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Two City Employees Named Winners of Government Improvement Awards

Post Date:01/08/2019 5:00 PM

City employees John Gribble and Keith Watkins were honored today as winners of the Tom and T. Cooper James Government Improvement Awards, which recognize City of Greensboro employees who have devised innovative and impactful solutions that improved City’s services or productivity.

Each will receive a $2,500 prize, provided by Tom and T. Cooper James, local commercial real estate developers who sponsored the awards.

Gribble, a support services analyst for Greensboro’s Information Technology Department, received the impact award. Gribble negotiated with a company to get 31 miles of fiber optic cable installed for Greensboro’s use at no charge as a part of private company’s franchise agreement. It saved the City an estimated $645,000. This project provides connectivity to Winston-Salem as well as data backup and sharing opportunities.

Watkins, the GIS applications specialist for Greensboro Department of Transportation (GDOT), received the innovation award. While previously employed as an intern for GDOT, Watkins advocated for the department to switch from a Trimble GPS-device to an ArcGIS-based data collection service that can be used on smart phones to assist in mapping the department’s traffic control assets. Implementation of “ArcGIS Collector” as GDOT’s primary means of gathering spatial asset data has greatly increased productivity in the field, doubling the number of assets mapped by each field user on a daily basis. Beyond the increase in productivity, the switch to the new system allows for a savings of $3,300 per year, for each Trimble GPS device the department replaces.

The utility of the new, customizable system has allowed the department to identify more than 550 state-owned, city-maintained signs that were not recorded using the previous GPS system.  When totaled, these signs amount to more than $29,000 of potential maintenance reimbursement from NCDOT.  The productivity improvements and cost savings brought about by Watkins and the ArcGIS Collector system will continue to strengthen GDOT’s spatial data collection.

“John and Keith were able to use existing technology to improve efficiency, making the most of our resources,” said Tom James. “We applaud their creativity and innovation.”  

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