Student Perks Program Recognized by Florida Association of Counties

St. Lucie County was awarded a County Government Best Practices Award from the Florida Counties Foundation during the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) Annual Conference in Orange County last week. St. Lucie County received the award for Student Perks Coffee Cart program and was among seven counties honored during the FAC Celebration Dinner.

In partnership with St. Lucie Public Schools, the Board of County Commissioners created a weekly coffee cart program, giving students the opportunity to run a coffee shop inside the County Administration Complex, offering real-world experience and providing much needed snacks and coffee to county employees. Last year, the program received a National Association of Counties Program Excellence Award.

The Student Perks program has been so successful that it was offered this year at Port St. Lucie City Hall and plans are underway to offer it in the 2019-20 school year at the City of Fort Pierce. Students Perks is currently on summer break, but plans to return to the St. Lucie County Administration Complex on Tuesdays this fall and Port St. Lucie City Hall on Thursdays.

 “The Best Practices Award is a great way to highlight local initiatives and innovative solutions that counties are employing to increase efficiencies in service.” said Executive Director of the Florida Counties Foundation Eric Poole. “It’s our goal, not only to honor this year’s winners, but to also encourage a peer to peer exchange of ideas between all 67 counties.”

Launched this year, the FAC awards program was designed for counties to submit programs or projects for consideration that address specific needs within their communities.  Twenty- two projects were submitted for consideration, with seven project submissions meeting the criteria set forth in the nomination form.

The winning projects were:

·       Alachua County: Emergency Operations Center Shelter Communications App

·       Volusia County: Animal Abuse Database

·       St. Lucie County: Student Perks – Coffee Cart

·       Leon County: Development Support and Environment Management “Upgrade”

·       Orange County: Recycling Quality Improvement Program

·       Osceola County: SENSES Park

·       Pasco County: Connected City: America’s first gigabit community built from the ground up

In 1990, the Florida Association of Counties established the Florida Counties Foundation (FCF) to address the growing need for education programs and technical assistance in counties across Florida. Today, FCF offers outstanding education programs designed to help county commissioners and county staff better serve their communities.