(La Porte, IN) - A new position could be created to establish a more diverse workforce in the LaPorte County government. The LaPorte County Commissioners have approved the hiring of an Equal Economic Opportunity Commission (EEOC) officer. With an annual salary of more than $40,000, the position will be given final consideration by the LaPorte County Council on Monday, July 26.
Commission President Rich Mrozinski said there hadn’t been many minority applicants when job openings in county government are advertised in newspapers and online. He said letting minority communities know directly when vacancies occur in the workforce and how to apply is what he envisions if the new position is funded.
“We need to find how to reach those people,” Mrozinski said.
Several job openings in the county government currently exist in areas like the LaPorte County Highway Department and LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service. Mrozinski said many of the recent openings are from employees leaving for higher pay elsewhere. He plans to ask the county council to increase wages to try and slow the turnover.
“We want to hire people. As long as they’re qualified and can pass a drug test, we want to do that,” he said.
Commissioner Sheila Matias said the new position would join the Humans Resources Department, too stretched right now to become more active in recruiting minorities and members of any other groups not equally represented in the workforce.
“A population of government employees should represent the community they serve. I feel very strongly about that. It’s the right thing to do,” she said.
The new position would also help the two-member Human Resources Department investigate labor-related complaints from any of the nearly 800 employees in county government work. Mrozinski said another objective is to reduce the threat of having a lawsuit filed over what seems to be a racial imbalance of the workforce.
“We’ve been accused that LaPorte County hires only white people. That’s not true. That’s not true at all. However, we want to make sure we are proactive,” Mrozinski said.