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Issue 137

Friday, October 21, 2022

Prince William County

Dear Neighbors,

It's so easy to get caught up in our day to day routines. Navigating between our family, work, and social lives can be challenging. Yet, it's important to take the time to pause and give recognition to groups, organizations, and individuals. 

Every Wheeler Report does this in a variety of ways. Chair's Calendar articles have showcased visits to local nonprofits and the work our County departments do for our citizens. BOCS proclamations, commendations, and recognitions have acknowledged the contributions of diverse communities and organizations. County Kudos has put a spotlight on individuals who have made an impact in the lives of others. 

This past week I attended a recognition that was particularly poignant and honored 14 years of service to our County. A commitment to run into danger, not away. Yes, it is important to take the time to recognize the invaluable contributions and sacrifices by organizations and people.  

In Service,

Chair Ann Wheeler

Chair's Calendar

Open House

Saturday, October 15, Chair Wheeler visited Station 22 and Station 11 during the PWC Department of Fire and Rescue Open House event 

PWC Department of Fire and Rescue Station 22 (Groveton) in Manassas opened in January 2021. It serves the western part of the county with two medic ambulances, two pumpers, a heavy rescue unit, collapse support truck, swift water vehicle with boat, and a safety officer. 

Stone House Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Station 11 in Manassas has served the area since 1971. It serves the area just west of Manassas with two pumpers, one ladder truck, two ambulances, and a medic unit. It responds to 5,000 calls for service each year.

Celebration of Life

Thursday, October 21, Chair Wheeler attended the Celebration of Life Service for PWC Department of Fire and Rescue Technician II Derek Shifflett, who passed away unexpectedly while off duty. Derek joined the Department in 2008 and served admirably in assignments at Stations 20, 12, 4, 25, 23, 24, and 11.  Along with his wife Becca, he leaves behind 3 beautiful girls Brooke, Jillian, and Claire. In addition, he is survived by his parents, John and Debbie Shifflett, as well as his sister, Carissa.  

The Prince William Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 2598 shared the video tribute below for Derek on its Facebook page


Friday, October 21, Chair Wheeler attended the PWC Public Schools Woodbridge Senior High's Homecoming Parade. Also there was Occoquan Magisterial District Supervisor Kenny Boddye (center picture) and PWC Public Schools Superintendent LaTanya D. McDade (pictured right).


Next Meeting

Tuesday, November 1

7:30 pm 

Links to the agenda and to register to participate in Public Comment Time remotely will be shared in issue prior to the meeting.

Currently, the only expected item on the November 1 meeting agenda is the public hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendment #CPA2021-00004, the PW Digital Gateway Plan (issue 132).

closed meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, at 10:00 am

BOCS Tuesday, October 18, Meeting Proclamations

Proclaimed October Disability Employment Awareness Month to educate

people about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of Prince William County workers with disabilities. The month also showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices. In recognition of the important role people with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce, this year's theme is Disability: Part of the Equity Equation. Prince William County is committed to ensuring compliance with the Federal Disabilities Act and other disability rights laws on the state and local level that enable the rights and freedom for disabled individuals to work and earn a living.

The unemployment rate for working-age persons with disabilities is currently about twice as high as it is for persons without disabilities. 

Didlake Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy Rachel Payne, Ph.D. accepted the proclamation. 

Proclaimed October Arts and Humanities Month to recognize the intrinsic value of the arts and humanities, and to acknowledge they are essential to the health, well-being, vitality, and democracy of our County and nation. Prince William County Arts Council works to elevate the arts across the County and is committed to the value that arts and culture bring to our lives and communities. Prince William County's annual support of the Council ensures the arts reach communities and organizations across the County.

PWC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism Art Specialist Herb Williams, PWC Poet Laureate Emerita, Kim B Miller, and PWC Arts Council Secretary, Alice Mergler (holding the commendation) accepted the proclamation. 

Proclaimed October Employee-Ownership Month in Prince William County. Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) have been established in

numerous companies around the country, employing nearly eleven million working men and women in recognized companies like Publix Super Market, King Arthur’s Flour, and Wawa. Employee ownership is becoming a practice that is instrumental in helping Americans share in our nation’s growth and prosperity by enabling our citizens to accumulate significant amounts of capital stock in the business where they are employed at no cost to themselves.

St Michael's Vice President of Client Experience Mark J. Michalski (holding the proclamation) accepted the proclamation. 

Some of the Employee-Ownership Benefits

  • Increased productivity
  • Improved employee retention
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Has been shown to narrow the wealth inequality gap
  • Employee owners are more likely to engage in important vocational training
  • Employee-owned companies are more likely to sponsor training that promotes employee job growth and development

County News

Supporting PWC Small Businesses

Since the Restore Retail grant program (issue 94) opened in 2021, the PWC Department of Economic Development, through the PWC Industrial Development Authority (IDA), has awarded more than $5 million to more than 350 PWC small businessesThis grant program was established for customer-facing small businesses that either own or lease their facility and would include retail, restaurants/food service, arts & entertainment, event venues, personal services, and child program businesses. Awardees must use grant funds for general operating expenses or adaptive costs related to COVID-19. The program is open until December 2022 or until funds are exhausted. Learn more about the program here

Grant Recipient Business Spotlight

Owner and operator Donya Dugan is a retired U.S. Army Officer, mom of three, and holds a B.S. in Biology, M.A. in Information Management, M.S. in Information Security, and several Information Technology Certifications. 

Stemtree of Lake Ridge's focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It nurtures a child’s inner scientist through fun and hands on learning built upon a core scientific curriculum that will give the edge needed to succeed in science and engineering - whether that means a better grade in class, a future science and engineering related career, or just having fun. It offers after-school programs, camps, programs for homeschooled kids, and birthday parties. More than an enrichment program, Stemtree brings basic science to life.

Environmental Focus

Earlier this month, Keep Prince William Beautiful launched the Prince William County Green Business Council (PWCGBC) to engage businesses throughout PWC with local government agencies, peers, and environmental organizations to decrease litter and increase business recycling up to 50% within two years. The PWCGBC will inform and educate members on sustainability best-practices resulting in environmental responsibility and locally informed community action. Member companies will be tasked with the work of environmental sustainability at their local organizational level and in communities with the ultimate goals of reducing litter waste and increasing business recycling in PWC. 

PWCGBC programs and services include:

  • Quarterly conference events with speakers and education sessions.
  • Networking events, website, and conferences provide members with high-quality professional resources.
  • Professional education seminars and the Environmental Professional (EP) certificate training course.
  • Bringing new voices, ideas, and innovation to the field and to broadening the reach and impact of environmental sustainability.

Protecting Your Property

Saturday, November 5, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, the PWC Police Department is partnering with G&C Tire & Auto Service to provide a free catalytic converter etching for PWC residents. The event, aimed at deterring and catching thieves, as well as recover stolen catalytic converters, will be held at G&C's Manassas location at 11707 Pump Station Way. Only a registered owner can authorize an etching, so you will need to bring your valid driver’s license and current vehicle registration. 

Resources for Class of 2023

If your family is looking at ways to fund future education for your senior, PWC Public Schools' Scholarship Resources and Databases webpage is a great source of information. Additionally, all PWC Public School's high schools have a college and career counselor to support students in their post-secondary aspirations. Their role is to prepare students in College and Career Readiness toward whichever path they may choose. .

The PWC Public Schools Class of 2022 earned over $91 million in scholarships

County Happenings

Fall Festival

Saturday, October 22, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pmPWC Public Libraries is hosting the second annual Chinn Park Fall Festival at the Chinn Park Library in Woodbridge. Funded by Friends of the Library, the event has activities for all ages including Friends of the Chinn Park Library Book Sale, games, food trucks, demonstrations, prizes, giveaways, and more. 

The Bar C Ranch Backyard Petting Zoo will also be there with bunnies, ducks, chicks, and sheep.

Learn About Available Programs and Services

Tuesday, October 25, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the PWC Public Libraries hosting a Community Fair at the Potomac Library in Woodbridge. The event will promote how PWC libraries, county agencies, and nonprofit organizations can assist residents to find more information and support about public assistance programs and services. 

For Veterans and Their Families

The Hylton Performing Arts Center and the PWC Public Libraries have teamed up to provide additional Veterans and the Arts Initiative workshops featuring visual art through collage, and smartphone photography techniques. Registration is still open for these November workshops at library locations across the County. Learn more and register here

The Veterans and the Arts Initiative has served as an arts and community hub for military-connected people since 2014. It offers free, hands-on workshops, art exhibitions featuring Veterans’ artwork, and concerts for our local Veterans, Service Members, and military family members, including military partners and kids. 

County Kudos

Helping After Hurricane I

Captain Barbara Cafini (left bottom corner below on the left) with the PWC Department of Fire and Rescue and Officer Mason (left bottom corner below on the right) with the PWC Police Department recently returned from serving two weeks of deployment in Florida as members of the National Capital Region – Incident Management Team (NCR-IMT). Initially they were assigned to a Logistics Staging Area at Avon Park Airport. They then redeployed to Glades County to assist in their Emergency Operations Center (EOC). There, due to stations having no power or being out of fuel, they were assigned to set up a fuel depot for vehicles evaluating victims and damage in surrounding counties. Next the team redeployed to the Highlands County EOC. Lastly, they deployed to Fort Myers Beach to assist the town with re-entry of the residents, situational awareness, and resources tracking. 

About the NCR-IRT

The NCR-IMT was formed in 2004 as a result of the attacks on 9-11-2001 and subsequent national level natural disasters. It is comprised of 105 highly trained professionals from regional partnering jurisdictions surrounding the National Capital Region (NCR) who answer calls for assistance. Members come from a cross section of agencies including Emergency Management, EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement, Public Health, and Public Works.


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Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 482,000 residents. 
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