Albany County Executive McCoy announced today that the county has been selected for a national achievement award for the Veteran Identifier program administered by the Department of Social Services (DSS). The Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties serve to honor innovative, effective county government programs that enhance services for residents.
The Albany County Veteran Identifier program is the first of its kind in New York and provides a link to services to veterans who may need assistance from DSS and other agencies. The county employs a social worker who is a veteran to assist veterans and their families and to provide information on the programs and services that are available. Since the program was launched in June of 2014, more than 260 veterans have been identified and served by the Veterans Identifier Program in the county.
“I am pleased that this programmatic approach to ending homelessness among our veterans has gained national recognition,” said McCoy. “Our service personnel deserve better. We need to work in partnership to provide access to services veterans need. The Veterans Identifier Program is a valuable tool that DSS staff use every day.”
NACo President Riki Hokama, council member, Maui County, Hawaii, said, “The National Association of Counties applauds county governments that are embracing innovative and more effective ways to serve their constituents. The Achievement Awards recognize counties’ outstanding efforts to strengthen services and deliver results for residents across the country.”
Nationally, awards are given in 21 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice, county administration, environmental protection, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.
The awards are being presented at NACo’s 2015 Annual Conference and Exposition July 10–13 in Mecklenburg County, N.C. Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Award Program is designed to recognize innovative county government programs. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.