View All Posts

Nov 07

Linn County Embraces Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Posted on November 7, 2023 at 12:49 PM by Britt Nielsen

A group of employees around a table for a training

Linn County is committed to creating a Customer-Centered Culture (LC3) that places our external and internal customers at the heart of everything we do. As part of this commitment, this fall, our first cohort of 11 Linn County employees became Certified Diversity Professionals (CDP®) through a global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) credentials program facilitated by Nikeya Diversity Consulting. The participating employees volunteered for the training and included front-line workers, managers, and elected officials.

The CDP® program is an opportunity for employees to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively navigate and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within Linn County. This program is not just for those who work directly in the DEI community; it's designed for anyone who seeks to better serve our community members, colleagues, and customers.

During the certification process, Linn County employees learned to:

  • Enhance their individual growth and development.
  • Contribute to Linn County's LC3 Initiative.
  • Foster collaboration and understanding among coworkers.
  • Drive innovation and creativity in the workplace.
  • Support a positive and welcoming work environment.
  • Enhance community relations.
  • Improve their decision-making.

“The knowledge and perspective we’ve gained through the Certified Diversity Professional training will help us create and foster a more inclusive and dynamic working environment,” said Administrative Assistant Jessica Black. “The real, raw conversations we’ve had during these training sessions has led to more understanding, empathy, and connection amongst some of Linn County’s leaders. This is a real, “boots-on-the-ground” type training, where the things we’re learning are being applied in real-life situations. In addition to our LC3 initiatives, the CDP training will help enhance the customer experience by ensuring our customers – both external and internal – are being seen, their voices heard, and their experiences acknowledged, regardless of their background. We are here to serve the residents of Linn County and help them break down any barriers they may be facing.”

The cohort of soon-to-be credentialed Linn County employees will also complete a DEI-focused project in the coming months once the project specifics are determined. The goal of this project is to create and maintain a more inclusive environment within Linn County. This training is just one of the ways Linn County continues to grow its focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In addition to credentialing employees, Linn County has a Diversity Committee that promotes and celebrates diversity. The Committee plans diversity-focused events for employees, encourages celebration of diversity-focused holidays, and participates in community events, like Pride Fest. Their work is important in helping establish Linn County as an accepting and welcoming place.