Orange County Programs Recognized with a Pair of 2023 VACo Achievement Awards

ORANGE COUNTY, Va. – Orange County is honored to receive two Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) Achievement Awards in recognition of exemplary programs. The Office of Economic Development and Tourism was recognized for the Edna Lewis Menu Trail and the County of Orange Fire & EMS Department (COFEMS) was recognized for their Firefighter/EMT Education & Workforce Partnership Initiative.

The Edna Lewis Menu Trail earned the Achievement Award thanks to its meaningful efforts to address underrepresentation and share the remarkable story of Chef Edna Lewis. Though just as groundbreaking and influential as other famous chefs of the time, she is not as well known outside of culinary circles. To help spread the word, media representatives were invited to an event in October 2022 which included information about her legacy and a familiarization tour. The results of this effort continue to showcase her influence and elevate Orange County as a destination. For more information about this program, read the full nomination document or call (540) 661-5324.

COFEMS built upon last year’s success, when they were recognized with the title of “Best Small County Achievement” for their Whole Blood Program. This year’s Achievement Award recognized their efforts to address the widespread issue of recruiting qualified emergency personnel. A first in the state, COFEMS partnered with Orange County Public Schools (OCPS) to train the EMS and firefighter leaders of tomorrow in active stations, not classrooms, for Firefighter 1 and EMS courses. This has translated into internships and new hires in our community. For more information about this program, read the full nomination document or call (540) 672-7044.

“Orange County is again receiving recognition for our culture of innovation. Our employees continue to look for new ways to serve our community and I join with the Board of Supervisors in expressing appreciation for their work. Making a positive impact on people's lives is what we do.” said Theodore Voorhees, Orange County Administrator. For more information about VACo Achievement Awards, read their official press release.

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