Here are a few highlights from FY 2016-2017:
- Diversity in Contracting – General Government spent $5,830,517 with small, women, veteran and minority-owned firms, up from $3,525,614 in FY 2015-2016. Gainesville Regional Utilities spent $19,705,328 with local small, women and minority businesses during the same period, up from $15,348,175 in FY 2015-2016. In total, the City of Gainesville including Gainesville Regional Utilities spent nearly $24 million with local small, minority, women and service-disabled veteran businesses, up from $19 million in FY 2015-2016.
- Investigations – The City had a total of 33 cases, up from 25 cases in the previous year and coordinated 8 successful mediations resulting in more than $16,000 going to local complainants. The 8 successful mediations are the second highest by the office (slightly behind the previous FY).
- Diversity & Inclusion – Upon my recommendation to you in January 2017, the city commission approved the City’s 1st Phase I ADA Self-Evaluation of Programs, Services, and Activities along with initiation of the Phase II Self-Evaluation of Facilities, Parks and Recreational facilities. The Phase II process has also started. The OEO now tracks, monitors and reports ADA accommodation request within the City.
- Diversity in the Workforce – In January 2017, the City Commission unanimously approved a two year voluntary affirmative action plan, covering calendar years 2017 and 2018, that shows 29.48% of the city’s employees are minorities (up from 28%) and 30.17% are women (up from 30%). Approval and support of the voluntary affirmative action plans illustrates the city’s good faith efforts to increase underrepresentation in the work force.
- Diversity Training – Nearly 2,192 employees completed the mandatory online diversity training module. The training content included topics of diversity, cultural competence, harassment and discrimination along with covering all equal opportunity policies of the city. Based on feedback, we also added topics on uncovering implicit bias, managing a multigenerational workforce, the power of respectful language and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The OEO also conducted targeted training touching 302 employees via interactive sessions (up from 50 in the previous year) and touched another 258 employees during New Employee Orientation (up from 250 in the previous year).
- Diversity in the Community – Our office supports and collaborates with various organizations in the community including the Center of Independent Living of North Central Florida, PRAIZE 107.5, NAACP Alachua County Branch, Pride Community Center of North Central Florida, and the Junior League of Gainesville, to name just a few. The OEO has also conducted several community events including a multi-part Race Relations series bringing together 30+ community-based organizations to deliver a community blueprint to local stakeholders.
On January 18, 2018, Bridget Lee, Ph.D. was appointed interim Equal Opportunity Director by the Gainesville City Commission. Dr. Lee recently served as Diversity and Inclusion Manager with the Office of Equal Opportunity and has been in this role since February 2017.