City Honors Employee Innovation
Employees with the Greensboro Fire, Parks and Recreation, Planning, Police, and Transportation departments were honored Tuesday night, February 2, as winners of the 2020 Employee Innovation Awards. The annual awards recognize City of Greensboro employees who have devised innovative and impactful solutions that improved City’s services or productivity.
First place winners received a $2,500 prize and second place winners received a $500 prize, to be split between recipients in cases where a joint project won. This year prizes were sponsored in part by the Guilford Merchants Association.
“We had so many terrific nominations this year, it was difficult to pick winners. At every level, City employees used their expertise and critical thinking skills to come up with unique and cost-effective solutions to pressing problems. I am grateful for their service to our community, and honored to work with them,” said City Manager David Parrish.
2020 Award Winners
- First Place – Fire Capt. Curtis “CJ” Woody Woody designed and fabricated a decontamination shower head that can be installed on fire trucks so that firefighters can clean their personal protective equipment in the field after a structure fire. Fires can release toxins into the air and the fire industry has focused its efforts to reduce firefighter exposure to these contaminants by carefully cleaning gear. The shower head has been installed on all City of Greensboro fire trucks.
- Second Place – Parking Enforcement Supervisor Walter Jordan After an uptick in fire extinguisher vandalism at the City’s four parking decks, Jordan purchased a $1 security alarm. This low-cost solution had the same deterrent effect as a typical commercial alarm system, which would have cost an estimated $13,000-$20,000.
- First Place – Planner Dana Clukey, Police Officer Trent Walker, and Equity and Inclusion Specialist Vonda Wingate When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of events planned to encourage local residents’ participation in the 2020 Census, staff quickly got creative in their outreach. Staff members across departments worked with community organizations to create a socially distanced, 22-car, 21-mile parade. They took the Census promotion through neighborhoods with the lowest participate rates. After the parade, those areas saw an 8.15 percent increase in Census participation. Each person counted locally in the Census brings an estimated $16,000 back to the City through federal funding for things like transportation, housing and community development.
- Second Place – Parks and Recreation Assistant Athletic Director Phil Hardin, Facility Coordinator Chamreece Diggs, and Athletics Superintendent Austin Homan In an effort to ensure that local families could continue to have an affordable football program, Greensboro Parks and Recreation partnered with colleagues in High Point to create the joint R.E.D. (Recreation, Education, Development) Zone Football league. The new program loosened weight limits and expanded playing requirements to ensure that every player gets game time.
Employees in the Communications, Coliseum, Parks and Recreation, and Library departments, as well as Creative Greensboro and the Office of Equipment and Inclusion, were awarded honorable mentions for a wide range of projects, including many that offered innovative ways to continue to provide services to residents during the pandemic.