SUMMIT COUNTY – The National Association of Counties has presented Summit County with the Best in Category Award for Health for the collaborative work of its Opioid Reduction Advisory Council (OAAC) to reduce the opioid epidemic, as well an Award of Excellence in the Community and Economic Development category for its support of the Minority Entrepreneur Capital Access Program (MCCAP) for minority entrepreneurs.

County officials convened the OAAC in 2020, after reaching legal settlements with opioid manufacturers and distributors, to provide advice and recommendations for programming and resources to help reduce the epidemic of opioids. To date, the OAAC has provided $7 million in grants and medications to local organizations, according to county officials.

“Combining the right resources, the right people, and the right structure, Summit County is looking to a future where the opioid epidemic is abating and our community is thriving,” said Summit County Executive, Ilene Shapiro.

“By working together, we are making a real and lasting difference in our community,” added Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda.

The MCCAP Collaborative Initiative – funded by Summit County and the City of Akron and managed by the Akron Urban League and the Western Reserve Community Fund (WRCF) – provides financial and technical assistance to minority-owned businesses, to women, veterans, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people in the construction industry in Summit County. In March, 14 participants collectively won over 112 new contracts totaling over $2.1 million in revenue and created 45 new jobs.

“Summit County and its partners support an inclusive and diverse economy in Summit County and are proud of the success of this necessary program,” Shapiro said.

“Minority-owned businesses have always been an afterthought when setting up an economic development program like MCCAP,” added Rachel Bridenstine, Executive Director of WRCF. “The program, however, is designed specifically for this extremely important segment of the business community…and has been successful in large part due to the collaborative nature of the program.”

“MCCAP has played an important role in providing technical assistance and financial support to hard-hit minority-owned businesses and we expect it to play a pivotal role in achieving an inclusive economic recovery,” said Teresa LeGrair, president and CEO of the Akron Urban League. .

Summit County was recognized at the July 21-24 Excellence Awards luncheon at the NACo’s annual conference and expo in Colorado.

Additionally, the Summit County Department of Finance and Budget, led by Director Phil Montgomery, received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The award was established in 1984 to encourage and assist state and local governments to prepare quality budget documents that reflect the guidelines established by the National Advisory Council on State and Local Budgeting and GFOA best practices. in terms of budgeting. The GFOA is a not-for-profit trade association of more than 19,000 members that evaluates budgets based on their competence as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide, and communications device. Budgets must be deemed competent in all four areas by three reviewers to receive the award.

“Summit County continues to be a good steward of public funds through quality budgeting,” County Executive Ilene Shapiro said. “This is a testament to the hard and consistent work of the management and staff of our Ministry of Finance and Budget.”

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