Innovation Awards

New Hanover County is committed to developing new and strategic ways to better serve the public and make a difference in our community.

Accreditations & Recognitions

  • Fire Rescue: received international accreditation from the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI) for first-class fire services in 2022
  • Senior Resource Centerreceived recertification as a Center for Excellence for the fourth time in 2022
  • Health Department: received re-accreditation for the fifth time in 2022
  • New Hanover Countyreceived "Fit-Friendly Employer" recognition from the American Heart Association for the fourth consecutive year in FY2016-2017
  • Sheriff's Office: received Commission Accreditation for Law Enforcement Activities (CALEA) in July 2015.

National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards

2023 NACo Awards

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  • Building Safety - Permitting Continuous Improvement
  • Community Justice Services - Youth Intensive Intervention Services Program
  • Cooperative Extension - Nature at Home Volunteer Program
  • Diversity and Equity - Su Candado YouTube show
  • Diversity and Equity - New Hanover County Connect
  • Finance - Wilmington Housing Authority Recovery
  • Health and Human Services - Escape the Vape
  • Health and Human Services/Senior Resource Center - Old Adult Dental Program
  • Human Resources - Burnout Learning and Development
  • Senior Resource Center - Older Adult Mental Health Program
  • Planning and Land Use - Water Quality Monitoring Program

2022 NACo Awards

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  • Community Justice Services/CFCC Partnership
  • Health and Human Services – Crisis Intervention Program Payments
  • Health and Human Services – Homeowner Assistance Program
  • Health and Human Services – Kinship Therapeutic Foster Care Program
  • Health and Human Services – School Based Mental Health Program
  • Parks & Gardens and New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office – Parks Resource Officer
  • Planning & Land Use – Workforce Housing Gap Rental Assistance Pilot Program
  • Senior Resource Center – Master Aging Plan
  • Engineering – Stormwater Services
  • Office of Strategy and Health and Human Services – Health and Human Services Strategic Plan

2021 NACo Awards

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  • Best in Category Award: Strategy – Process Improvement for HHS Mailroom
  • DSS – Childcare and Rental Assistance Program
  • Finance/Strategy - Small Business Grants Program
  • Museum – 1989 Story Map
  • Emergency Management/Health and Human Services – Fire Vaccine Program
  • Human Resources – Resiliency Training
  • Human Resources – Supervisor Training in Health and Human Services
  • Diversity & Equity – Diversity & Equity on Covid Response
  • Arboretum – Stormwater Infiltration Zones
  • Health and Human Services – COVID Outreach and Partnering Program

2020 NACo Awards

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  • Strategy and HR – PaSS Reading Program
  • Airlie Gardens – Stormwater Project
  • Environmental Management – Composting Program
  • Finance – Short-term rental tax automation and compliance program
  • New Hanover County Public Library – CLASS Project

2019 NACo Awards

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  • New Hanover County's Community Recovery Resource Center (also received a NC Association of County Commissioners Excellence in Innovation Award)
  • Development Services and IT – Customer Online Access Services Tool
  • Social Services – Drug Positive Infant Protocol
  • Environmental Management –  Landfill Leachate Treatment System
  • Communications & Outreach – Opioid Public Service Announcements
  • New Hanover County's Pre-K Pilot Expansion
  • New Hanover County's partnership with the TIDES Program

2018 NACo Awards

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  • Community Justice Services – Case Management Program to increase self-sufficiency
  • Fire Rescue – pilot program to reduce emergency incident travel times (also received a NCACC Excellence in Innovation Award)
  • Public Library – Fiction to Fashion program
  • Senior Resource Center –  Short-Term Home Delivered Meals Program
  • Senior Resource Center – cooking demonstrations and raised garden
  • Sheriff's Office – Community1 Program (also received a NCACC Excellence in Innovation Award)

2017 NACo Awards

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  • Planning and Land Use – Development Activity Webpage (also received NACo's "100 Brilliant Ideas at Work" Award)
  • Environmental Management – HazWagon Program
  • New Hanover County in partnership with LINC, Inc. – Jail Diversion Program
  • Parks and Gardens – Ogden Skatepark (also received a NCACC Excellence in Innovation Award)
  • Soil and Water Conservation District – Outdoor Environmental Learning Centers
  • New Hanover County – S.E.R.V.E. Training and Leadership Program for employees

2016 NACo Awards

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  • Community Justice Services – Youth Job Skills Development
  • Community Justice Services – Pretrial Release Services Program
  • Department of Social Services – Family Support Program's Fatherhood Initiative
  • Public Library – Story Stations
  • Information Technology – Project Management (also received a NCACC Excellence in Innovation Award)
  • Fire Rescue – Smoke Alarm and Fire Prevention Program Helping the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Engineering – Maintaining Carolina Beach Inlet
  • Building Safety and Planning & Land Use – Task-Oriented Cross Training
  • Environmental Management – Community Battery Recycling
  • Department of Social Services – Intensive Reunification Foster Care Program

Additional Awards


  • NC Cooperative Extension & New Hanover County Arboretum - Outstanding Stewardship Award from the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Coalition