Our First Annual Celebration of Cultural Diversity!

Our organization is privileged to employ people from a wide variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Our employees have included recent immigrants and visitors from a number of African nations, others have been from countries such as Nepal, Pakistan, and Ukraine. Some of our employees have included those whose families arrived in the United States in more recent years, such as those of Hmong or Korean heritage, and in more distant years such as those from Ireland, Germany, Scandinavia, and other European countries, as well as those of African American heritage. Our employees have also included Native Americans, whose ancestors arrived in the Americas many thousands of years ago.

As an organization, we recognize the value of a diverse workforce and intend to create an organization that is greater as a result of the richness of contributions that a diverse workforce can bring. Our hope is to foster an environment in which all employees can contribute to the goals of the organization, informed by their own unique cultural heritage, and, thereby, are able to experience both personal and professional fulfillment and growth.

As a part of our efforts to achieve this goal, we wanted to take the opportunity to learn more about each other and the cultures from which we all come, and to celebrate our diversity!

On Wednesday, July 31, 2002, Orion Associates, Meridian Services, and Zenith Services hosted a Celebration of Cultural Diversity. The event included opportunities to sample foods from a number of different ethnic groups and to hear from a number of speakers, including employees who are immigrants themselves or who are the children of immigrants. One of our speakers was a parent of a young man whom we serve who will share her experiences of working with staff members who are immigrants.

The event was well attended by employees, consumers, families, friends, and some representatives from the counties and state.

The following is from the text of our organization’s Personnel Manuals, in which we state our companies’ recognition of the value of diversity:

Our Organization’s Recognition of the Value of Diversity

Our organization recognizes the value of a diverse workforce. We will strive to achieve a diverse workforce, not only in an effort to comply with applicable laws and to achieve Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action goals, but to create an organization that is greater as a result of the richness of contributions that a diverse workforce can bring. We will foster an environment in which all employees contribute to the goals of the organization, but are also able to experience personal growth.

To accomplish this goal, we are dedicated to:

1. Communicating effectively with employees from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.
2. Coaching and developing employees of different ages, educational backgrounds, ethnicity, physical ability, and race.
3. Providing performance feedback that is based on objective outcomes rather than values and stereotypes that work against women, minorities, and disabled persons by prejudging these persons’ abilities and talents.
4. Creating a work environment that makes it comfortable for employees of all backgrounds to be creative and innovative.