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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer

main: 503-823-5288

Revenue: 503-823-5157

1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 901, Portland, OR 97204

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BHR Focused Outreach Program

Approximately three years ago, the Bureau of Human Resources established a formal focused outreach program. The program provides a mechanism for reaching out to people who because of a history of discrimination may not see themselves as viable candidates for city employment. In addition we know from past experience that if our outreach efforts are going to be successful we need to establish ongoing and meaningful relationships with a wide variety of community based groups. Diane Avery, who is a Senior Human Resources Analyst with the Diversity Outreach and Employment Resources group within BHR, helped to create the program and now dedicates approximately 75% of her time to outreach efforts. Diane works intensively with both outside candidates for city employment and city bureaus to assist them in their outreach efforts.

The attached report summarizes the program, what it takes to do truly effective outreach work, our results to date and where we are going next.  Forty candidates, including six veterans and two individuals who self-identified as persons with a disability, have obtained city employment as a direct result of their participation in this program. Awareness of the program is increasing as city employees are now encouraging diverse candidates to seek employment with the city and to work with our focused outreach program. In addition, we have strengthened our relationships with a number of colleges, universities and high schools to increase student awareness of the city as a potential employer.

This program is still relatively new and focused outreach must remain a priority of the City. We are increasing our efforts to reach out to veterans groups and the disabled through community advocacy groups to increase awareness of city jobs. To continue and improve upon our successes it is critical that city bureaus also view this program as an important tool and utilize the contacts we have to offer to help diversify our candidate pools. And, equally important, review their process when the candidate pool is diverse yet the ultimate hire is not.

I also want to thank Diane Avery for all her hard work and personal commitment to our focused outreach program, and her manager Lynda Lewis for providing support and guidance.

-Anna Kanwit, Human Resources Director