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.email@example.com environment that celebrates the diversity of our workforce.
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