Office Equal Opportunity News

Diversity Spotlight: Public Works Department

7/17/2017
The Office of Equal Opportunity is sponsoring a Diversity Spotlight series aimed at highlighting the work of our departments within the City as it relates to their diversity efforts.  This month’s featured department is Public Works (PW). 

The Public Works Department’s mission is to manage and improve the city’s transportation, stormwater and solid waste systems to enhance the quality of life for the Gainesville Community. This mission is carried out by six major functional areas: administration, engineering, planning, operations, solid waste and traffic operations.  The Department is responsible for several programs that reach beyond the Gainesville city limits including the bicycle pedestrian outreach program, traffic management system and the Clean Water Partnership.  We employ just over 158 FTE’s with an operating budget of $25 million funded by general fund, stormwater management utility, and the solid waste utility.

Public Works programs and services contribute to the quality of life of the community and are an essential component in place making, creating and maintaining an environment that supports economic growth and vitality. The Public Works Department focus areas are as follows:

RECRUITMENT: PW management demonstrates their commitment to excellence through our efforts to attract, hire, and retain the best candidates that are primarily employed by administrative staff, field level workers, skilled and non-skilled, technical and engineer related positions. The recruitment process is performed by the hiring manager and demographic information is given to EO for the Workforce Analysis.

PW currently provides the following programs for our current employees:

• Progression Thru Program - Allows us to bring in entry level MW applicants and provide job specific training through PTTP.  

• Acting/Interim Roles – Employees who demonstrate leadership skills are often asked to apply for acting positions as vacancies occur.  This provides tremendous opportunity for employees to decide whether they have the desire to move into supervisory roles within the department.

• Advertising – Advertise positions in unique outlets such as National Association of Women in Construction, minorities in construction and Hispanics in construction to name a few.

• Job fairs – PW staff attends the annual job fair at the Martin Luther King Center for potential recruiting. We include employees from various levels of the organization to allow them to interact with potential job applicants on a peer to peer perspective.

• Temporary and Intern Positions – Reaching out to Interns and temporary professionals/technicians allows us to develop potential full time hires.  Public Works recruited a temporary engineer (female) and was able to bring her on in full-time permanent status this year. This continues to be an opportunity for us to find well qualified candidates for full-time permanent positions once vacancies become open.

• Professional Associations - These organizations provide good opportunities for recruitment such as through the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

SELECTION: PW assures opportunities are open, fair, and competitive while providing exceptional service to the Gainesville community. The PW Department seeks to attract and develop a diverse workforce by developing innovative and creative strategies to foster a positive work environment and inclusion.

DEVELOPMENT: PW values their employees and invest in them at every opportunity. Our management team supports employee needs and desire to become successful as a team and at every level of professional development and promotion. PW currently offer the below developmental strategies for our employees:

• NIMS training – PW employees are required to take classes and receive emergency response certification through FEMA. This ensures reimbursement from FEMA (when applicable) to the City and provides additional skills for all employees, including minorities and women, who might not otherwise acquire those skills.

• GCU and offsite classes – Employees are encouraged to attend training classes in order to improve skills that are necessary for their current job or to acquire skills necessary for upper mobility. We will take advantage of webinars as well as training offerings sponsored by Florida Department of Transportation or Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

• Acting/Interim Roles – Employees who demonstrate leadership skills are often asked to apply for acting positions as vacancies occur.  This provides tremendous opportunity for employees to decide whether they have the desire to move into supervisory roles within the department.

• Employee bulletin boards – PW will continue to update its bulletin boards to inform employees of training and other activities to promote education and diversity.

• Continuing Education/Certifications – many of the skilled and/or professional positions throughout the department require or are encouraged to have certifications/licenses and continuing education credits.  The department encourages employees to keep these continuing education credits and provides opportunity for them to do so.

• Professional Organizations – PW encourages all employees to belong to a professional organization.  Many take advantage of this opportunity from field level employees through engineers/managers. The local branch of the American Public Works Association provides a quarterly meeting which crewleaders, supervisors and support staff are encouraged to attend.

LEADERSHIP: PW is committed to obtain a leading and innovative leadership team of people who will improve the city’s transportation, stormwater and solid waste systems to enhance the quality of life for the Gainesville Community.



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