Archive for October, 2011

Job Growth Soars in PWC

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as the national job growth increased 1.3  percent, Prince William County experienced job growth of 4.3 percent from March 2010 to March 2011.  Prince William County now ranks #1 in job growth for the Commonwealth of Virginia and #3 in job growth for the nation when compared to the other 322 large US counties.

As businesses continue to rely on the strength of the Northern Virginia labor market and the strategic location near Washington, DC, new jobs were created throughout the region despite a down economy.  Prince William County remains focused on creating a business-friendly environment to ensure further job growth when the economy rebounds.

For more information on labor statistics, visit www.bls.gov.  To review the data, visit:

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for Historic Trone/Weedon Cemetery

Cutting the ribbon at the historic Trone/Weedon Cemetery.I recently partnered with the Prince William Resolves Chapter of the Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution (VADAR) to host a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the restoration of the historic Trone/Weedon Cemetery.  Dating back to the 1830s, the cemetery has interred the Trone and Weedon families and is located on land bordering that of Bel Air Plantation, once owned by the Ewell family.

Supervisor Nohe speaks during the ribbon cutting ceremony.The Prince William Resolves Chapter of VADAR raised funds and was awarded a grant by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution to fund the restoration project. As part of the project, a wrought iron fence was fabricated and installed surrounding the cemetery to replace an aging and dilapidated existing fence, and signage was mounted to identify the many individuals that donated.

This was a huge accomplishment that took creativity and many hours to complete, and will honor the many individuals interred at the cemetery and their families.  I was excited to be a part of this event and I would like to congratulate the Prince William Resolves Chapter of VADAR.

Americans in Wartime Museum Breaks Ground

Americans in Wartime Museum GroundbreakingOn Tuesday, October 26, the Prince William Board of County Supervisors broke ground on the planned Americans in Wartime Museum, which will be located on a 70-acre site in eastern Prince William County.  The national   museum will be located at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Dale Boulevard and is expected to open on Veterans Day 2014.  The $100 million project is expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors each year and add 50 new jobs.

The Americans in Wartime Museum will tell the stories of all branches of the military and those who remained on the home front from World War I to the present.  Exhibits and activities will include operational armor and aircraft, living history reenactments, educational programs and military artifacts. 

The Americans in Wartime Museum is a partnership between Prince William County, the United States Congress, the Commonwealth of Virginia and   private donors.  It joins the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Manassas National Battlefield Park, and many other military and historical attractions located throughout Prince William County.  For information about the museum, visit http://www.nmaw.org/.

Sneak Peak of New County Website

new PWC websiteThe County is currently in the process of redesigning its website. As the site continues to be developed, the Communications and Information Technology departments would like for you to take a few minutes to check it out and let them know what you think.

Do you like the menu structure, the look of the site, the functionality?  With your feedback and input, the site can be improved to better meet the needs of the County’s customers.  To access the test page of the new site, visit http://beta.pwcgov.org/Pages/default.aspx#.  This is a beta site only, so please remember to visit www.pwcgov.org in order to access the most current information.

Please note that the County’s Web address, www.pwcgov.org,will not change.

PWC Continues to be “Certified Crime Prevention Community”

Eleven years ago, Prince William became the first county in Virginia to earn the “Certified Crime Prevention Community” designation under a state program that publicly recognizes and certifies localities that have implemented a defined set of community safety strategies.  On Tuesday, October 4, the Board of County Supervisors accepted the County’s recertification as a Certified Crime Prevention Community, as identified by Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS).

The last recertification process in 2008 was handled by the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit, and members of the Unit were rewarded for their hard work by being notified that their application was to be used as a model for the state’s fledgling recertification process.

To obtain recertification, Crime Prevention Unit members had to:

  • Research and collate data to fit the goals and objectives originally submitted in 2001, and develop new measures and goals that were measurable.
  • Gather input from the Crime Prevention Unit, Juvenile Bureau, the Public Information Office, Accreditation, Crime Analysis, the Prince William County Public Schools’ Risk Management Office, the Neighborhood Services Division of the Department of Public Works, and the Victim/Witness Unit of the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney.

The purpose of this program is to reduce the fear of crime through the development and implementation of community safety plans that target youth violence, gang activity and drug involvement. To obtain certification, Prince William County had to meet 12 mandatory core community safety elements or strategies and a minimum of seven approved optional elements set forth by DCJS. The core strategies in Prince William County include:

  1. The Prince William Crime Prevention Council, a non-profit citizen group dedicated to the promotion of community safety through education, community events and regular meetings.
  2. Certified Crime Prevention Specialists employed by the Prince William County Police Department.
  3. A nationally recognized Neighborhood Watch program, which was established in 1979.
  4. A formal community policing program to ensure police response to quality-of-life issues.

The Department’s optional strategies include:

  1. 1. The McGruff House program, administered by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, which provides shelter for children in emergency situations.
  2. 2. The Crime Solvers program, administered by the Police Department’s Public Information Office.
  3. 3. School-based prevention programs.

For more information on the recertification, please contact the Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at (703)792-7270.

PWC Achieves “100 Best Communities” Recognition for Second Year

For the second consecutive year, Prince William County achieved national recognition as one of America’s Promise Alliance’s “100 Best Communities for Young People” for its initiatives to help young people. The competition recognizes communities across the country that focus on reducing high school dropout rates and providing service and support to their youth.

Prince William County remains a top place for youth because of programs that assist in developing the skills, knowledge and positive attitude its young residents will need to succeed in the 21st century workforce. More than 56 percent of the local budget is allocated for schools, and an additional 10 percent is used to support youth programs. Programs such as Beat the Odds and Learn and Serve encourage students to take on leadership positions, and allow them to interact with adult mentors. Since its inception, Beat the Odds has provided more than $100,000 for youth-focused programs. The County’s Parents as Educational Partners is a 36-hour parent outreach program designed to educate and empower parents on how to become their children’s biggest advocates. The program has improved English language skills and education among its participants. Today, Prince William County graduates 88 percent of its students, well above the national average.

For more information about America’s Promise Alliance, visit www.americaspromise.org.

Fuel Assistance Applications Begin

Applications for Fuel Assistance through the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) Energy Assistance Program are being accepted Tuesday, Oct. 11 through Monday, Nov. 14, 2011. Families and individuals must apply through their local Department of Social Services. For Prince William County residents, call the Department of Social Services at 703-792-7500 or pick up an application at the Ferlazzo Government Center, 15941 Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge, or Sudley North Government Center, 7987 Ashton Avenue in Manassas.

Fuel Assistance is a supplemental program intended to assist low-income households in meeting their home heating energy needs. The Energy Assistance Program is funded by the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) block grant, which provides money to states to help low-income households, the elderly and disabled cope with the financial strain of high heating bills. To be eligible for Fuel Assistance, applicants must qualify based upon their income and household size.

For more information on the Energy Assistance Program, visit the VDSS Web site: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/benefit/ea/index.html or call Prince William County Department of Social Services at 703-792-7500.