The following are strategies that are continuing to be used to address recruitment and retention issues as they relate to underutilization in all job groups of the Office of the Attorney General.
1. Commitment to Diversity
The Diversity Advisory Committee has set specific goals to provide diversity programs for our agency staff to promote understanding and acceptance of diversity through its programs, policies and employees. Since the approval of the Affirmative Action Plan, the Diversity Advisory Committee:
- Conducted a State of Diversity survey within the Office of the Attorney General, where opinions were solicited from employees regarding diversity efforts. There was a 50% return rate to the survey and the overall response to the survey was excellent. The results have assisted the agency in identifying areas of excellence and areas that need additional work. The survey results will be used as a guide for continued efforts.
- The Office of the Attorney General presented numerous diversity events around the state with at least one presented each month of the year. Some of the celebrations were: Black History, Women's History, Irish American Heritage, Religious Freedom, Asian-Pacific American Heritage, Juneteenth, European Heritage, Poverty Awareness, Civil Rights and Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgendered Awareness. In the upcoming year, the committee has already scheduled celebrations for each of the events referenced above, as well as a celebration for Older American's Awareness.
- The Agency strongly encourages each division to promote diversity activities.
- Collaborated with the Washington State Bar Association on diversity training initiatives.
- Presented a Diversity Advocate Award to a paralegal with the Labor and Industries Division for her work in creating a program with one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
- Presented a Diversity Advocate Award to the Spokane Office Diversity Committee for their support of community organizations.
- Recruited and trained staff to serve as on-site coordinators for diversity events.
- Updated the Diversity Advisory Committee's web page to provide information to AGO staff. This site also provides information that will assist Diversity Site Coordinators in diversity presentation planning.
- The AGO has certified three of our staff who will conduct management training to provide staff with tools to assure a respectful workplace. The course includes information on how to develop buy-in for building and maintaining respect, create a climate of respect and collaboration, and use relationship skills to encourage a diverse workplace. Once the management training is in place, the trainers will look at broadening up the training to make it applicable to line staff.
2. Opportunities for Promotion and Career Growth
The Office of the Attorney General is committed to providing opportunities for promotion and career growth within the agency.
- Supervisors continue to work with their Human Resource Office to promote equitable hiring and promotion opportunities as positions become available.
- The Office of the Attorney General continues to provide excellent in-house training programs for staff at all classifications.
- The Agency is utilizing new web-based training to afford more employees the opportunity to attend training while at the same time, save the cost of travel and lost work time. Certain trainings are also taped and made available to our employees.
- The Office of the Attorney General has developed a Legal Assistant University to provide training for legal processes designed to enhance the skills of Legal Secretary and Office Assistant employees. This instruction is available to staff who may be interested in pursuing in-training promotional opportunities to legal secretary positions.
- The agency is developing a mentoring program for classified staff.
The Office of the Attorney General continues their effort to create and maintain a diverse workforce and continues seeking opportunities for recruitment in the areas of underutilization. Since the approval of the Affirmative Action Plan, the agency participated in many minority job fairs, seminars, outreach projects, conferences, and utilized diverse posting boards such as:
- Gateway to the Asian Community
- Veteran Hiring Event at the Department of Defense
- Northwest Minority Job Fair
- Oregon Minority Job Fair
- National Black Law Association Job Fair in Florida
- St. Louis Diversity Job Fair
- Howard University School of Law on campus recruitment
- Loren Miller Bar Association outreach
- National Black Law Student Association Panel Presentation in Los Angeles
- Washington State Diversity Employment Network Workshop and Seminar
- WSBA Committee for Diversity Mock Interview at Seattle U, UW and Gonzaga
- WSBA Committee for Diversity
- WSBA "Many Faces of Diversity" Conference
- WSBA Statewide Diversity Conference
- Minority Bar Association posting boards
- Judge Advocate General's (JAG) offices posting board
- Paid the section dues of AAGs who serve as official AGO reps with various diverse bar associations (e.g., Loren Miller, Asian Bar Association, Latino/a Bar Association, and Q Law)
The Agency continues to focus on diverse recruitment by continuing existing recruitment efforts and participating in the following job fairs and utilizing available resources.
- Northwest Minority Job Fair
- Oregon Minority Job Fair
- The National Black Law Association Regional Job Fair
- The IMPACT Disability Career Fair
- Veteran Placement Job Fairs
The Office of the Attorney General will continue to:
- Utilize Military Placement Counselors (McCord, Bremerton, and Ft. Lewis);
- Distribute recruitment announcements on various electronic job boards;
- Participate in outreach to various institutions of higher learning;
- Provide externship opportunities to students enrolled in office assistant, legal secretary, and paralegal programs;
- Serve on Advisory Boards for paralegal and legal secretarial programs;
- Serve as an official representative to several minority bar associations;
- Conduct outreach to high school student training programs to provide cooperative education experiences;
- Partner with existing Community College and Technical College instructors to promote continuing education;
- Provide opportunities to current staff for skill development - i.e. the Office of the Attorney General Legal Assistant University which will provide targeted training for promotional opportunities;
- Conduct outreach to DVR to provide internships or worker training to disabled individuals;
- Conduct outreach and provide internships or worker training opportunities for the developmentally disabled (i.e. such as the Supported Employment Program); and
- Distribute recruitment announcements with JAG offices.