Industry News // August 30, 2021
Thank you to our employees!
To our employees, clients, commissioners, and communities we serve:
I am so proud of our employees’ efforts during this past year and a half. COVID-19 challenged the Washington County CDA team to deliver our core services differently. It required us to think outside the box. It made us develop different skills. We rose to the challenge.
Protecting and Pivoting
In March 2020, the CDA swiftly developed a COVID-19 preparedness plan emphasizing the health and safety of our employees, residents, and clients. As an agency that prides itself on its availability and responsiveness, the decision to close our physical doors to the public was not an easy one. Many government programs were never designed to be carried out in a remote environment. However, one of the most impressive things we did was maintain our quality service delivery while transitioning to a work-from-home model. Our employees worked together to identify sticking points and solutions. It would not have been possible without the valiant efforts of our Administrative Services employees. Our team’s ability to quickly pivot has accentuated our operational resiliency and our position as a trusted partner to Washington County communities.
Assisting and Sustaining
While we experienced our own operational challenges, we recognized that our neighbors were experiencing greater challenges. I’m very pleased with how our teams responded to the needs of our clients, renters, homeowners who were deeply impacted by COVID-19, income reductions, and job losses. Our Housing Assistance and Property Management teams acted promptly to safeguard their housing stability and affordability during this time of great uncertainty. Our Homeownership Team administered $1.3 million in homeowner stabilization grants to approximately 180 homeowners.
CDA employees also responded to the needs of our local businesses who were forced to close or halt operations in the face of public health directives. Our Economic Development team administered over $10 million in business relief grants to over 800 small businesses in Washington County.
I’m honored to announce an audit of these federal grants resulted in a clean opinion, the highest level of audit opinions with no findings and no recommendations. This can be attributed to the programmatic and financial controls executed by our employees and Finance team.
Inspiring and Uplifting
I’m inspired and uplifted by the dedication, selflessness, and resilience demonstrated across the CDA throughout 2020 and 2021, so far. It has been remarkable to witness how our teams came together to support our residents, our small businesses, and our communities to ensure everyone prospers. This collaborative work represents the core values of the Washington County CDA. I am truly in awe of each and every one of our 25 employees!
Melissa Taphorn, Executive Director