Project Search Employees Make a Difference
In Department of Permitting Services — top
Project Search interns pictured with their DPS managers, left to right: Susan Scala-Demby, Gail Lucas, Brian, Diane Jones, Gene Von Gunten and Jimmy.
Montgomery County Government is partnering with two local nonprofits: SEEC, an adult rehabilitation provider; and Ivymount School, to implement Project Search, a program that has gained national attention. Project Search places young adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities in unpaid internships in a variety of workplace settings. The program is unique in its total immersion of interns in the workplace and its focus on both the needs of the interns and the workplace. The goal of Project Search at the end of the program year is competitive employment for the interns.
Since September, 2012, Jimmy and Brian, pictured, have been interns with the Department of Permitting Services (DPS) in the divisions of Land Development and Customer Service. They are learning marketable work skills that are transferable to competitive employment.
The interns were recently presented with DPS jackets in appreciation of their dedicated service. Jimmy has helped the division dig into a backlog of files that need to be prepared for document imaging. Imaged files are then available to department personnel without the need to search and retrieve paper files. This frees up DPS personnel for more face-to-face service to the public.
“Project SEARCH interns are valued members of the Department of Permitting Services,” said DPS director Diane Jones. “They help with important records management tasks that will give Montgomery County residents free access to critical information about water, wells, septic systems and building permits.”
Other departments supporting Project Search interns include: Transportation, Environmental Protection, County Attorney’s Office, General Services, Liquor Control, Finance, Recreation and Public Libraries.
For more information on Project Search, contact Gail Nachman, 240-777-2537, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
dataMontgomery Website Adds Food Inspection Data
Sunshine Week This Year is March 10 - 16 — top
Sunshine Week is celebrated every year by news organizations to hail the passage of the federal Freedom of Information Act in 1966. In 1970, Maryland passed the Maryland Public Information Act, and the Open Meetings Act was passed in 1977.
In early December of last year, County Executive Isiah Leggett announced a major advance in the County’s open government efforts that will significantly improve government transparency, accessibility and efficiency. The new dataMontgomery website (https://data.montgomerycountymd.gov) provides direct access to disaggregate data sets, which include food inspection data, employee salaries, cable inspections and complaints, residential and commercial building permits, hospitals, schools, fire stations, post offices, real property taxes and MC311 requests.
The food inspection data allows those who eat out to go online and check out their favorite restaurant, carry-out or market. The inspection data can be sorted in a variety of ways, including by name of the establishment, location and whether the business is in compliance with food safety requirements, nutritional labeling, the trans fat ban and the posting of non-smoking signs.
Food safety inspectors work out of the Licensure & Regulatory Services Program in the Department of Health and Human Services. The 20 inspectors are classified as Environmental Health Specialists and are registered with the Maryland Board of Environmental Health Specialists. These specialists have training and experience in the prevention of public health hazards and disease control, and are responsible for carrying out measures for protecting public health, including administering and enforcing legislation related to environmental health and providing support to minimize health and safety hazards.
“Having this information available online to the public helps everyone,” said HHS Senior Administrator Clark Beil. “Our inspectors continue to do their jobs as they always have, but the data is now readily available and within the public’s reach.”