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I am pleased to share with our community members the first-ever Workforce Diversity & Inclusion Policy for the City of Bremerton. This has been a long-time coming and I am proud that we have accomplished what should have been done many years ago. We have modernized this policy, among others, to reflect the needs of our population, values and direction as a City. (Please see the Workforce Diversity & Inclusion Policy and the Appendix B document here).
I anticipate seeing improvements in our workforce diversity as a result of the foundation laid here in the policy. The document not only includes a commitment to creating a working environment that promotes dignity and respect for all employees, but also a focus on improving representation within our workforce.
One item included in the new policy, and will take place annually, is the collection of data within City of Bremerton positions. We conducted the first analysis this year, and it is clear we are unrepresented in our workforce. This is a clarion call to work to increase diversity in our staffing. I will be using this data to work with my human resources department on improvements going forward and will be measuring our progress. We must do better.
When I took office 2 1/2 years ago, I immediately directed my administration to begin the process of developing a Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Policy to be in step with the 21st Century. It has been a lengthy road along the way, but we have finally achieved what we set out to do. Originally, there were two attempts in front of City Council to receive the budget for an extra Human Resource (HR) Analyst who could create the program, and it took a year of work that included hiring the new HR employee to develop a plan that involved updating our outdated Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy. On March 4 of this year, I signed off on the Workforce Diversity & Inclusion Policy. Restrictions went in place due to COVID-19 and the City shifted into managing operations under the state of emergency. Fortunately, conditions have stabilized, and we have picked up where we left off and implemented the City of Bremerton Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Policy. All employees are now required to review and sign it as part of their employment.
I’m proud that we have reached this milestone where diversity and inclusion have finally become an official policy of the City. As we move forward, I will work to establish goals and improvements to make our City better.