Local News

Middle Ground for Local Workforce Matters

(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte County government will take a more in-house approach to investigate employee complaints better and boost efforts to increase diversity in the workforce.


The La Porte County Council turned down a request to hire a full-time Equal Employee Opportunity Commission officer Monday night. The request was made by the La Porte County Commissioners, who felt the new position would create the time needed to look into workforce-related complaints more thoroughly and increase the hiring of minorities. In addition, they felt the Human Resources Department now handling those matters was too short-staffed to meet the goal.


Council President Randy Novak said he feels both tasks can be accomplished without spending more than $40,000 on another full-time salary. The council authorized the Human Resources Department to hire a part-time worker to assist in handling employee complaints. Novak said someone from the outside would be hired to handle more specialized workforce-related allegations.


“I think we can hire a local attorney to be independent of the county to do those investigations as needed,” said Councilman Earl Cunningham.


Novak said he believes extending the outreach to minorities and other groups to apply for job openings can still be done in-house with some changes in the current approach. “I don’t think we’ve exhausted all of our resources,” he stated.


Commissioner Rich Mrozinski said there had been an effort to hire more minorities, but not many have applied when job openings in the county government are advertised. He said a possible solution could be letting minority communities know directly when vacancies in the workforce occur and how to apply.


Commissioner Sheila Matias said the makeup of a workforce should reflect minorities and other groups locally. “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.

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