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					                                                                                                             BLend neWsLetter 1st Quarter 2011




       blend


                                        disCOvering diversity in springfieLd


                                       wHY IS DIVERSITY ImPORTAnT
   ACTIOn PlAn: increase
   Springfield’s diversity.            TO SPRInGFIElD?
                                         By Lisa turner, director-hr and Administration for City Utilities
   Springfield’s public image,
   both within and beyond our          The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is actively working to bring diversity
   region, is a critical element       information and issues to the forefront in Springfield. Leading Springfield public
   of our economic future. it          organizations (City of Springfield, City Utilities, Greene County, Springfield-Greene County
   is vital that our community         Library District, Springfield Public Schools, Missouri State University, and Ozarks Technical
   understands the competitive         Community College) are committed to improving Springfield’s diversity demographics.
   dynamics of today’s economy,        You may ask -- Why do we want Springfield to be more diverse?
   and that we support programs
   and policies that embrace           As we evaluate our community’s economic outlook, it is apparent that a lack of diversity
   diversity as we move forward.       in the business community, including available jobs, will be a barrier to our growth
                                       and ability to attract and retain a quality, diverse workforce. the employees that all
   Objective 1: dispel myths           businesses will hire also have families that will attend our schools, shop at our retail
   about Springfield and better        stores, support our sports teams, contribute to our community, attend our churches,
   differentiate the region            and the list goes on. the bottom line: Our community needs to increase diversity to
   nationally.                         continue to grow and prosper.

   Objective 2: increase               The leading Springfield public organizations
   greater Springfield’s               mentioned above have committed to
   community diversity.                improving our community’s diversity.
                                       you may see those commitments at
   Objective 3: initiate internal      www.springfieldchamber.com. Here are a
   dialogues on Springfield’s          few of the initiatives being pursued:
   competitive dynamics.
                                       • Create a formal mentoring
   --taken from Competitive              program with the local schools.
   Assessment of Springfield,          • develop scholarship programs
   Missouri, Market street services
                                         for diverse groups, e.g.,
   inc. see the complete report at
   www.springfieldchamber.com            minorities/females/disabled.
                                       • formalize a business-related
                                         educational program for
                                                       continued on page 2




inside: Calendar pg. 2, getting                  City Of springfieLd, City UtiLities Of springfieLd,
to know John grier pg. 3, MsU -             greene COUnty, MissOUri stAte University, OzArks teChniCAL
Multicultural resource Center pg. 3,       COMMUnity COLLege, springfieLd-greene COUnty LiBrAry distriCt,
Blend progress report pg. 4.                                springfieLd pUBLiC sChOOLs
mAjOR RElIGIOuS
HOlIDAYS AnD
                                 REAPInG THE BEnEFITS OF DIVERSITY
CElEBRATIOnS                      By Melanie Williams, HR Specialist for the City of Springfield

                                 Many people who live and work in                    has lived their entire life in Springfield,
                                 Springfield have had little exposure                Missouri. People eat exotic cuisines
APRIl 2011                       to working in an environment that
                                 consists of people who are dissimilar
                                                                                     and travel to distant countries mainly
                                                                                     because most of us have an inherent
4-12 rAMAyAnA - hindu            to themselves. even in 2011, most                   interest in things that are unfamiliar.
  17 pALM sUndAy -Christian      Springfield employers have little to                What better opportunity to learn about
                                 offer in terms of working with people of            different cultures and lifestyles than by
19-26 * pesACh (pAssOver) *
                                 significantly different cultures, religions,        working side-by-side with someone with
      -Jewish                    racial backgrounds or persons dealing               vastly different life experiences?
26 tO 5/3: MAyAn rAin festivAL   with a disability. As that trend shifts,
  22 gOOd (hOLy) fridAy          and as Springfield takes an active role             similarly, where business is concerned,
                                 toward encouraging its community to                 encouraging a diverse work force
      - All Christians           support a more diverse population,                  has become necessary to remain
  24 eAster - Christian          the individual employees will have                  commercially competitive. it will
  29 ArBOr dAy                   the opportunity to benefit personally,              be impossible to develop products
                                 just as their employers will benefit                or services that appeal to diverse
mAY 2011                         professionally, from diversity.                     populations both within and outside of
                                                                                     our country unless we seek knowledge,
   1 BeLtAne - sAMhAin * -       Benefits of diversity on a personal                 input and collaboration with people who
      Wicca/pagan                level can be as simple as finding the               represent those demographics.
      hOLOCAUst reMeMBrAnCe      lifestyle or the background of another              Springfield is already a great place to
                                 person interesting, and embracing                   live, work, and raise a family, and we
      dAy
                                 the opportunity to learn about other                can only increase our marketability
   5 CinCO de MAyO               cultures, backgrounds and experiences.              to business investors and working
   6 ArtsfiestA! (founders       Whether a coworker grew up in Alaska,               professionals by becoming an even more
                                 Africa or Asia, their experiences would             welcoming and inclusive community.
      park)
                                 be vastly different from someone who
7 – 8 Artsfest (Walnut street)
   8 MOther’s dAy
  17 BUddhA dAy                  continued from page 1 - WHY IS DIVERSITY IMPORTANT TO SPRINGFIELD?
  30 MeMOriAL dAy
                                   diverse groups, e.g., minorities/                 • develop a quarterly joint public
junE 2011                          females/disabled that desire to learn
                                   about opportunities and
                                                                                       organization quarterly diversity
                                                                                       newsletter.
   1 pArtners’ dAy                 responsibilities of supervision within            • develop ways to measure areas of
   5 WOrLd envirOnMent dAy         our entities to enhance potential                   success and/or improvements.
  12 penteCOst - Christian         promotability.                                    • develop a recruitment plan with local
                                 • Advertise job opportunities with                    universities for diverse groups, e.g.,
  19 fAthers’ dAy
                                   more diverse organizations such as                  minority/women/disabled graduates
  21 sOLstiCe                      Unite and Latino Americana, as well                 seeking future employment.
      first nAtiOns dAy -          as maintain contact with the Missouri
                                   Career Center and the Chamber.                    please join us as we forge ahead to
      Canadian native people
                                 • Create a diversity Awareness                      make Springfield more welcoming to
  23 COrpUs Christi-               Calendar and celebrate different                  diversity and to help build understanding
      Catholic Christian           nationality-based themes twice                    of the importance of diversity to a
  28 LAiLAt AL MirAJ *- islam      a year.                                           successful future for all of us.



fOr eMpLOyers, seCUring
    And respeCting A
   diverse WOrkpLACe
  is BenefiCiAL fOr ALL
        eMpLOyees
GETTInG TO knOw….CITY OF
SPRInGFIElD FIRE CAPTAIn jOHn GRIER
                                              Q:     what do you love about the career
                                                   	 field	you	chose?

                                              grier’s love of his job focuses on people
                                              –both the public he serves, as well as
                                              those he serves shoulder-to-shoulder
                                              with on 24-hour work shifts. “We are
                                              a big family and it doesn’t matter if it’s
                                              2:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m., if one of your
                                              brothers or sisters needs something,
                                              they know they can call and help is on
                                              the way.”
 By Melanie Williams, hr specialist for the
 City of Springfield                          in addition to his daily responsibilities    the MULtiCULtUrAL
                                              at the fire station, Captain Grier is
Captain John grier, known to many of                                                       resOUrCe Center hAs A
                                              also a regular contact for the City of
his friends and colleagues as “rosie,”
                                              Springfield’s Partners in Education          strOng COMMitMent
has been with the City of Springfield Fire
                                              partnership with parkview high school.
department for 12 years. he takes pride                                                    Missouri state University is a
                                              A parkview graduate himself, Captain
in his respected reputation and explains                                                   community of people with respect
                                              grier enjoys getting the chance to
that his personal philosophy stems from                                                    for diversity. the University
                                              mentor and encourage parkview
a quote he heard years ago,                                                                emphasizes the dignity and equality
                                              students who are still contemplating
                                              their professional aspirations.              common to all persons and adheres
  “successful people are willing                                                           to a strict nondiscrimination policy
    to do what others won’t.”
                                              Q:   what’s the most rewarding               regarding the treatment of individual
                                                   experience of your career?              faculty, staff and students. in accord

Q:   what led you to become                                                                with federal law and applicable
     interested in Public Service?            “there have been hundreds of                 Missouri statutes, the University
                                              firefighters that have come before me        does not discriminate on the basis
      interestingly, Captain grier’s          and expectations in this job are very        of race, color, religion, sex, national
decision to apply with the City of            high, but having your work ethic and         origin, ancestry, age, disability, or
Springfield Fire Department was in            integrity speak for you is a tremendous      veteran status in employment or
response to about a decade-long               accomplishment.” Early in his fire career,   in any program or activity offered
recruiting effort! The idea was first         grier received a compliment from his         or sponsored by the University.
suggested to him during a conversation        captain that he always remembers, “he        in addition, the University does
in 1987 with the City’s fire Chief and an     told me that in all his years in the fire    not discriminate on any basis not
Assistant fire Chief. grier was working       service he had never met anyone who          related to the applicable educational
in a motorcycle shop at the time and          worked harder than me.”                      requirements for students or the
when they suggested he would make                                                          applicable job requirements for

                                              Q:
a great firefighter, his initial response          How have you adjusted to working        employees.
was, “run into burning buildings? Nah,             in a traditionally non-diverse
no thanks…” eight years later, when                environment?                            diversity is comprised of the
passed over during a promotional                                                           multiplicity of people, cultures
bidding process for a private sector          “i’ve never really thought about working     and ideas that contribute to the
position, he began seriously thinking         in a non-diverse environment. As a           richness and variety of life. it broadly
about what some of his firefighter            child, i played Abraham Lincoln in my        encompasses a mixture of similarities
friends had told him about career             1st grade play!” in 1983, grier was the      and differences along a multitude
opportunities available in fire service.      first black man to work at Domino’s          of dimensions including, but not
Once he decided to go for it, he threw        Pizza; first to work at McSalty’s; first     limited to, values, cultures, concepts,
himself into the effort of preparing          union steward at Hiland Dairy and first      learning styles and perceptions that
for the competitive firefighter testing       firefighter to be honored as an Everyday     individuals possess. According to the
process. in 1999, he scored 96% on            Hero in Springfield. “I’ve had lots of       higher Learning Commission of the
the written exam and was subsequently         these types of firsts, but I’ve never        north Central Association of Colleges
selected and hired. “i came to the            really looked at myself that way. Just       and schools, diversity “is represented
City,” says Grier, “to explore the career     doing what i was called to do.”              in many forms.”
opportunity. i stayed because of the
opportunity to help others.”
DIVERSITY PROGRESS REPORT - COmmunITY OVERVIEw
                                                                                                 Composite of
                                                                               Community         Organizations          Missouri
                                                                            Availability*        Listed Below         Availability*

   White                                                                            88.8%                 93.82%             82.80%
   BLACk                                                                             4.1%                  1.59%             11.60%
   AMeriCAn indiAn And ALAskA nAtive                                                 0.8%                  0.54%              0.50%
   AsiAn                                                                             1.9%                  1.13%              1.60%
   hispAniC                                                                          3.7%                  1.20%              3.50%
   nAtive hAWAiiAn And Other pACifiC isLAnder                                        0.2%                  0.01%              0.10%
   tWO Or MOre                                                                       3.2%                  0.36%              2.10%
   Other/nOt speCified                                                               1.2%                  1.41%              1.30%


   histOriCALLy Underrepresented tOtAL:                                                                    5.24%              4.48%
   tOtAL:                                                                                             100.00%               100.00%


   MALe                                                                             48.4%                 46.24%             48.90%
   feMALe                                                                           51.6%                 53.76%             51.10%
   (Census data for over 18)
   AverAge Age                                                                        35.4                    43.5             37.3
                                                                               (Median Age)

   *U.s. Census Bureau, 2010 Census redistricting data (public Law 94-171) summary files

                                                                                                City of
                                           sps*     MsU*    Library      OtC         CU       Springfield* greene Co.         totals


   White                                    3219    1823       240        1356        943          1469              703      9753
   BLACk                                      59       30         0            27      15             20              14        165
   AMeriCAn indiAn And
      ALAskA nAtive                             6      18         2            13      11                 5             1          56
   AsiAn                                      18       56         3             9         5           17                9       117
   hispAniC                                   30       32         0            23      10             20              10        125
   nAtive hAWAiiAn And
      Other pACifiC isLAnder                    0       1         0             0         0               0             0             1
   2 Or MOre                                    0      35         1             1         0               0             0          37
   Other/nOt speCified                          1      44         7            62      19                 0           14        147
   tOtAL:                                   3333    2039       253        1485      1003           1531              751     10395


      histOriCALLy
      Underrepresented tOtAL:                113     216          6            73      41             62              34        545


   MALe                                      792     966         55         637       771          1091              494      4806
   feMALe                                   2541    1073       198          848       232            440             256      5588


   AverAge Age                                45       48        40        43.3      46.7             43             38.4      43.5

   *includes full-time employees only

diversity And yOU public organizations and their employees are leaders in our
community. That’s why the Springfield-area entities listed on the cover of this newsletter                      Questions, comments
have made an important commitment: We support diversity in our workplaces, which                                or information for the
we believe also will encourage diversity in our region. that commitment helps create a                         Blend newsletter email:
strong foundation for future economic success. As an employee, you can encourage an                       Lisa.turner@cityutilities.net
environment that celebrates the diversity of our workforce.

				
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posted:5/21/2011
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