The National Association of Counties (NACo) awarded the Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners with two Achievement Awards. The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.
“We have many fantastic programs within Montgomery County, but we kept our nominations down to just two this year,” said Montgomery County Commission President Carolyn Rice. “We are thrilled those two received Achievement Awards from NACo.”
The Eichelberger Prison Outreach Program received an Achievement Award in the Criminal Justice and Public Safety category, and the Montgomery County Styrofoam Recycling Program was recognized in the County Resiliency category.
“All across the country, counties are working tirelessly to support residents and drive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, NACo President Larry Johnson said. This year's Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties work every day to build healthy, safe and thriving communities.”
The Eichelberger Prison Outreach Program was launched in 2019 as a specialized initiative personalizing reentry planning and service connection for incarcerated individuals returning to Montgomery County within six months of release from state and local facilities of confinement. The program builds a seamless bridge from prison to the community, with a pathway to the signature Reentry Career Alliance Academy (RCAA).
The EPOP was funded by a grant from the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation of the Dayton Foundation. The Montgomery Reentry Council is co-chaired by County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman and Judge Walter H. Rice.
“Our Office of Reentry stands out as a model across the State of Ohio,” said Lieberman. “The Office of Reentry’s Reentry Career Alliance Academy is a signature program that consists of a 10-day career focused work readiness curriculum, leading to a formal graduation ceremony. One of the achievements we are most proud of is the fact that those who graduate from the RCAA have a success rate greater than 90%, meaning fewer than 10% of our graduates do not have any post-program criminal convictions.”
The Montgomery County Styrofoam Recycling Program also received a NACo Achievement Award, in the County Resiliency category. In January 2021, Montgomery County Environmental Services (MCES) began a new Styrofoam recycling program for its residents and businesses. Styrofoam is not accepted in traditional curbside and drop-off recycling programs.
In 2021, MCES partnered with local communities and organizations to hold a series of three one-day community collections of Styrofoam for recycling, which resulted in the NACO Achievement Award.
“Hundreds of residents brought more than 10,000 pounds of Styrofoam across four recycling events,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Judy Dodge. “We’ve also had two more events since the nomination was written. That’s a big step forward in our plan to properly recycle Styrofoam while diverting waste from landfills.”
Mason-based Eco Development processed more than five tons of Styrofoam from these events to be crafted into new items.