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PennDOT Employees Receive Governor’s Awards for Excellence

May 26, 2022 08:40 AM
By: Alexis Campbell

​Several PennDOT employees were recently recognized with Governor's Awards for Excellence in recognition of their efforts on two critical department initiatives.

Former Policy Director (and current Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator) Natasha Fackler and Former Executive Policy Specialist Emily Watts were honored for their work in developing the first-ever Pennsylvania Litter Action Plan. They shared the honor with staff from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) as well.

Through coordination with over 100 stakeholders, the employees spearheaded the development of an actionable plan with the goal to shift the focus of Pennsylvania's response to litter from cleanup to prevention. The plan includes resources and suggestions for the General Assembly, state agencies, local governments, and the public.

PennDOT spends roughly $14 million each year on litter cleanup statewide, and DEP has funded "Pick Up Pennsylvania" community litter cleanups and illegal dump site cleanups for over two decades, supporting volunteers in removing many tons of trash from the land and waters. 

John Taylor, Ian Detamore and Aaron Wolf, who work in Multimodal Transportation's Bureau of Public Transportation, were part of a team of employees from Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Office of Administration (OA) recognized for their efforts to develop Find My Ride (FMR) Apply, an easy-to-use online tool that allows individuals in most Pennsylvania counties to apply for transportation assistance programs.

Since its rollout of FMR Apply in May 2021, benefits to transit agencies, PennDOT, Department of Human Services, and customers has been considerable. Customers do not need to determine what programs they are eligible for, and this, coupled with the user-friendly application has resulted in an increase in applications submitted. Automatic data validation within the application has resulted in improved data accuracy, saving transit agencies time and money in processing applications. Transit agencies can process applications more efficiently, which allows transit users to access benefits more quickly. 

The Governor's Awards for Excellence recognize exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation and increased efficiency. The PennDOT honorees was among 50 employees from 12 state agencies honored by Governor Wolf at a ceremony today for exceptional accomplishments in 2021. Congratulations to all the winners!

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