The three largest cities in South Hampton Roads have come together with the region's Fortune 500 companies to find ways to make government more efficient for its citizens, providing the best services for their tax dollars. Working with the chief executives of Amerigroup, Dollar Tree, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Norfolk Southern Corporation, and Smithfield Foods, the cities of Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach have identified 13 areas in which to combine their resources to reduce costs.
The Hampton Roads Partnership organized the pilot Hampton Roads Shared Services Project (SSP) with Management Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in helping local government leaders.
The services recommended have the potential to save the cities more than a combined $15 million annually. The identified areas include emergency communications, public safety training, elevator inspections, permit applications, sign shops, heavy equipment sharing, employee health benefits, purchasing, information technology, human services and detention facilities.
"Amerigroup is pleased take part in the Shared Services Project," said James G. Carlson, chairman and chief executive officer for Amerigroup Corporation. "It's great to see local leaders teaming up with some of the best business minds in Hampton Roads to find ways to make services more effective and affordable for residents across the area. I am encouraged by the preliminary recommendations."
The steering committee includes E. Dana Dickens, III, president and CEO of Hampton Roads Partnership; William Harrell, former Chesapeake City Manager; Amar Dwarkanath, current Chesapeake Interim City Manager; Rick West, Chesapeake City Council; Marcus Jones, Norfolk City Manager; Barclay Winn, Norfolk City Council; Jim Spore, Virginia Beach City Manager; Glenn Davis, Virginia Beach City Council; James Fothergill, chief people officer of Dollar Tree; Jeff Gough, Smithfield Foods vice president for Logistics, Human Resources and Safety; Bill Bell, vice president of human resources and administration for Newport News Shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries; and Tina Gill, Amerigroup vice president for External Relations Operations. Jim Hixon, Norfolk Southern executive vice president-Law and Corporate Relations, serves as chair of the steering committee.
"With multiple adjacent cities in the Hampton Roads area, there are opportunities for cities to share services and avoid the costs of providing those services separately," said Wick Moorman, CEO of Norfolk Southern and chair of the SSP. "The ability of business leaders in the region to work successfully with government leaders offers a particular opportunity to take advantage of shared services and reduce the cost of local government."
The cost of this pilot project is $150,000, shared equally among the participating cities and five Fortune 500 companies. The Steering Committee will continue to come together to further analyze the key public services to be shared, and the best courses for implementation.
"Not only has this project established a basis for future sharing and improvement of services for citizens, it has showcased the best of Hampton Roads regionalism as these cities and companies have worked together to achieve a common goal," said Dana Dickens, President and CEO of Hampton Roads Partnership.
The pilot program included Chesapeake, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, however, there may be opportunity for other Hampton Roads localities to explore the feasibilities of sharing services in the future.
Find more information, visit http://hrp.org/Site/sharedservices.
The Hampton Roads Partnership is a public-private nonprofit organization formed in 1996 and represents ten cities, six counties and one town in Southeastern Virginia, equaling nearly 1.7 million citizens. Comprised of the chief elected officials of all seventeen communities as well as community leaders from the private business sector, education, military, and labor from both south Hampton Roads and the Virginia Peninsula, the Partnership is the only organization in Hampton Roads that focuses on the region's strategic issues for enhancing its competitiveness in today's global economy with resulting income and job growth for its citizens. Led by the Hampton Roads Partnership and the Planning District Commission, the first region-wide comprehensive economic development strategy, Vision Hampton Roads, created a roadmap of strategies and actions - to engage citizens and embrace ongoing region-wide economic development practices.
Management Partners, founded in 1994 by president and CEO Jerry Newfarmer, provides clients with the expertise of professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of local government management and the full range of city and county services. Staff includes former city managers, analysts, department directors and other public service professionals with experience in a variety of program areas. Newfarmer is a national leader in local government performance management, having led his firm to nationally recognized expertise in municipal development review processes, strategic planning, budgeting and finance, and organizational analysis.