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Government Works

Government Works: Graphic Design Unit wins nine awards

Final Government Works StampThe County’s Graphic Design Unit won nine bronze “ADDY” awards from the Inland Empire American Advertising Awards held on March 18 at the Mission Inn in Riverside.

The American Advertising Awards is one of the largest advertising competitions in the nation. Thousands of advertising and design firms – both private and public sector – enter this prestigious industry competition.

This was the first time the County has entered the competition.

Click here to view the Graphic Design Unit’s winning artwork, which includes the County logo and the SB Strong logo.

This is an example of how Government Works.

Government Works: Health inspection program wins national award

Final Government Works StampAn innovative program to assist restaurants and other food facilities in reducing health violations in San Bernardino County was recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

The Health Education Liaison Program, which was implemented in 2012, was one of 19 programs nationwide and the only program in California to receive NACCHO’s prestigious Model Practice Award.

The Department of Public Health’s Division of Environmental Health Sciences (DEHS) developed the program because critical violations, if left uncorrected, can directly contribute to foodborne illness, posing significant risks to public health and safety.

“Our goal is to help businesses in our county be successful, while also protecting public health,” said Division Chief Corwin Porter. “This award is a great honor and evidence of our commitment to delivering high-quality services to residents of San Bernardino County.”

As part of HELP, low-scoring food facilities are offered a focused one-on-one consultation with an experienced Registered Environmental Health Specialist. During the consultation, the HELP consultant makes recommendations that are tailored to meet the needs of each food facility. A final report is sent to the facility addressing any areas of concern and recommendations to maintain long-lasting results and compliance. HELP is also offered to new facilities wanting to understand health and safety regulations.

The Board of Supervisors acknowledged DEHS for winning the award at a special presentation on Aug. 11.

“This award is in recognition of the working partnerships between Environmental Health Services and food facilities throughout San Bernardino County”, said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos.

HELP is now part of NACCHO’s online, publicly-accessible database of innovative best practices across a broad range of public health areas.

The services offered by DEHS are in line with the Countywide Vision to protect the health and safety of residents and visitors. Information on the Countywide Vision, Job Statement, and Paradigm can be found at

This is an example of how Government Works.

To learn more about HELP and other DEHS services, please visit our web page at or contact us at (800)442-2283.

Government Works: Inmate Fire Crew Program

Final Government Works Stamp

On Tuesday, the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) produced a YouTube video about the San Bernardino County Inmate Fire Crew program because it received a 2014 CSAC Challenge Award last year and is considered a best practice in the state. The County Sheriff and County Fire departments work together to identify and train inmates to assist County Fire in fighting wildfires.

The Inmate Fire Crew video is available for viewing here. A blog posting about the Inmate Fire Crew Program can also be read here.

The Inmate Fire crews are available to respond to all types of emergencies, including wildfires, floods, search and rescue, and earthquakes.  The crews are also busy with conservation and community service work projects, including brush abatement and wood chipping. Each inmate must pass a four-week training course that consists of classroom work.  Inmates must also complete rigorous physical fitness training. Job placement for graduates in the landscaping and construction industries is also helping to reduce recidivism.

This program is an example of how Government Works.

Supervisors adopt 2015-2016 Goals & Objectives

Achieving the Countywide Vision, increasing jobs and economic value, and ensuring the development of a well-planned, balanced, and sustainable county are among the goals and objectives established April 7 by the Board of Supervisors for the coming year.

“The Goals & Objectives are a promise to the people of San Bernardino County that the Board of Supervisors is fully committed to creating an outstanding quality of life for our residents, visitors, and investors,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Continuing our work toward achieving the Countywide Vision in collaboration with our cities and towns, schools, businesses, and other stakeholders will ensure that our county community will continue to thrive and succeed for generations to come.”

Final Government Works StampAnnual goals and objectives were established to create a clear line of authority between the public, as represented by the Board of Supervisors, and the activities carried out by County Government. The Board meets annually with the Chief Executive Officer as part of the CEO’s performance evaluation to develop the Goals & Objectives, which are then publicly discussed and acted upon by the Board. All proposals submitted to the Board and all activities carried out by County departments and staff must be tied to one or more of the Goals & Objectives.

“This Board has a strong commitment toward open and honest government,” Chairman Ramos said. “Publicly setting goals and objectives ensures that the public sets the County’s course and that County Government is accountable to the public for the work it does in our communities and how it spends the taxpayers’ dollars.”

The categories under which the Goals & Objectives fall are

— Implement the Countywide Vision

— Create, Maintain and Grow Jobs and Economic Value in the County

— Improve County Government Operations

— Operate in a Fiscally Responsible and Business-like Manner

— Ensure Development of a Well-Planned, Balanced, and Sustainable County

— Provide for the Safety, Health, and Social Service Needs of County Residents

— Pursue County Goals and Objectives by Working with Other Agencies

The County’s primary goal remains implementation of the Countywide Vision,, by convening conversations on community collaboration and collective action, and supporting the work of the Vision element groups.

Businesses boost participation in On-the-Job training program

Final Government Works StampThe number of businesses participating in the On-the-Job Training program offered by the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board  is on track to surpass last year’s numbers.  The On-the-Job Training program assists workers with finding employment, and reimbursing employers that hire workers who lack experience or training. The program pays up to 50 percent of a new employee’s salary, saving the company money normally spent on training.

“A small business is not an institution designed to train employees,” said Greg Hudson, president of Lifetime Solutions, a plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor located in Victorville. “If I send a new employee out with a skilled technician, the technician will to have to slow down to train the new employee, so productivity may be lost. It’s more cost-effective to recruit employees with experience.” “At the same time, finding qualified, experienced employees is challenging,” added Hudson.

The On-the-Job Training program allowed Lifetime Solutions to hire three inexperienced employees in the past year. The program eased the burden of new employee training. Hudson said the Workforce Investment Board allowed him to take a chance on people not as highly skilled who could become great employees.

The program has grown exponentially as more local businesses discover how useful it is. During the most recent program year ending in July, 259 people were placed into On-the-Job Training; which is an increase from 219 the prior year.

“This is the type of practical program our businesses are clamoring for,” said Sandy Harmsen, Executive Director of the San Bernardino County Workforce Investment Board. “The number of participants is up to 90 in the first three months of this fiscal year. So, clearly this is a service that is needed by our businesses.’’

The demand for the program comes from San Bernardino County’s growing industries, which covers a range of transportation, logistics, distribution, manufacturing, construction, healthcare, and energy and utilities. The wide variety of positions in these areas offers options for job seekers as they search for work in demand fields.

“On-the-Job Training represents an opportunity to use our resources to solve specific challenges our businesses face, while providing well-paying positions for our residents” San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chair, Janice Rutherford said.

This is an example of how Government Works.

To learn more about how On-the-Job Training can help your business, please call (800) 451-JOBS or visit

Office of Emergency Services wins gold for second year

Final Government Works StampFor the second year in a row, the San Bernardino County Fire, Office of Emergency Services (County Fire OES) was awarded the Gold Award by the California Emergency Services Association (CESA) at the association’s annual conference in Indian Wells.  On September 10, the Office of Emergency Services received the association’s highest honor for its creation of the “ROPE FOG” (Responders Organized for Pass Emergencies – Field Operations Guide).  Last year’s award was received for the development of the innovative Shelter Operations Compound, or SHOC, plan.

Recognizing the nationwide significance of the Cajon Pass/I-15 corridor, lessons learned from the 1996 train derailment that caused a 59 hour I-15 full freeway closure; and taking into account the possibility of a 7.8 catastrophic earthquake, County Fire OES took the lead in assembling critical stakeholders to address vulnerabilities and challenges faced in a catastrophic incident affecting the Cajon Pass. Stabilizing and restoring critical utilities is of the utmost importance to sustaining life, restoring the economy, and overall recovery.

OES steered the two-year planning effort and established a planning team, comprised of all the Cajon Pass stakeholders, to help create the ROPE FOG. Evaluating the progress of the FOG development involved a combination of training events, exercises, and real-world experience to determine whether the needs of the end user were addressed by the FOG.

The end result was the creation of a user-friendly hands-on tool that provides critical incident communications planning guidance, locates possible sites for essential operational locations and pinpoints critical infrastructure.

Receipt of the CESA Gold Award by County OES demonstrates the commitment of the County to be prepared for all hazards and serves as a reminder to all residents to take steps to be prepared themselves. Visit: to download your own copy of “Your Family Disaster Plan” and learn how you can take steps now to become better prepared for San Bernardino County’s next disaster.

Public Works clears mud and debris from Needles Highway

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Needles Hwy  Flooding 8-19-2014 Piute Wash 008 (2) (3)

Needles District Maintenance Supervisor Donald Toy took the picture to the left of the storm damage across Needles Highway following a series of thunderstorms this month.

The many storms that affected a huge portion of San Bernardino County on August 3 from the foothills of the valley to the Colorado River caused the Board of Supervisors to declare an emergency in order to seek state and federal disaster funds.

The single largest drainage system in eastern San Bernardino County are the Piute Washes on Needles Highway. This watershed magnet collects precipitation from as far away as the Sacramento Mountains, 30 miles to the west to the Piute Range that protects the Mohave National Preserve’s eastern border into Nevada. This flow of rain runoff will at times travel from as far away as Searchlight, Nevada 70 miles to the north. The runoff destination is the Colorado River which is 300 yards east of the Piute Washes north of Needles.

Motorists to Laughlin, Nevada who use Needles Highway will witness flows from Piute Washes causing road closures as maintenance crews wait so debris can be removed. Sometimes, drivers are stranded between washes and must wait for the water to subside before venturing forward.
This week, Public Works crews cleared the mud and debris and got the highway opened up quickly as seen on the right. This is an example of how Government Works.
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Government Works: Providing freedom through transportation

Final Government Works StampDid you know the Department of Aging and Adult Services teamed up with Valley Transportation Services to provide people in need with transportation?

The Transportation Reimbursement Escort Program provides help to seniors, people with disabilities and people of low income who reside in rural areas of San Bernardino County.

The focus of the program is to allow qualified seniors and persons with disabilities to hire their own volunteer drivers to provide necessary escort transportation when they are unable to drive and use other forms of transportation.
The participant-hired drivers are paid directly by the participant with funds they receive through this program. TREP provides access to necessary medical care and travel to other life-enriching activities. Individuals apply for the program and are qualified using the criteria of limited mobility or lack of public transit.  Clients are then eligible for a predetermined amount of mileage per month, depending on their particular needs.

TREP is available in all rural areas of the county, excluding the cities of Victorville, Hesperia, and Apple Valley and will soon be expanding into the San Bernardino Valley.

The Department of Aging and Adult Services and Valley Transportation Services of Upland were recognized for their efforts with a 2014 National Association of Counties Achievement Award.

This is an example of how Government Works.

Government Works: County Purchasing Department wins procurement award

2014 AEP Winner Graphic tallFinal Government Works StampThe San Bernardino County Purchasing Department has received the 2014 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement (AEP) Award from the National Procurement Institute.  The Purchasing Department obtains materials, equipment, and services in excess of $800 million annually that are essential to providing services to the citizens of San Bernardino County.

The AEP program is recognized and endorsed by the National Institute for Government Purchasing and several other national and state organizations as the mark of excellence in public procurement.  San Bernardino County achieved a high score based on criteria identified by the Institute, representative of industry best practices including innovation, professionalism, productivity, and leadership attributes of the procurement organization.

“Receiving this award is an honor, and serves as a reminder to the staff that its hard work and adherence to high standards is recognized and appreciated,” said Director Laurie Rozko.  She adds, “Several staff members were also recently credentialed as by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC), which is also recognized throughout the public procurement profession.”  The coveted Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO) and Certified Professional Public Buyer (CPPB) credentials demonstrate individual competence and comprehensive knowledge of public procurement.

On a daily basis, buyers and procurement staff conduct competitive bidding processes often involving complex subject matter and government regulations, and work in tandem with County Finance to plan and monitor processes that are critical to internal controls and budgetary goals.

This is an example of how Government Works.

Government Works: Lowering recidivism with training, employment

Final Government Works StampDid you know the County’s Workforce Investment Board and the Fontana Police Department teamed up to help lower the recidivism rate for early release prisoners and probationers?

The Fontana Police Department’s Re-Entry Support (FRST) team was created to assist previously incarcerated individuals with re-assimilation into society. Nationally, the rate at which this population re-offends and goes back to prison is 75 percent.

The FRST team conducted an assessment and learned that the biggest issue above food, medical care, substance abuse treatment, and housing was lack of employment.

FRST reached out to the Workforce Investment Board to help provide employment services, job coaching, job search assistance and re-connection to the workforce that participants needed. Since September 2012, FRST and the Workforce Investment Board have provided 256 people with medical services, counseling, therapy, support groups, assistance with driver license and social security compliance, social services, shelter, education, occupational skills and employment.

The program has placed over 106 clients in employment.

Recently, the National Association of Counties recognized FRST and the Workforce Investment Board with an Achievement Award for their innovative program.

This is an example of how Government Works.

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