National Association of Counties Recognizes Howard County with Record 43 Achievement Awards, Most in Maryland


Howard County has received more NACo awards than any other county in Maryland, a testament to the innovative spirit of the county’s workforce. Winning entries include:

Howard County Health Department:

  • “Why I Got Vaxxed” Campaign: Outreach campaign to reach young residents and members of the black community to promote vaccinations among low-participation groups.
  • Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD): Enable law enforcement to engage outreach-based case management services.

Leisure and parks:

  • 55+ Bocce Ball League: Creating a new league on state-of-the-art courts to give our active aging community the opportunity to play healthy, outdoor competitions.
  • Outdoor Preschool Programs: Unique program to safely serve preschool students during the pandemic.
  • Outdoor Dedication Day: Innovative program engaging our deaf and hard of hearing community.
  • Park Ranger Training: Revitalized program for newly hired personnel, covering de-escalation training, self-defense, community service and more.
  • Reindeer Games: Holiday-themed program serving the community, focusing on accessibility and affordability.

Howard County Fire and Rescue Services Department:

  • Carcinogen Reduction Program: Overall effort to reduce exposure to carcinogens during and after work to create a healthier work environment.

Department of Technology and Communication Services:

  • Collaborating to Strengthen the Infrastructure Needed to Support the Hybrid Learning Model: Doubling Broadband Capabilities in Schools to Promote Online and Distance Learning Amid the Pandemic.
  • IT innovation at the new courthouse: improved communications in the new building.
  • IT in Vaccine Phone Bank: Innovative use of resources to establish a resource center for vaccine information.
  • Holiday Lights map-based app: new, user-friendly resource to provide a roadmap for holiday cheer in our community.
  • Transform Howard Broadband Initiative: expanding digital inclusion and bridging the digital divide to reach underserved households.
  • Transform Howard Innovation Grants: Enables nonprofit service providers to implement creative ideas to serve the community.

Department of Inspections, Licensing and Permits:

  • Automated Fire Permits Online: Embracing Technology to Better Serve the Community in the Permitting Process.

Community Sustainability Office:

  • EV Infrastructure and Fleet Greening: Transition to an all-electric county fleet to reduce greenhouse gases.
  • Innovative Solar Power Expansion: Largest Power Purchase Agreement in the State of Maryland.
  • LED streetlight conversion program: conversion to energy efficient bulbs.
  • Plastic Reduction and Environmental Protection: Plastic Prevalence Reduction Program
  • Removing Barriers to Solar Energy: Helping Conversions to a Renewable Energy Source
  • Roving Radis Marketplace: Increasing access to locally sourced healthy foods at reasonable prices.
  • Howard County and Non-Profit Environmental Equity Partnership: Addressing Climate Change Through Partnerships.

Department of Corrections:

  • Pre-Trial Monitoring Program: Creating labor and resource cost savings through effective monitoring without incarceration and reducing court appearance violations.

Department of Public Works:

  • PM Tool: Development of a complete digital project management platform for public works projects.
  • Retro-Commissioning: Reduction of energy consumption by renovating the mechanical systems of existing buildings.
  • Glenwood Library Renovation: Innovative renovation of heavily used facilities at a reduced cost.

Planning and Zoning Department:

  • National Park Road Mile Marker 14 Improvement Project: A Roadside Place for Cyclists, Visitors and Howard County Residents
  • Grants for the restoration of historic cemeteries: grant program for the preservation of historic cemeteries on private property

Department of Social Services:

  • Partnering with CASA for Housing Support After Emancipation: Resources for Young Adults Coming Out of the Foster Care System

Office of Human Resources:

  • Howard County Government Joint Apprenticeship Program: Addressing Recruitment Challenges, Improving Workforce Diversity, and Enhancing Career Development Opportunities in the Trades.
  • Howard County Government Mental Health Program: Increased mental health support for county staff.

Office of Human Rights and Equity:

  • Howard County MLK Holiday Commission Pop Up Pantry: Addressing Food Insecurity in conjunction with the Maryland Food Bank.
  • Read Human Rights: monthly book discussion program to address various issues and promote inclusion.

Office of Emergency Management:

  • Howard County Family Assistance Center Plan and Platform: Responding to our community’s needs during mass casualty incidents.
  • Howard County On-Call Emergency Manager and Emergency Operations Center Manager Training Program: Creating Strong Succession Planning Among Emergency Personnel

Howard County Police Department:

  • HCPD Permit System: Created a new special event permit system that provides a publicly accessible online permit portal, multiple fee payment options, and reduces the complexity of the permit process.

Transportation office:

  • Howard County Active Transportation Open House: Improving Participation and Awareness Through Online Programs and Increased Access
  • HCG/HCPSS Free Student Bus Pass Program: Serving the community and reducing environmental impact during the pandemic.

Department of Community Resources and Services:

  • Meals to Go: COVID Response and Future Opportunities to Modernize Senior Citizens Act Nutrition Programs
  • Healthy Food Access Program: Responding to community needs and promoting health and well-being.
  • Howard County Virtual 50+ Center: Innovative program to serve the community during the pandemic.

County Administration:

  • Process/Engagement/Transparency Process for US Bailout Funding: Ensure community awareness and access to information regarding bailout programs.

Department of Housing and Community Development:

  • Investing in Homeownership: Programs to Help Buy a Home and Grow Wealth.

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