Business Incubator and Community Court Programs Honored
The City of Santa Clarita has won two prestigious League of California Cities Helen Putnam Awards for Excellence in the category of Intergovernmental Collaboration for its Community Court Diversion Program, and in the category of City-Business Relations for the Santa Clarita Business Incubator program. Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean accepted the awards on behalf of the City of Santa Clarita on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at the League of California Cities Annual Conference and Expo, in Long Beach.
“We are once again ecstatic to be honored for two innovative projects that are making a difference in the lives of Santa Clarita residents,” said Mayor Pro Tem McLean. “The City’s priority is to develop and execute programs that are forward thinking and provide beneficial solutions for all. This year’s award-winning programs may relate to vastly different sectors in our community, but they also highlight the well-rounded approach taken by City staff to maintain the high quality of life in Santa Clarita.”
Prior to 2006, youth who committed petty crimes in Santa Clarita would become one of thousands processed through the Los Angeles County Juvenile Justice system. To remedy this, staff from the City of Santa Clarita, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and William S. Hart Union High School District created the Santa Clarita Community Court Diversion Program. The program consists of two options for first time, juvenile offenders: Community Court, for offenses such as petty theft, curfew violations and vandalism, and Teen Court, for more severe offenses such as assault, possession of a controlled substance and burglary. Sheriff’s Department personnel refer cases to the court and serve as the bailiff during court sessions. William S. Hart Union High School District students serve as volunteer peer jurors and local practicing attorneys volunteer as judges. To date, nearly 4,200 youth have participated, more than 40,000 hours of community service have been performed in Santa Clarita and participants have a 98 percent completion success rate.
The City also received a Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations for the success of the Santa Clarita Business Incubator, which is a collaboration between the City, College of the Canyons and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Business Incubator helps local entrepreneurs groom their cutting-edge ideas and connect them to resources necessary to thrive. The Business Incubator provides startup companies with one-on-one business consultation, access to funding and customized trainings for tenants. Companies that participate in the program align with the Santa Clarita Valley’s targeted business industry clusters of digital media, entertainment and information technology. Since the program launched in 2014, 19 new jobs have been created in Santa Clarita. By the end of 2017, two companies that have completed the three-year program have successfully graduated and transitioned into nearby operating locations, adding new, high quality jobs to the area.
This is the thirteenth year the City of Santa Clarita has won Helen Putnam Awards for Excellence. The City has won 17 Helen Putnam Awards total. In 2017, the City won in the category of Public Safety for the program Heroin Kills, and in the category of Internal Administration for its Employee Development program.
The Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program holds a long-standing tradition with all California cities as being a coveted and premier award, recognizing outstanding achievements in a variety of categories that deliver the highest quality service, in the most effective manner possible.