The future of the state work force is diversity
President Walker outlines a vision to recruit, retain and promote women and people of color in state service

The future of the state work force is diversity

Local 1000 is taking an active role in shaping the future of the state work force and is working to ensure that the employees who carry out California’s business reflect the diversity of the populations they serve.

Generational shift coming

As the baby boom generation approaches retirement and millennials estimated to reach 75 percent of the work force in 10 years, the union and state lawmakers have identified an important opportunity to influence the future face of state work.

To that end, Local 1000 President Yvonne R. Walker testified before a joint hearing of the Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee and the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee on July 8 to press for substantive commitments to recruit and retain women and people of color for state service. Walker explained that real planning is essential because, when it comes to diversity, talk is cheap.

“You can throw around all the words you want,” she said, “But people have biases they don’t even know about.”

But Walker explained that simply hiring women and people of color into entry level jobs isn’t enough to affect real change. She outlined a vision of incorporating equal employment opportunity into state civil service with a multi-dimensional approach that promotes upward mobility. As Walker described Local 1000 initiatives such as Joint Labor Management Committees, the Young DLC and the community partnerships the union has forged in the central valley to insure that the development of high speed rail brings jobs to underserved populations that neighbor the project, it was clear that Local 1000 is well-positioned to join with the state in building a dynamic, diverse future workforce.

The perfect opening for change

Walker was clear that Local 1000 will continue to value and serve the work force we have today, but the demographic shift on the horizon provides the perfect opening to look at the lingering inequalities in state employment—and to back that attention up with real action.