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August 13, 2007

Contact:Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795

Publication Honors DEP for Efforts to Diversify its Work Force

(07/38) TRENTON -A magazine dedicated to promoting diversity in the workplace has named the Department of Environmental Protection one of the world’s leading innovators in advancing a multicultural work force, DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson announced today.

“One of New Jersey’s greatest assets is its diverse employment base,” Commissioner Jackson said. “I am truly touched by this honor, which recognizes the department’s commitment to developing a work force that reflects the Garden State’s rich racial and cultural diversity.”

Profiles in Diversity Journal named DEP a recipient of its 2007 Excellence in Innovation award. The award appears in the July/August edition of the magazine.

Profiles in Diversity Journal publishes bi-monthly and is geared toward corporate leaders, government and military leaders, human resource professionals, women and minorities who own businesses, and diversity practitioners and consultants. It has 48,000 print subscribers and an Internet readership of 1.25 million.

The magazine recognized innovative programs launched within the past two years that delivered a “positive outcome” toward inclusiveness and improved equity in the work place.

In 2006, DEP, which employs approximately 3,300 people, launched its Diversity Action Plan, a strategy for fostering diversity through the department’s recruitment, promotion, training, and employee-retention practices. The action plan led to a 39-percent minority recruitment rate that puts DEP on par with major New Jersey corporations with advanced diversity programs.

The action plan led to the formation of a Diversity Task Force that included Commissioner Jackson and senior management, a diversity forum DEP hosted for other state agencies, and formation of various internal working groups to implement diversity policy objectives. All employees were given an opportunity to comment on the plan.

This process resulted in renewed efforts to reach out to a broad pool of communities -- including African-American, Asian and Hispanic groups -- for filling environmental services and engineering trainee positions, and development of standard operating procedures for interviewing and selecting qualified candidates.

“As much progress as we have made, this is only a beginning,” Commissioner Jackson said, noting that the department is now developing a mandatory diversity training program for employees. “This is a dynamic endeavor that is quickly becoming a model for all agencies in state government.”

For more information on the awards, visit the magazine’s Web site at



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Last Updated: August 13, 2007