Worksystems is committed to promoting and supporting Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI), and we are thrilled to announce the publication of our first JEDI Strategic Plan. The plan was developed under the leadership of our staff JEDI Council and with the guidance and assistance of Diamond Strategies, a nationally recognized firm specializing in JEDI work. While the Plan represents the culmination of a long, deliberate process, it by no means marks the end of our journey toward becoming a more just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization. We will continue to work hard to evolve as individuals and as a team, and will continue to post updates on our progress.
Our JEDI Strategic Plan can be found below
Purpose for our JEDI work:
Worksystems coordinates a regional workforce system which supports individual prosperity and business competitiveness. We ensure the public workforce system serves business by developing qualified employees and giving current and future workers the skills and support they need to successfully engage, advance, and succeed in the labor market.
We view this work, and its outcomes, through just, diverse, equitable, and inclusive (JEDI) lenses. Our policies, programs, and services, provide job seekers what they need to advance their careers, as dynamic and unique individuals, not what we imagine their needs to be. We, therefore, seek to understanding, harness, and leverage, the rich diversity of our workers and our stakeholders. This commitment extends first to the Indigenous peoples within whose lands our service areas encompass, our staff, stakeholders, and community. In honoring and responding to our world’s reckoning with systemic inequity, we are accelerating our work toward equity and inclusion to ensure that our organization and its reach is as diverse as the human ecosystem we serve.
Our JEDI Values:
Internally, we welcome everyone, and will, to the best of our ability, foster an equitable and inclusive workplace, where employees can be their authentic selves. We animate an organizational culture that values diversity, trust, and transparency. We advance partnerships that are representative of our local population and peers worldwide. We continue conversations around the change that is needed and is necessary to eradicate systemic injustice, including, not limited to colonization, racism, religious intolerance, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia. In short, we welcome, animate, advance, and continue (WAAC) our commitment to JEDI.
Our Mission to Support JEDI:
As an organization, we have bolstered our resolve and affirmed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “fierce urgency of now.” Workforce development and social justice are inextricably linked. While we know that achieving systemic equity — embedding JEDI into Worksystems’ organizational DNA — is a long-distance run, we are sprinting toward things we can reach quickly: difficult dialogues, training, coaching, stakeholder counsel, and the creation of an actionable JEDI plan. Worksystems exists to understand, serve, and meet the needs of our clients, partners, and community — and to do this well, we must first understand, serve, and meet the needs of each other.
Our JEDI Commitment:
We commit ourselves to attuned and empathetic listening, embracing unique backgrounds and perspectives, and by promoting deep appreciation of others. We accomplish this by advancing an aware, inclusive, equitable, and supportive environment, where employees can be their true selves, and by modeling behavior that enriches our community — being present, listening, embracing, and channeling general discomfort with change into actions that build awareness and cohesion, and increase productivity. Specifically:
- Our Senior Leadership is Committed and Engaged
- Our Use of Data, Metrics, and Assessment Guides our Work
- Our Recruitment and Development of Talent is a Top Priority
- Our Efforts are Connected: Employees, Council, Board of Directors, Community
Context for our JEDI Work (“Why,” “How,” and “When”):
Social injustice, economic worries, and civil unrest, wrought by historic and enduring racism, sexism, antisemitism, islamophobia, classism, homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia in the United States, are systemic, perennial problems. Worksystems has committed itself to 1) disrupting unjust policies and practices, conscious and unconscious, within our organization; and 2) aiding our partners and community in doing the same outside of it.
Our work in these areas preceded the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020. Courageous conversations about homogeneity, difference, injustice, and inequity led to the creation of our Equity Team. The Equity Team then submitted itself to a year of probing and instructive JEDI training. The training led to the creation of Worksystems’ JEDI Council and its governing Charter. The Charter now helps drives our JEDI work priorities, strategies, and timeline,, including the creation of our JEDI Strategic Plan.
We acknowledge the anxiety and trauma inducing actions and violence that have rocked our society from its beginning. Worksystems stands unified against white supremacy, homogeneity, heteronormativity, economic exploitation, xenophobia, and systemic injustice. The time for bold, positive, and sustainable systemic change is now, and that change must come from us, custodians of our past, present, and future. We must lead the way. This is our “why”.
A culture, team, and organization that elevates and embraces the concepts that furthers JEDI, cultivates, and creates leaders, teams, and stakeholders, who are authentic, secure, and better able to connect with, understand, and support each other. Our work for JEDI extends beyond our walls, as we collaborate with other organizations to learn, listen, and lean-in into difficult dialogues, to question and challenge our biases, to deepen our understanding, and to take sustainable action. This is our “how”.
Creating lasting change does not happen overnight, however, nor does it have an expiration date. Our commitment is to be and do better, to challenge one another, and to increase awareness and action, from top to bottom, “when” we witness injustice and inequity.
Our JEDI plan is posted here.