Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Regular Meeting Notes (same as Minutes) – Draft 12-5-17

Wednesday, November 29, 2017 3:30 PM

Scott Heyman Conference Room



Attendee Name



Leslyn McBean-Clairborne



Lisa Holmes



Marcia Lynch



Larry Roberts



Christina Dravis



Todd VanOrman



Anna Kelles

Vice Chair


Xavier Rusk



Catherine Covert

Clerk of the Legislature


Thomas Knipe

Tourism Coordinator


Amy Guererri

Commissioner of Human Resources


Erica Beversluis

Compliance Coordinator


Kit Kephart

Commissioner, Social Services


Paula Younger

Interim County Administrator



Guests:  Kathy Schlather, Human Services Coalition Executive Director; Rob Brown, Tompkins County Worker’s Center; Kathy Jett, Finger Lake Pulse and Cooperative Extension; Henry Granison, Legislator Elect

Call to Order

              Mrs. McBean-Clairborne, Chair, called the meeting to order at 3:30 p.m.

Welcome, Introduction, and Announcements

Committee members and others present introduced themselves.


Mr. Rusk announced December 9th at 11 a.m. is the 30th Annual Arts Competition award ceremony for students K-12 at the Tompkins County Public Library.  Mrs. McBean-Clairborne suggested a notice about the event be sent to members.

Minutes Approval

August 23, 2017


MOVER:              Christina Dravis, Member

SECONDER:              Lisa Holmes, Member

AYES:              McBean-Clairborne, Holmes, Lynch, Roberts, Dravis, VanOrman, Rusk

EXCUSED:              Kelles

October 25, 2017


MOVER:              Larry Roberts, Member

SECONDER:              Todd VanOrman, Member

AYES:              McBean-Clairborne, Holmes, Lynch, Roberts, Dravis, VanOrman, Rusk

EXCUSED:              Kelles

Discussion Items

STPB Draft Diversity and Inclusion Statement (ID #7450)

              Mr. Knipe provided an overview of the Strategic Tourism Planning Board (STPB) and explained what it is tasked with.  The Board is guided by the 2020 Strategic Tourism Plan that directs how and what the Board does.  The Plan also includes a policy to promote diversity.  He further commented that Ann Gosen serves as the Chair of the Board. 


              Mr. Knipe said the County’s Tourism Program and STPB fully support the Legislature’s Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Diversity Statement.  STPB is currently assessing its diversity efforts and any feedback received at this meeting will be taken back and discussed.  Mr. Knipe reviewed the current activities and potential actions as outlined in the information distributed to the Committee.


              Mr. Roberts thanked Mr. Knipe and the STPB for doing this and believes it is very encouraging.  He appreciates disability being added as a demographic category under potential actions.  Looking at accessibility as a long-term goal is important and having that expertise on the Board to identify areas that are accessible will be very beneficial to visitors and tourists.  Another important area is in advertising and having people with disabilities appear in the images.


              In response to Ms. Holmes' question about how diverse groups and organizations are being notified of the grant opportunities, Mr. Knipe explained what efforts are currently made, but said they are looking for suggestions.


              In response to Mrs. McBean-Clairborne, Mr. Knipe explained the make-up of the Board including the voting and non-voting members and how they are involved in the decision-making process.  He also addressed how the recruitment for members is handled and said it is an open recruitment process.


              A brief discussion followed concerning the questions asked on the survey.  It was suggested that a follow-up question be asked if an individual identifies themselves as an ally of the LGBTQ community and that an additional option for a blank box be considered for the gender question. 


              Mrs. McBean-Clairborne believes that this feedback will help in the trainings being planned going forward and how to implement any future plans. 


              Mr. Rusk commented that the Office of Human Rights offers many different training programs and encouraged Mr. Knipe to contact him.

RESULT:              COMPLETED

* * * * * * * * *


Diversity and Inclusion compliance for contract agencies

Mrs. McBean-Clairborne said she asked Ms. Schlather to discuss and review what agencies are doing in terms of diversity and inclusion.


              Ms. Schlather said there are 18 agencies that receive County and City funding.  She explained the review process the agencies go through for requesting funds.  The process begins with agencies applying for funds through an RFP (Request for Proposals) followed with a review process by the Human Services Coalition Board.  The Board then makes its recommendations to the County Administrator who then incorporates the recommendations into the proposed County budget that is then presented to the Legislature.  The process is not closed and the total amount of funds requested is approximately $1 million.


              Ms. Schlather reviewed the information collected by the agencies in terms of numbers and where clients come from.  There are staffing questions relating to part-time, full-time, wages, health insurance, etc.  Last year they started asking questions about the agencies boards.  In addition, questions relating to demographics of clients, the range of income, etc., are being added this year. 


              Mrs. McBean-Clairborne asked what agencies as recipients of public funds are doing about inclusion and asked if questions about an agency having a diversity and inclusion plan, how are they holding themselves accountable, and how are they measuring their information could be requested.  


              Mr. Rusk spoke about the information being collected including any plans or strategies and asked how that information is maintained or if it could be made available publicly.   


              Ms. Schlather noted that the Coalition Board can ask agencies for information at any time and believes that Mrs. McBean-Clairborne’s questions can be asked now and not necessarily through the budget review process.


              Mr. Brown spoke about cultural competency within organizations and the collection of information and suggested agencies have a form for people to fill out.  Ms. Schlather appreciated the suggestion and will follow-up.


              Ms. Holmes spoke of the County’s requirements for contracts to meet certain regulations and said accessibility is one of the areas which also includes language and asked if the contracts with the agencies included that information.  Ms. Schlather clarified the contracts are with the County and said she would follow-up on that.


              Mrs. McBean-Clairborne said the Committee would be interested in providing advice and support as needed to the agencies and to discuss any training opportunities that might be available to help provide better service.

Update on Training

              Ms. Younger said the LGBTQ+ training for management employees is coming up and registration is now open.  A new website has been created that provides information about the workshops. 

Update on Steering Committee - Wrap-up

              Ms. Dravis and Mr. Knipe provided an overview of the Steering Committee’s Climate Survey results.  They reviewed the priorities identified and initiatives completed or under development.


              Mrs. McBean-Clairborne expressed the importance of continuing to work on communication.


              It was MOVED by Mr. Roberts, seconded by Mr. Dravis, and unanimously adopted by voice vote by members, to recommend to the Budget, Capital, and Personnel Committee the appointment of Kit Kephart and Robert Brown to the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Committee.


              The meeting adjourned at 5:07 p.m.