Mesa employees address their workplace diversity The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Mesa employees address their workplace diversity

Mesa employees address their workplace diversity

By Kenzel Williams
Tribune Contributor

A group of Mesa employees is working to improve the city’s diversity initiative from within.

The Mesa Hispanic Council is looking to help city workers gain new connections and skill sets to
advance through their careers. The organization provides various programs throughout the year for members.

City of Mesa Diversity and Community eEgagement Administrator Andrea Alicoate said that MHN is open to all city employees.

“Recruiting diversity within any organization does not just mean having to try and look externally from the candidate pool or who’s applying for jobs,” said Alicoate.

“It’s also about how to support those that are already in the organization.”

Through MHN’s programs, city employees learn a variety of skills to help them develop professionally and advance in their careers. 

According to Isaias Garcia Romero, City Council assistant and chair of MHN, the organization has an apprenticeship program that teaches basic communication and technical skills such as Microsoft Excel and Word, while also improving on leadership qualities and attitude awareness.

“It’s the whole person we want to develop and be able to do this professionally.”

Zenia Cornejo, airport administration supervisor and vice chair of MHN, highlighted the council’s goals to set up members for success with these programs.

“One of our goals is to provide other city employees with some tools so that they can navigate and work through self-development for promotions,” said Cornejo. “They could have a better understanding of what is expected of them and what they can expect.”

MHN also hosts lunch and learn sessions, which provides networking opportunities for members. In one of last year’s events, participants learned about lowrider culture in Arizona, which is a prominent feature of Latino culture in the Southwest.

“It’s a big concept in one package,” said Romero. “That’s what we try to do with the lunch and learns.”

Like the rest of the city, Mesa Hispanic Network is adapting to the pandemic.

Alicoate noted that the network switched to Zoom meetings and followed practices that the rest of the city adopted to lower virus spread.

This year’s apprenticeship program was cancelled but Romero is looking forward to starting it up again next year.

The executive team spent the summer producing new strategic plans for the next two years to create meaningful programs for field employees.

“To adapt to this situation, we had to take this time frame to reevaluate how we can do that for field personnel who typically don’t have laptop access out in the field,” said Romero.

According to Alicoate, MHN is getting ready for their first virtual event soon – a peer mentorship group session that will focus on work-life balance and allow members to discuss today’s work lifestyles.

Cornejo said that safety is the organization’s number one priority, but they’re still looking to increase membership. She wants to bring awareness to more employees, as any city worker can join.

“Deep down inside, we’re a very passionate group who really wishes to increase the skillset of employees and guide them,” said Cornejo.

Alicoate hopes that MHN’s efforts will bring Mesa closer to its diversity initiative goals while also helping the city as a whole.

“This is really only going to better the community based on the city supporting the employees from within,” she said.

Comments are closed.