The Human Resources Division has opened the nomination process for the Commonwealth’s 40th annual Performance Recognition Program, which has been acknowledging the outstanding performance of public employees for the past four decades.

As part of the program, any state, county, city or town employee who has worked in public service for at least two years as of Jan. 1, 2024, can be nominated for the Eugene Rooney Public Service Award, which highlights human resources development as a planned, continuous effort to provide personal and professional growth opportunities that will enhance employee competency levels. Such activities serve to improve an individual’s performance on a currently held job and/or provide new skills, knowledge and attitudes that will allow an individual to assume a new role in the organization.

Last year’s Rooney award was presented to Capt. Michael Burns Jr., executive director of the Maritime Center for Responsible Energy at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy; and Lisa Pollack, human resources operations and programs manager at the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities.

The award honors the late Gene Rooney, who spent most of his 22 years in public service as the deputy personnel administrator at the Human Resources Division, and who “strived to create both a learning and team-oriented environment [and] personified creativity and innovation in public service.”

The nomination process opened on May 1 and will run through May 31.

An independent Commonwealth selection committee will review the award nominations and make recommendations to the governor for her final approval. Award winners will be recognized at a ceremony with the governor and lieutenant governor later this year.

For more information about the various performance awards and to nominate colleagues, visit the Performance Recognition Program website.