News Flash

County Administrative Office

Posted on: December 13, 2021

Next Step Program, Business Reopening Video earn statewide honors

CSAC Challenge Award Logo

Demonstrating some of the most innovative statewide programs, the County of Humboldt was again recognized as a recipient of this year’s California State Association of Counties’ (CSAC) Challenge Awards. The county’s Next Step Program and Interactive Video for Certifying Business Reopening both received Challenge Awards. 

CSAC annually honors best practices in county governments in California. This year, CSAC received a record 433 entries with 52 programs from 22 counties being honored throughout California. An independent panel of judges with expertise in county programs selected the award recipients.

Probation Department: The Next Step Program
The Humboldt County Probation Department’s The Next Step Program earned the Challenge Award for Administration of Justice and Public Safety. The program reduces crime by addressing an offender’s essential needs for food and shelter through a housing first model immediately upon release from prison. The Probation Department thought outside the box by creating and playing an active role in a residential program tailored to the population they supervise. They considered one of the most difficult needs to overcome – homelessness – and sought a partnership with a community partner with expertise in that area. When a homeless offender is placed in Next Step, it’s known they will have a personally tailored experience, offering clear attainable means of becoming self-sufficient in a sustainable and pro-social way. 

“We are honored to be recognized by CSAC as Humboldt County is fortunate to have such great partnerships with organizations like the Arcata House Partnership,” said Humboldt County Chief Probation Officer Shaun Brenneman. “They are truly dedicated to making our community a better place.” 

County Administrative Office - Economic Development: Certifying Business Reopening Video
For CSAC’s Disaster/Emergency Response and Management category, the County Administrative Office - Economic Development Team (Go HumCo), won for its Interactive Video For Certifying business Reopening. The outcome resulted in over 700 local businesses participating in the program. The Economic Development Division created an online interactive video certification process to support businesses and educate them on the ever-changing State and local COVID guidelines. In partnership with the Humboldt County Emergency Operations Center and the Humboldt County Joint Information Center, the Economic Development Division conducted video interviews with local businesses, co-locating industry guidance in one repository location on the Division’s website and creating an online exam and web-based attestation/certification “re-opening” process for business owners. 

“This award reflects the hard work of the CAO’s office of Economic Development staff and our community partners who strive each day to provide our business community with critical economic development support,” said Scott Adair, Director of Economic Development for the County of Humboldt. “Our staff was excited to hear of this recognition and receipt of this award further fuels our agency’s enthusiasm to foster economic prosperity for our community in the upcoming new year.”

For more information about the winning entries and the CSAC Challenge Awards, visit the CSAC website.

CSAC Challenge Awards website
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