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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Joan Olson (630) 407-6015

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

DuPage County Earns National Achievement Award for RAMP-Up Program

DuPage County has been recognized with an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo). The awards honor innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents. 

NACo recognized the Recovery and Manufacturing-A Path Up (RAMP-Up) program in the Community and Economic Development Category. The RAMP-Up program provides manufacturing certification training to individuals in recovery from opioid use and substance abuse, allowing them to obtain meaningful employment, while also providing local employers with a distinct talent pool. The program began with a public-private partnership started by DuPage County’s Workforce Development Division (workNet DuPage) and the Heroin-Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce.

“One of the greatest challenges facing our community is the opioid crisis, and we are constantly searching for new ways to reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic on our county,” said County Board Chairman Dan Cronin. “The RAMP-Up Program represents a transformative opportunity offering real change and a measurable impact on the people and communities involved. We are grateful to our innovative workNet DuPage team who brought this creative solution forward and to their colleagues in the Public Defender’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office and in the probation system who identified and supported program candidates.”

“We want every resident of DuPage County to have access to necessary job training and development. WorkNet’s RAMP-Up program is an outstanding example of going the extra mile to accomplish that,” said Tim Elliott, Chairman of the County’s Economic Development Committee.

"We must encourage counties, states and the federal government to follow DuPage's lead and consider workforce development as a critical component of combating the opioid epidemic. Through these partnerships, we can provide a path away from addiction and toward a productive future, one job at a time," said HOPE Taskforce Co-Chairman Greg Hart.

NACo President Mary Ann Borgeson said, “We are seeing firsthand now more than ever that counties work tirelessly to support our residents. This year’s Achievement Award-winning programs showcase how counties build healthy, safe and vibrant communities across America.”

Nationally, awards are given in 18 different categories that reflect the vast, comprehensive services counties provide. The categories include children and youth, criminal justice and public safety, county administration, information technology, health, civic engagement and many more.

Started in 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards program is designed to recognize county government innovations. Each nominee is judged on its own merits and not against other applications received.