New CNET Is Here
The Town’s employee intranet underwent a major revamp this winter, going live with a fresh design and 24/7 employee access for the first time in its 15-year history.
CNET migrated from the Town’s internal server to a staff-only area on www.townofcary.org, allowing employees to access the latest news, benefits, staff directory, calendar and other goings-on-around-Town from anywhere with an internet connection, using a work or personal desktop, laptop, tablet or phone.
As part of the project, more than 400 regular and temporary employees were provided network accounts, conveying CNET access for the first time. Prior to migration, only staff using Town computers within our network could read CNET.
In the works for months, the new CNET website is a OneCary collaboration between Human Resources, Public Information, Information Technology, and Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources. Additionally, in the weeks preceding launch day, an integral group of volunteer employee testers worked with CNET project managers to review and navigate the new design, providing valuable input that helped shape CNET into a user-friendly site.
Cary Youth Leadership Town Hall Visit
In March, the Town welcomed 43 high school juniors participating in a Cary Chamber of Commerce Youth Leadership program. Established in 1998, Youth Leadership Cary focuses on developing the potential of future leaders by helping the students understand how government, business and individual leaders work together as integral community members.
The program features a one-day program where students learn about local government’s inner workings. Along with Town and Chamber staff, Human Resources coordinated the day’s activities. In a true OneCary effort, several Town colleagues, as well as Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, lent their time and expertise to facilitate discussions and tours. The students loved their visit.
Health Coaching for Employees
Committed to providing opportunities to all employees for improving their health and well-being, the Town offers free monthly health coaching appointments with WakeMed professionals. Health coaching is a unique, personalized approach for those employees choosing to live a healthier life. Focus areas for many staff participants include weight loss, accountability and goal setting, coping with stress and mindfulness. According to WakeMed’s impact data, employees participating in at least two to three health coaching sessions between August, 2016 to December, 2017 showed progress in lowering:
- Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference
- Blood pressure
- Total cholesterol/high density lipid (HDL)
Employees have embraced the Town’s Healthy Rewards program and its many opportunities, and our continuing partnership with WakeMed is making a tremendous impact. Together—as OneCary—we are continuing our focus on becoming the healthiest we can be with support and success through initiatives like our health coaching program.
Third Quarter Accolades
Cary continues to receive accolades from multiple organizations that reflect the desirability of the community as a place to live and work.
#6 Best Place to Live in America, Cary, HomeSnacks (January 7, 2018)
#25 City Where Millennials Are Buying Homes, Cary, SmartAsset (January 25, 2018)
#5 Safest City in North Carolina, Cary, HomeSnacks (January 15, 2018)
#1 Hotel in North Carolina (Umstead), Cary, U.S. News & World Report (February 8, 2018)
#7 Best Place to Live in the USA, Raleigh-Cary MSA, U.S. News & World Report (February 26, 2018)
#4 Safest City in North Carolina, Cary, National Council for Home Safety and Security (March 7, 2018)
The Chamber of Commerce hired a new Vice President of Economic Development, Evan Stone. Evan presented to the Economic Development Committee on March 7, where he talked about his background and his approach to the role. He will bring an emphasis to existing businesses, noting that existing businesses that are successful and happy are our best recruiting tool to bring in new businesses.
Smart City/Kansas City
Cary’s Smart City Program achieved several milestones and international recognitions this quarter. First, a smart city committee was formalized, which includes staff from every department. The committee put together a program plan and mission objectives that include:
- Development of Cary’s smart city roadmap and standards.
- Review and vetting of projects with smart city components in a manner that does not stifle innovation and create bureaucracy. This includes cost/ effort/benefit analysis.
- Smart city projects prioritization and new opportunity identification.
- Coordination with other committees (data governance, project and services catalog, etc.) to leverage opportunities across the town.
- Smart city education outreach to staff and the community.
Second, Cary was a recipient of a 2018 Smart 50 Award and Smart City Council Readiness Challenge Grant. The Smart 50 Awards, in partnership with Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation and US Ignite, annually recognize global smart cities projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work. Our Simulated Smart City living lab on Town Hall Campus was selected as a winner and honored at an awards gala on March 26 at the Smart Cities Connect Conference & Expo in Kansas City, Missouri. Cary was also the recipient of the 2018 Smart City Council Readiness Challenge Grant. This grant provides a custom, on-site Readiness Workshop, worldwide publicity, a year of free mentoring/coaching, as well as products and services worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to refine and build our smart city vision.
Finally, Cary’s staff, along with regional partners, showcased our smart city efforts at several conferences and events, which included NC Open Pass, Open Source 101, and the IoT Evolution Conference in Orlando, FL. Various departments also participated in a two-day Salesforce IoT Cloud Workshop, which focused on connecting Cary’s traffic and SCADA networks with Salesforce to automate processes and provide real-time information to staff and citizens.