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News & Information - Spotlight 2020

Posted on: January 27, 2020

Town Offers Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Training to Staff

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The Southampton Town Affirmative Action Task Force (AATF), in conjunction with the Human Resources Department, developed a program with the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) to educate Town managers, supervisors and staff on the importance of diversity, and how a more diverse workforce can enhance the overall success of the Town’s mission to provide excellent municipal government services to Southampton Town residents and visitors. The NCBI manager training was held on January 22nd, and on January 23rd employees from the Highway Department and the Parks and Recreation Department participated in a two-hour staff training on skills for workplace diversity that the Human Resources Department is planning to extend to all Town employees in the future. 

“This program is part of an ongoing effort, resulting from an initiative undertaken by the Town’s AATF to develop an equity and inclusion strategic plan for the Town,” said Councilman John Bouvier, liaison to the Task Force, “all attendees found the training to be very engaging and educational, and the Town would like to continue building on it to further our efforts to improve as a welcoming and diverse workforce and community.”

“I have been the Human Resources’ liaison to the Affirmative Action Task Force for just over three years now, and I’m very proud of all we’ve accomplished during that time. Diversity Training for our managers, in its second year, is meant to inspire the Town’s leaders to continue growing as supervisors and as people,” said Affirmative Action Office Juan Becerra. “Likewise, this year we will begin rolling out Diversity Training for all Town staff, so that all employees can be similarly inspired to understand the importance of diverse perspectives at work, and of treating all colleagues with respect.”

NCBI is an international leadership organization that provides training in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in community organizations, schools, college and university campuses, corporations and law enforcement. Over the past 33 years, NCBI has developed into an international network of associates who are trained in highly effective NCBI principles and practices, and work cooperatively to institutionalize diversity and inclusion programs.

In a series of discussions and personal or small group explorations, NCBI led Town staff through exercises to:

  • Assess your own internal biases and stereotypes; 
  • Inclusion and diversity caucus groups and listening exercises;
  • Learn about how unchallenged biases can negatively impact the performance of     employees;
  • Explore the organizational structure and how it either encourages or discourages     diverse viewpoints in decision-making; and
  • Learn new skills to apply in departments and divisions to ensure all voices are     heard, and all employees are developed and encouraged to grow professionally,     and achieve and advance within the Town.

  “As Chairperson of the task force for the last 10 years, I’ve been so pleased to see this positive work gain the traction it has,” said Minerva Perez Executive Director 

OLA of Eastern Long Island and Chairperson of the AATF. “Affirmative Action has grown leaps and bounds past quotas to include process and transparency practices, which provide concrete ways to measure successes and challenges while striving for full local representation at all levels of employment.”

“Thanks to the support of our AATF liaison Councilman John Bouvier, the Town Board and the work of the committed members of our AATF, I am proud to say that Southampton Town is ahead of the curve with respect to emphasizing the importance of diversity in our workforce and supporting efforts to develop a more diverse workforce, from entry level positions, to upper management,” said Sandra Cirincione, Director of Human Resources. 

 For more information on this program, please feel free to contact Juan Becerra, Affirmative Action Officer, at 631-702-1921 or at jbecerra@southamptontownny.gov,

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