Dear Colleagues:

As a declaration of this administration's commitment to diversity, in January, 2007, I signed Executive Order 478. This Executive Order recognizes the importance of non-discrimination, diversity, and equal opportunity in all aspects of state employment, programs, and activities. The Executive Order requires all state agencies within the Executive Branch to take affirmative steps to identify and eliminate discriminatory barriers in the workplace; remedy the effects of past discriminatory practices; identify, recruit, hire, develop, promote, and retain employees who are members of under-represented groups; and ensure diversity and equal opportunity in all facets, term and conditions of state employment.

On June 25, I announced the state's Strategic Plan to Make Massachusetts a Model Employer for People with Disabilities . This plan doc format of    Strategic Plan-Model Employer final brief form 6-2  charts a course for expanding recruitment and retention of state employees with disabilities, including those who develop disabilities during their career in state government. This achievement and vision for a more inclusive workforce emerged from the collaborative efforts of teams working across agencies to strengthen and enhance the capacity of our human resources.

As we increase our efforts to become a Model Employer, your individual and collective participation will be invaluable to our continued success. In the weeks ahead you will learn more about specific activities planned to promote workplace inclusion under our new campaign-We Are. You will receive newsletters and electronic updates to inform and engage you about issues to improve workplace diversity. The Human Resource Division, in partnership with the Massachusetts Office on Disability, will host a series of informational forums to advance our discussion about inclusion. The first of these forums will focus on self-identification of workers with disabilities and will be held in the following locations:

  • Boston: October 19th, 10:00am-12:00noon, Gardner Auditorium
  • Springfield: October 22nd, 1:30pm-3:30pm, Springfield Technical Community College
  • Boston: November 2nd, 2:00pm-4:00pm, Gardner Auditorium

The We Are campaign will help us to see ourselves and our efforts as one government while recognizing the contributions and benefits of all parts of our diverse workforce.

I invite you to join me and scores of your colleagues in our efforts to fortify our greatest asset-our workforce. Let's work together to make the Commonwealth a model employer.

For additional information about attending one of the forums, please contact Sandra Borders, Director of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity at (617) 727-7441 or e-mail her at Sandra.e.borders@hrd.state.ma.us.

Sincerely,

Governor Deval L. Patrick