which has lowered the annual operating costs by nearly $4 million....
|FAQ: Tobacco Use and Employers| (read more)6 weeks ago | 0
The Affordable Care Act brings unprecedented changes for counties as employers. One area that profoundly impacts the premiums of employees is tobacco use. When premiums are calculated, family size, age, geographic location, and tobacco use are the factors taken into consideration. Tobacco usage is one of the most avoidable risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Since treating these conditions can be costly, reducing and/or eliminating the use of tobacco may be an area employers may seek to address to promote employee health and well-being. The questions and answers below address tobacco use premiums and tobacco cessation programs.
Q: Are employers allowed to charge higher rates to employees who use tobacco?
With the exception to tobacco use, as of 2014, health insurers can no longer charge premiums based on an individual’s health status. The Affordable Care Act allows insurers to charge tobacco users 50 percent higher premiums than nonsmokers for new policies sold to individuals and in small employ...
|Green Government Initiative Newsletter: January 2014|(read more)6 weeks ago | 0
Welcome to the NACo Green Government Initiative's monthly newsletter! Each month you'll receive updates about programming and events to keep you up-to-date on all things GGI-related. To make sure you're caught up on all of our workshops, forums, webinars and other items, click here to sign up for the Green Government Initiative Newsletter.
REGISTRATION OPEN! County Renewable Energy Solutions Forum
GGI will be hosting the Powering County Resilience: Renewable Energy Solutions Forum in Santa Barbara County, Calif., from March 20-22, 2014. Hear from county leaders and industry experts about how they've implemented innovative sustainable energy solutions, including geothermal heating and cooling and landfill-to-gas conversion, and learn how you can help your county reduce its environmental impact while cutting energy costs. Click here to register today!
January Sustainable Purchasing Webinar
As counties strive to reduce waste, conserve energy and lower operational costs, purchasing recycled and environmentally-friendly goods, materials and services can greatly contribute to meeting a county's financial and sustainability goals. GGI will be hosting a free webinar, Green Good...