IT News

IT Wins Two NACo Awards for Innovation

- May 1, 2017

Pierce County has won a National Association of Counties (NACo) Award for using the latest technology to streamline elections.

During the 2016 Presidential Election, Pierce County needed a secure and more efficient way to check in hundreds of temporary election workers. The county implemented biometric time clocks to streamline time entry for these workers. Now up to 20 workers can check in per minute with just a swipe of a finger. The new system is expected to save $10,000 per year by reducing staff time spent on payroll processing and will eliminate the need for hundreds of paper time sheets.

The award recognizes that Pierce County is one of the first counties in the Pacific Northwest to use biometric time clocks for elections. Thanks to the new system, staff can focus on quickly and accurately processing ballots and certifying results. Other county departments are also adopting the clocks to save time and money.

“The Pierce County’s Auditor’s Office never sits on its laurels. Our Elections Divisions has a stellar reputation for always striving to be more efficient and more precise,” Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson said. “Thanks to our partners in Pierce County Finance, Human Resources, and Information Technology, our biometric time clock project will save time and money, as well as increase accuracy.”

The IT Division won a second NACo award for upgrading more than 3,200 PCs and 1,000 mobile devices to Office 365. This upgrade saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by replacing aging software and streamlining business processes. The project also involved migrating 4,500 email archive accounts to the Outlook email archive system. Data management company Bishop named Pierce County as an industry leader for a near perfect email migration.

IT Wins 2017 NACo Awards for Innovation

Pierce County IT Wins Two Standing Ovation Awards

- October 2016

Congratulations to all the IT staff who won Standing Ovation Awards! Staff from IT, the Auditor, and Budget and Finance received an award for their work designing a biometric time entry system. The system allows Elections extra hires to quickly clock in using any finger, thereby saving Pierce County more than $10,000 a year. Check out the

project video to learn more.

Additionally, IT won a Partnership Award for helping to link recorded documents with parcels in the Public GIS system. This project provides greater access to 15 commonly used recorded documents, including deeds of trust, bargain and sale deeds, surveys, liens and easements. Take a look at the award video to learn more.

Puget Sound Fresh app wins international award for design excellence!

- July 2016

The Puget Sound Fresh App is the perfect way for consumers to learn about fresh summer produce or find local farmer markets. Now the popular app has won a 2016 Apex Award for design and overall communications excellence.

APEX 2016 is an international competition that recognizes outstanding work in digital and print media. Competition this year was particularly fierce, with more than 1,600 entries in 11 main categories. The Fresh App was recognized in the Digital Media category for its elegant design and easy-to use interface.

Pierce County collaborated with neighboring agencies, University of Washington Tacoma and non-profit Seattle Tilth to create the app.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy praised the app for supporting local farmers. “The County took the lead in developing this free app, and it’s now benefiting communities all over western Washington,” McCarthy said. “It is gratifying to learn that Puget Sound Fresh has received this recognition.”
2016 Apex Award Winner

Chuck Buzzard Named Washington's GIS Person of the Year!

- May 2016

Pierce County’s Chuck Buzzard is a groundbreaking technologist, innovative leader, and partner with many state and local agencies. Chuck has now been named “GIS Person of the Year” for his expertise and countless hours of volunteering.

The Washington State Chapter of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association (WAURISA) annually recognizes a candidate who has changed the GIS profession in some significant way. During his 20+ year career, Chuck has volunteered for critical leadership roles, including serving as WAURISA President, Conference Chair, and past Board member. Chuck’s major accomplishments include helping to implement Washington’s Next Generation 911 project, leading a major voter redistricting project, and serving on Washington’s Hydrologic Data Framework Committee and Transportation Framework Committee. Chuck is a teacher and mentor to many GIS professionals who recognize his ability to solve complex challenges and build consensus. He always makes the time to help others achieve their goals, and is often the guiding hand behind the scenes.

“Chuck Buzzard is the “gold standard” for GIS professionals,” said Pierce County IT Director Linda Gerull. “His leadership and constant focus on partnerships have improved GIS data and systems at the local and state level. He is always ready to share his expertise and is patient as others learn the complexities and impacts of GIS.”

Pierce County congratulates Chuck on this special recognition!
Chuck Buzzard GIS Person of the Year

Pierce County's Email Migration Featured in New Case Study

Mar 15, 2016

A new case study from data management company Bishop details how Pierce County migrated a legacy email archive system to Office 365. The County worked with Bishop to copy 233 million messages to the Microsoft Cloud, while at the same time ensuring the migration met public records and legal requirements.

View the entire case study on the Bishop website.

Fresh App Makes It Easy to Find Pumpkin Patches

- Oct 2, 2015

The award-winning Puget Sound Fresh App makes it easy to find pumpkin patches across Western Washington. Check out the PCTV video to learn more!

Puget Sound Fresh app wins national award for best new mobile app

- Sep 18, 2015

Western Washington farmers and consumers who support local food already love the Puget Sound Fresh app. Both Android and Apple users can use the app to find more than 350 farms and farmers markets, as well as recipes, harvest calendars and events.

Now the Fresh app has won a “Savvy Award” for best new mobile app from the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA). The Savvy Awards recognize outstanding local government achievements in communications, public-sector marketing and citizen-government relationships.

Pierce County partnered with neighboring agencies, the University of Washington Tacoma and non-profit Cascade Harvest Coalition to create the app. It is designed to be a farm guide that fits on a phone. 3CMA judges were greatly impressed with the app’s user-friendly design. “We loved that this app has a clearly defined target use and that it is so well done! It’s a win-win for consumers, local farmers, and the county.”

The app has also been a useful tool for connecting consumers with farmers.

“Pierce County took the lead in developing this free app, and it’s now benefiting communities all over western Washington,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback, and I’m proud that Puget Sound Fresh has received this kind of recognition.”
Puget Sound FRESH App

Pierce County makes the top ten list of digital leaders in government

- July 9, 2015

Pierce County has made the list of “Top Ten” digital leaders, according to the 2015 Digital County Survey. The annual survey recognizes leading examples of counties using technology to improve services and boost

“It is an honor for Pierce County to be recognized as a top digital leader,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy. “Our success would not have been possible without our strong team of innovative leaders. The new initiatives have enhanced our community by keeping citizens safe, informed and connected.”

Pierce County was recognized for a number of cutting edge initiatives, including:
  • A Farm Fresh website and mobile app promoting local farms
  • Online chat and self-service tools for District Court customers
  • The mobile permitting app and Skype inspection program for streamlining building inspections
  • The Child Abduction Rapid Response system for quickly locating abducted children
  • The FirstToSee Emergency Support System for leveraging social media during disasters

The award also recognized Pierce County’s efforts to safeguard tech systems, control budget costs, expand public access to data, and provide training opportunities for local college students.

“The County is fortunate to employ expert, dedicated IT professionals,” said Pierce County IT Director Linda Gerull. “This staff have a passion for public service and are committed to delivering excellent customer service to a County excited about technology.”

The survey, conducted by Center for Digital Government (CDG) in partnership with the National Association of Counties (NACo), identifies best technology practices among U.S. counties.
Digital Counties Survey 2015 Winner