Workforce Plan For Diversity, Equity, Inclusion And Belonging Released

Its aim is to build a more diverse workforce in Frederick County Government.

Frederick, Md (KM) The Workforce Plan for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging for Frederick County Government has been released. The goals are to create a more diverse workforce which reflects the every-changing population of the community.

“In its broadest sense, we’re talking about building a culture within Frederick County Government that values diversity and equity, and builds  an inclusive environment where everyone feels a true sense of belonging,” said County Executive Jessica Fitzwater, who unveiled the plan during her public information briefing on Thursday.

The plan  follows a poll of Frederick County Government employees which was completed last year. A majority of participants said more needs  to be done to create a more diverse local government which values the talents and contributions all employees. “”the County’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Plan, we announced that we have heard, and will continue to reach out and listen to those who have been ignored, dismissed or marginalized,” said Michael Hughes, the County’s Equity and Inclusion Officer.

Hughes says the plan calls for action in addressing the lack of diversity in County Government. “You’ll also see in the plan that the Office of Equity and Inclusion will be working with Human Resources to review and detail processes and procedures for equitable and inclusive in hiring,” he says.

During the process of drafting the plan, Hughes said a number of employees said they  wanted to be a part of the process of diversifying the County’s workforce. So  they will be invited to join the Partnership Engagement Program. “Through this program,  we’ll be able to match employees’  passions, skill set, their availability and various opportunities for involvement in advancing this work by serving as either DEIB ambassadors, a member of the DEIB council or serving on one of our short term project teams,” he says.

DEIB stands for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.

Another way to serve is participating in affinity groups. “These affinity groups will be members of our workforce. They come together at a similar interest or common background to be communities belonging, providing a voice in addressing particular concerns of our employees, challenging their collective interest, and making FCG an inclusive employer, or serving in other capacities as well,” says Hughes.

FCG stands for Frederick County Government.

“The County will be conducting a disparity study, the process for which is already underway,”: says Hughes. “We’ll be contracting with a vendor to provide DEIB training for our 2700 employees. The Office of Equity and Inclusion will provide DEIB training to the County Council.

Throughout all of this, Hughes says  county employees will not ignore the duties of their jobs. “While this, our strategic workforce plan, is internally focused, we want to make sure we do not take the eyes off the ball of serving our community as well,” he says

By Kevin McManus