FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – The Fort Leonard Wood Equal Employment Opportunity Program, which focuses on managing workforce diversity and maintaining a place of work without discrimination, will now have additional “boots in the field”, thanks to the integration of 25 volunteer civilian EEO advisers who completed a week-long EEO collateral service adviser course, held from 14 to November 18.
According to Gary Woodruff, manager of Fort Leonard Wood Equal Employment Opportunity, the additional counselors will help the complaint process by informing aggrieved managers and management of their rights, conducting and documenting investigations into allegations of discrimination, and helping to facilitate resolutions at the pre-complaint stage. .
“(Counselors) will provide an extra layer of neutrality during the informal phase of an EEO complaint,” said Channa Ringo, equal employment opportunity specialist. “They will have the opportunity to see behind the curtain of the complaints process by learning more about our laws and regulations, interviewing employees and management, and summarizing the data gathered for an advisor’s report. »
The course focused on legal and statutory requirements for handling EEO cases, as well as the intrapersonal and interpersonal skills required for the position, Woodruff said. Students also learned the organizational aspects of the EEO program, including the roles and responsibilities of its staff.
“This course has developed a foundation of knowledge and skills that enables graduates to serve as effective entry-level EEO advisors or practitioners,” he said.
One of the volunteers who took the course was Mike Campbell, a fire inspector with the Fort Leonard Wood Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Branch, who chose to attend to learn more about equal opportunity. chances and to help fellow civilian employees.
“A lot of people just need some advice or someone to talk to sometimes,” he said. “I hope this role allows me to help anyone who needs this kind of advice and point them in the right direction.”
The addition of counselors will greatly benefit the Fort Leonard Wood community by giving employees more options when needed, Campbell added.
“The more of us there are in the community, the more people we can help,” he said.
For anyone who missed the course but wants to help out with EEO-related topics, there are other options, Ringo said.
“There are many other EEO programs at Fort Leonard Wood, such as the Special Emphasis Program Committees, including the Federal Program for Women, Persons with Disabilities, Disabled Veterans, and African American Programs,” said she declared. “The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute also offers a course in Palm Bay, Florida if an organization is willing to pay the temporary service fee for an employee to attend.”
To learn more about participating in special accent programs or for questions about the EEO program, contact the EEO office at 573.596.0602.