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48 Building and maintaining a diverse workforce can provide multiple benefits for an airport, its contractors, and its concessionaires. Although the federal government has a regulatory approach for improving business diversity, it does not have one for improving workforce diversity at airports. As discussed in Chapter 2, the courts have provided legal guidance, but preferences based on race, gender, and sexual or gender identity must be examined closely to ensure they are consistent with individual rights provided by the Constitution. Furthermore, the issues and challenges airports face as they try to increase the diversity of their workforce are different than the ones they face in contracting and concessions. For example, the tenure of employment tends to be longer than the typical 3- or 5-year contract; therefore, efforts to increase the diversity of the workforce can take many years. Airports have developed more tools for diverse business contracting than they have for workforce diversity. For instance, the use of disparity studies to inform and guide policy making for the inclu- sion of diverse businesses in public contracting is well established. Yet it is a tool that public agencies are just beginning to consider when looking at diversifying their workforce. There is a growing use of disparity studies for diversifying the external workforces of construc- tion contractors retained by public agencies for their major infrastruc- ture projects. Due to the difference in available tools between diverse business contracting and workforce diversity, there are fewer cases and examples of airports that can be used to demonstrate effective approaches. Fortunately, the issues and challenges facing airports as they attempt to increase the diversity of their workforce are not unique to airports. Local and state govern- ment agencies, hospitals, the military, as well as contractors and concessionaires working with airports face many of the same challenges and have developed inno vative, effective approaches that airports may consider useful. This chapter explores the best practices used by airports, contractors, other industries and organizations to build diverse workforces. Best practices from the military, the medi- cal field, the financial industry, and the public sector have broad applicability and can offer instructive examples for airports. Emerging research and case studies from these fields offer illustrative examples of specific effective strategies. C H A P T E R 5 Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity Disparity Studies for Workforce Diversity Kansas City and St. Louis in Missouri have commissioned workforce disparity studies. The Kansas City study analyzes whether an equitable share of work hours on city construction projects is going to workers who are people of color, women, and city residents. The St. Louis study examines hiring, retention, recruitment, membership and termination practices of St. Louis Metropolitan Area organizations that provide job training programs. The study focuses on programs that serve as entry- ways into the construction trades and businesses that supply goods and services to the city.
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 49 Benefits of a Diverse Airport Workforce Decades of sociological and economic research show that attracting, retaining, and devel- oping a diverse workforce stir innovation and drive growth. Companies with more racial and gender diversity bring in more sales revenue, more customers, and higher profits (McKinsey & Company 2015). Diversity also gives companies access to a greater range of talent and helps provide insight into the needs and motivations of all the companyâs client or customer base, rather than just a small part of it. Promoting and achieving a diverse workforce helps attract and retain quality employees. It also translates into effective delivery of essential services to communities with diverse needs. Airports are in a unique position to capitalize on the benefits of a diverse workforce because the traveling public represents a true cross section of the world. To understand how to best serve all their customers, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability, and socioeconomic level, airports need a diverse set of employees to contribute to the customer experience. Moreover, as the demographics of the American labor force change airports are likely to find their candidate pools growing more diverse over time. As a result, new strategies may be necessary for some airports to attract the most qualified candidates. Economic Benefits A diverse workforce can make an organization more efficient and more profitable (World Economic Forum 2018). Companies that exhibit gender and ethnic diversity are, respectively, 21 percent and 35 percent more likely to outperform those that do not (McKinsey & Company 2015). Diversity also matters at the top: companies with racial diversity at the executive level show significantly higher returns on equity (McKinsey & Company 2015), and those with more female executives are more profitable (Nolan et al. 2016). A global survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries conducted by the Peterson Institute for International Economics found repeated correlation between women at the C-suite level and firm profitability. The study noted that âa profitable firm at which 30 percent of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leadersâ (Nolan et al. 2016). When considering both profitable and unprofitable firms, âthe firm with more women can expect a 6 percentage-point increase in net profitâ (Nolan et al. 2016). The studyâs authors note that â[t]he positive correlation between the presence of women in cor- porate leadership and profitability could reflect the existence of discrimination against women executives, which gives nondiscriminating firms an edge. Alternatively, it could be that the pres- ence of women contributes to superior performance via functional diversityâ (Nolan et al. 2016). Socioeconomic Benefits The benefits of diversity, however, extend far beyond an airportâs bottom line. According to research performed at Harvard Business School, diversity drives innovation and creativity (Chua 2009), perhaps because employees are more likely to feel comfortable, happy, and confident in an inclusive environment. Diversity can also help recruit and retain top talent. A July 2019 survey by recruiting firm Glassdoor found that 77 percent of adults surveyed would consider a companyâs culture before applying for a job there, and well over half (56 percent) said company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. Nearly 65 percent of employees said that their companyâs culture is one of the main reasons for staying in their job (Glassdoor 2019).
50 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs Community Benefits Increased diversity can result in higher wages for all workers in the local community, not just workers at the airport (Kemeny and Cooke 2017). When a city experiences a diversity boost, the average person living in the metropolitan area sees their wages rise by about 6 percent (Kemeny and Cooke 2017). Large airports need hundreds or thousands of employees to operate at full capacity. This need for a large, skilled workforce creates job opportunities that allow local community members to acquire the skill and experience necessary for increased employment opportunities both inside and outside of the airport. Airports may also be able to offer higher wages and more competitive benefits than other sectors or local employers. A steady source of employment and opportunities for advancement can help close some of the economic dispari- ties that minority households tend to experience and address the persistent wage gap between women and men. Larger Pool of Workers for Airport As demographics shift, a lack of diversity could lead to chronic labor shortages for airports. For example, more women are graduating from college than men (U.S. Census Bureau 2019). Moreover, working people between the ages of 25 and 54 who identify as white will comprise less than 50 percent of the population by 2029 (Wilson 2016). The number of mature workers in Americaâs workforce is also rapidly increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statis- tics, by the year 2024, almost 25 percent of the total workforce will be 55 and older. In addition, the aging workforce will be more diverse by culture, ethnicity, and race (U.S. Department of Labor 2017). Employers that lag behind these demographic changes will need to retool in order to compete for workers from this increasingly diverse pool. Diverse hiring and contracting practices can help increase the pool of candidates, meaning that diversely staffed airports would be less likely to experience interruptions in critical services or shortages of necessary products as there would be multiple qualified staff able to complete any given task. Uninterrupted, efficient workflow can help airports minimize safety and finan- cial risks. How Airports Can Increase and Maintain a Diverse Workforce Many tools and approaches are available to airports to help them increase the diversity of their workforce. The best practices for building a more diverse workforce will vary based on airport size and location and local conditions. For example, large airports near urban areas are likely to have a more diverse local candidate pool to choose from than small airports or airports in rural areas. As with other diverse business practices, leadership plays an important role. Stra- tegic planning, innovative management, and effective communication also play critical roles. Several recruitment and hiring practices, talent development and retention approaches, and best practices from other sectors are provided as examples of effective ways to increase workforce diversity. The Role of Leadership in Workforce Diversity The airports interviewed for this Guidebook suggest that airport leadership plays a crucial role in building a more diverse workforce. An airportâs governing body and chief executives set priorities across the organization and influence how much emphasis is placed on diversity through channels such as strategic planning and succession planning. Diversity among leadership
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 51 is also critical for setting the tone for the rest of the organization. As Linda Valdez Thompson, executive vice president of administration and diversity at DFW has stated, âthe more diversity you have in leadership, they themselves are more comfortable hiring people that are diverse. I think that makes a differenceâ (Hoopfer 2017). Governing Body (Policy and Oversight) Diversity practices in airports are likely to vary based on accountability structures, which can be internal or external. In terms of external accountability, airports may have to satisfy local, state, and federal diversity requirements and may be accountable to a governing body such as a board of directors. As vice president and secretary of MWAA, Monica Hargrove has seen the importance of board leadership on diversity issues. In an interview for this research, Ms. Hargrove noted that MWAA leadership saw a need early on for equal opportunity employment policies and their importance and has made dedicated efforts to ensure that those policies are followed in recruiting efforts. These efforts include communicating the organizationâs Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policy on a regular basis, training supervisors on their responsibilities, and contacting female and minority recruiting services and soliciting referrals of qualified female and minority appli- cants. MWAAâs human resources department has developed ongoing in-person and online training programs on harassment and the EEO complaint process. Airports may also be subject to local policies that prioritize diversity. Additionally, any airport that receives federal FAA grants must have certain diversity policies in place in order to qualify for grant money (see Chapter 2 of this Guidebook). Chief Executives and Staff (Planning, Development, and Execution) As many airports in our research noted, an airport director who is highly invested in diver- sity can help employees feel their workplace is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse workforce. Examples from other sectors also indicate that leadership plays an important role in building a workforce. Airport directors can demonstrate a commitment to diversity through actions such as: â¢ Establishing a diversity office or diversity committee, or hiring a chief diversity officer. â¢ Setting targets for workforce diversity based on the demographic makeup of the local population. â¢ Requesting disparities studies and authorizing other data tracking or evaluation tools on diversity. â¢ Staying actively involved in diversity efforts as they are developed and implemented (Thomas 2004). â¢ Integrating diversity measures into talent management and succession planning. Some airports have mechanisms to recognize and reward leaders who contribute to a diverse workplace. For example, DFW has awarded its Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Award to senior management and employees who contribute to diversity at the airport and in the surrounding communities. Senior management winners are judged by their ability to strengthen the culture of diversity and inclusion through their interactions internally and externally, foster a respectful work environment that attracts and retains an engaged and diverse work- force, and demonstrates commitment to diversity leadership within the community as a volunteer (DFW 2014). Organizations outside of Awards for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport presents awards to senior staff members to showcase individuals who have strengthened diversity practices.
52 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs the aviation industry have also set up incentives for senior executives to be held accountable for diversity program performance, such as through monetary awards and reviews. In a survey conducted by Forbes, senior executives involved in workforce diversity and inclusion programs from companies with revenues of at least $500 million indicated that accountability is measured by performance reviews (66 percent), bonuses (51 percent), salary increases (42 percent), business/ department reviews (48 percent), and promotions (41 percent) (Forbes 2011). Strategic Planning Leadership staff can set long-term goals for recruitment based on the operational needs of the airport. For example, if there is a predicted shortage of qualified staff to fill STEM-related posi- tions over the next 10 years, airport directors can work with other departments to identify this gap and develop comprehensive policies to address it. Strategic objectives include diversifying the airportâs workforce to better reflect and serve the surrounding community. Another objective is to recruit new and more diverse candidates to help build a long-term pipeline of qualified airport workers. LAX has recognized labor supply shortages in the region and has implemented programs such as Hire LAX to foster skills within the local workforce that will live beyond the life of individual projects. Working with contractors that recognize the importance of building a long-term pipeline also benefits airports. In an interview, Clark Construction noted that it strives to retain a pool of qualified employees to create a workforce pipeline not just for its own projects but for the construc- tion industry in general, with the idea of contributing to the construction workforce. Strate- gic objectives should be accompanied by detailed implementation plans at the management level (White House n.d.). As an example, successfully diversifying the airportâs workforce to reflect the surrounding community will require specific actions, which may include posting jobs requisitions in languages in addition to English or establishing relationships with career counselors at local colleges. Strategic plans may include components such as: â¢ Building a pipeline of qualified candidates through community services and mentor- ship programs. Airports can build pipelines of qualified airport contractors by building the capacity of diverse businesses through means such as training, technical assistance, and mentor-protÃ©gÃ© programs. Similar programs can be established for staff from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in working for the airport but may lack some required skills or experience for positions the airport needs to fill. Mentorship programs and training may be provided to employees at low cost or no cost to help them become competitive candidates, and additional on-the-job training can be provided once new candidates are hired, to help them succeed in their role. â¢ Restructuring compensation, benefits, and advancement opportunities to make the airport a competitive employer. Compensation and advancement opportunities are strongly corre- lated with employee retention. Airports may need to compare their compensation rates and organizational structure to other competitive employers in the region. In addition, airports may need to restructure their benefits to make job opportunities at the airport more attractive and feasible for employees from disadvantaged backgrounds who may require benefits such as childcare subsidies or transportation subsidies to work at the airport full time. â¢ Making diversity a strategic objective for the financial and operational viability of the airport. Airport leadership can include diversity as an explicit strategic objective for the organization. Diverse organizations can both attract a wider customer base and improve employee perfor- mance, which may be essential for an airportâs long-term viability. Strategic objectives should be short, specific, mission-oriented statements that communicate the value of diversity to internal staff as well as external stakeholders.
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 53 Succession Planning Several airports interviewed for this research mentioned the challenge of employees with decades of airport management experience nearing retirement, and a new generation of young employees needing the older generationâs knowledge. Airports that invest in cultivating a diverse, talented workforce will have more qualified staff to perform critical tasks in the present and more qualified senior leaders to choose from for leadership positions over the next several decades (Equality Magazines n.d.). To maintain and develop diverse and qualified workforces, airports should create a succession pipeline of workers who can grow profes- sionally and be promoted into positions that have greater respon- sibility. The pipeline can be two or three levels deep in talent for a position. Employees in the first level are ready to immediately take on the roles and responsibilities of the position. Those in the next two levels should be learning and developing professionally so they can take on the role in the future. To develop the pipeline, the airport may need to look beyond current employees in each occupation or role. Mentoring and job-shadowing programs are often used to help pass on knowledge from older generations of workers to newer workers. Knowledge management is a critical component of succession plan- ning. The airport should gather, store, and share information about airport operations and the workplace so future leaders understand their roles and responsibilities (Cronin et al. 2016). Integrating diversity objectives as part of succession planning helps ensure diversity remains a priority in the long term and demonstrates a commitment to helping employees with dis- advantaged backgrounds grow and succeed. In a joint presentation Shelby Scales, former presi- dent and CEO of AMAC, and Eric L. Mercado, managing director of Aviation Career Services, emphasized that establishing a match between future needs and the aspirations of individual employees is key for succession planning. A successful succession planning process can increase the retention of superior employees, since they recognize that the airport is investing time, atten- tion, and skill development for the purpose of career development. Furthermore, the more that airports challenge and reward talented employees, the less those employees will feel a need to seek opportunities elsewhere. It is important to have options among qualified staff when seeking to fill key positions. Airports may find it beneficial to identify women and minorities who are ready for growth as well as those who are not ready yet but have the potential to be, given the right opportunities. Staff assessments can also be helpful in identifying areas that need improve- ment among staff. Delaware North, a $3.6 billion hospitality and food service management company that operates at 21 U.S. airports, found that through investment in training and promotions, the company was able to increase the representation of women in general manager positions. Over the course of 5 years, Delaware North went from zero to seven women in general manager positions at the U.S. airports where it operates concessions. Those employees started out at the assistant level and rose through training and promotions. Management Approaches Several airports have implemented an effective model for delivering needed diverse tal- ent: the creation, funding, implementation, and ongoing support of apprenticeships and/ or training programs. These programs start with extensive outreach with community part- ners and focused recruitment of candidates for training. Los Angeles World Airports have created a Hire LAX workforce development system that takes advantage of resources Building a Workforce Pipeline The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has a series of programs aimed at cultivating talent among its current and potential future workforce. These programs include the Professional Development Intern Program, Leader- ship Development Program, and the Supervisory Training Program. Read more in Appendix AâCase Studies.
54 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs from other public agencies and community-based organizations. The wide range of benefits available include job training funds for airport and aviation-related jobs; a local hiring program that gives priority for LAX jobs to residents and low-income and special needs individuals; and increased chances for local and minority- and woman- owned businesses. MWAA included a Community Benefits Plan requirement as part of its contract with Turner Construction to redevelop Reagan National Airport. The requirement is focused on recruiting, devel- oping, and engaging subcontractors to ensure a positive economic impact on the local community. The program has eight components, including training and apprenticeship programs for high school students, hiring of veterans, and youth development (MWAA 2018). Innovations in the public sector can also be illustrative. The San Francisco Mayorâs Office of Economic and Workforce Development has implemented a pre-apprentice training program which includes classroom training, mainly for carpenters and construction workers on city construction projects, including those awarded by SFO. This program aims to help underserved residents in successful long-term career paths in construction. Finally, airports can learn from and utilize private-sector best practices. For example, Clark Construction partners with agencies that offer life skills training to maximize diverse small business participation. They offer job skills coaching or âcase managementâ to underserved residents who might not be accustomed to being in the workforce. Job skills coaching helps ensure long-term success and improves retention rates. Effectively Communicating Workforce Inclusion Strategies and Practices Airport directors will need buy-in from managers, staff, and external stakeholders to success- fully implement new diversity and inclusion initiatives. Directors can achieve buy-in through effective communication strategies targeted to each audience. A sample plan to generate buy-in from employees may include the following steps (Thomas 2004): 1. Develop an issues statement. For example, if the airport does not reflect the local community it serves, and this disparity has created a shortage of qualified workers for key roles, the airport should develop an issues statement identifying the predicament. 2. Draft a solution. Develop a draft diversity plan that addresses the issues statement, whether that includes hiring strategies that reach diverse candidates or management strategies that retain more women. 3. Solicit feedback and incorporate it. Ask for input from stakeholders. An employee survey or other tools can be used to reach a broad audience. Use constructive feedback to improve the approach. 4. Communicate results. Provide updates on the status of the diversity plan. The results may be shared on the airportâs website, through local media, or through case studies. Recruitment and Hiring Practices Airports have several tools to enhance their recruitment and hiring practices so they can cast a broader net and reach a more diverse set of applicants. Both within and outside the aviation industry, organizations are using emerging technologies, borrowing best practices from diverse Hire LAX The Hire LAX Program partners with public and community agencies to: â¢ Provide local residents the opportunity to enroll in a comprehensive airport and aviation job apprenticeship program; â¢ Prioritize the hiring of low-income and special needs residents; and, â¢ Increase opportunities for local, moni- tory, and women-owned businesses.
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 55 business contracting, expanding outreach activities, and leveraging strategic partnerships to imple- ment workforce programs that meet their capacity and expertise needs while diversifying their workforce. Technology To reach new audiences and extend contact with the public, some organizations use tech- nologies such as social media pages, online listservs, and community websites. These platforms can supplement other forms of outreach to increase visibility and promote job opportunities. For example, the Maryland Aviation Administration shares an annual outreach calendar on its website, using the web for improved information access to the public. Santa Monica Munici- pal Airport uses procurement software called PlanetBids to post opportunities, and Richmond International Airport uses the Commonwealth of Virginiaâs eVA system to advertise business opportunities online. Private- and public-sector employers also report success with social media platforms. In an interview, Clark Construction Group discussed its use of social media to maximize diverse and disadvantaged business participation in public-sector client contracts. Similarly, San Franciscoâs Mayorâs Office of Economic and Workforce Development accesses a neighborhood platform to circulate its job postings to broader audiences, particularly individuals in economically dis- advantaged and communities of color. Local Hiring Practices Many airports in our research said local outreach is core to assisting in recruitment for hiring. Outreach strategies reported include: â¢ High school students were brought on field trips to the airport to learn more about careers in the aviation industry. â¢ Airport diversity staff attended local meetings in the community, including chamber of commerce meetings. â¢ Job fairs were hosted to demonstrate that airports are great places to work. Job fairs can showcase the wide variety of jobs available at airports, ranging from legal and administrative to engineering and technician positions. Best practices from other industries can be used to attract more diverse candidates to airports. These strategies include: â¢ Bilingual candidates can be considered for higher positions or salaries based on their ability to speak a second language. â¢ Experience and skills can be emphasized in the hiring process over specific academic accom- plishments or work history. â¢ Experience working with diverse populations can be a requirement rather than an optional qualification for certain positions, to ensure that all staff contribute to a more inclusive work culture. â¢ Job requisitions can be made gender-neutral to attract a wide range of candidates. â¢ Names can be removed from resumes to avoid bias in early-round applicant screenings. Airports can ensure they are hiring more diverse staff through marketing channels such as campaigns advertising specifically to local residents and underrepresented communities, through trade or other group-affiliated networks, outreach to community centers, local news- papers, newsletters, or listservs, and by sponsoring community events (Todd 2019). Airports may re-evaluate some of the criteria they use when recruiting and hiring employees. Many state, county, and city governments are adopting laws to remove questions about criminal
56 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs records from job applications. These laws delay background checks until later in the hiring pro- cess and let employers consider a job candidateâs qualifications without the stigma of a convic- tion or arrest record. Airport and University Partnerships Airports often foster relationships with academic partners such as colleges and universities to enhance community involvement and pro- vide opportunities for career development for students. Some universi- ties have airport administration and management programs that allow students to have in-the-field experiences to supplement their courses. One example is the Airport Management Program at Kansas State Polytechnic (KSP). This is one of the first of its kind in the United States and is one of eight pure airport management degree tracks in the country. It has a first-in-the-nation curriculum incorporating industry- embedded field labs and the only program to offer all courses on an active airfield, as the KSP campus is housed on the Salina Regional Airport airfield. The program offers nine airport management courses in the last 2 years of the curriculum, each with five to seven embedded industry field labs covering up to 45 topics of focus for career skill sets the airport industry demands. The curriculum uses active industry documents from the FAA, AAAE, and ACRP to supplement and support course work. The University of North Dakota also offers an airport management degree, among several aviation-related undergraduate, graduate, and minor programs. The degree includes courses such as Airport Operations and Administration, which has a strong emphasis on the practical application of airport manager skills and incorpo- rates tours of operating airports. Aside from partnerships focused on airport management, some university and airport part- nerships focus on broadening the workforce pipeline for aviation in general. For example, Eastern Kentucky University partners with its local airport. Its Appalachia Aviation Maintenance Tech- nician Training project partners with regional airports to provide upper-level training classes, responding to the need for diversification in the aviation workforce and economy within Appalachian counties. Major airport trade association foundations provide scholarships for students enrolled in higher education aviation-related programs. The AAAE Foundation has several scholarship programs, including a Women in Aviation Scholarship, initiated in 2015, to attract more women to the industry. As of 2019, the AAAE Foundation will award up to five $5,000 scholarships to women enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate aviation program. Since its establishment in 1997, the AMAC Foundation has awarded more than $350,000 in scholarships, supporting students pursuing a broad range of careers in airports, airlines, the federal government, and the private sector. The AMAC Foundation is dedicated to advancing minorities and women pursuing careers in the aviation industry. Implementation of Workforce Programs Airports seeking to ensure fairness and equity in their personnel practices may need practical guidance on how to achieve the objective (Figure 4). As with any impactful public policy, public entities typically must deliberate first within the agency and its governmental authority about the merits of the proposed policy. Because programs concerning racial/ethnic- or gender-based diversity and employee recruitment and hiring touch on many legal issues, the formation of any Diverse Workforce through Internships at Charleston International Airport In 2015, Charleston International Airport launched an internship program for college students deemed culturally, socially, or economically disadvantaged. The program seeks to expose students from a variety of academic disciplines to employment in the aviation industry. Read more in Appendix AâCase Studies.
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 57 workforce equity policy requires the active involvement of the human resources department and legal counsel. After the parameters of the desired policy have been established, it is essential to conduct internal due diligence on agency practices. For example, if an airport wishes to enhance the diversity makeup of certain labor pools, it should conduct a review of its recruitment and hiring practices within a specific time frame covering at least the most recent 2 to 3 years of hiring activity. In this process, the agency would identify effective actions that could continue and ineffective actions that should be revisited or abandoned. The review process also allows for identifying potential impediments to the policy objectives, such as constraints in civil service or âBan the Boxâ Laws Nationwide, 35 states and more than 150 cities and counties have adopted what is widely known as âban the boxâ laws, so named because their aim is to remove the box on employment applications that asks about a criminal record. By removing the conviction history question from job applications and delaying background checks until later in the hiring process, employers can consider a job candidateâs qualifications firstâwithout the stigma of a conviction or arrest record. Thirty-five states have adopted statewide laws or policies that cover employment in the public sector. Thirteen of those states have also mandated the removal of conviction history questions from job applications for private employers. In addition to the 13 states with private-sector laws, the District of Columbia and 33 cities and counties now extend their fair-chance hiring policies to government contractors, and 18 of those localities extend their fair-chance hiring laws to private employers within their jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions are also adopting policies that do more than âban the boxâ; many incorporate the best practices set forth in the 2012 U.S. EEOC guidance on the use of arrest and conviction records in employment decisions (EEOC 2012). Some ban-the-box laws impose restrictions on an employerâs consideration and use of criminal-history information, beyond the EEOC guidance. For instance, New York Cityâs ban-the-box law requires the consideration of eight specific factors when evaluating criminal-history information in an employment context (City of New York 2019). Los Angelesâ ban-the-box law greatly expands the Fair Credit Reporting Actâs pre-adverse action process by requiring additional steps and mandating the use of specific forms throughout the pre-adverse and adverse action process (City of Los Angeles 2017). Legislation prohibiting federal agencies and federal contractors from asking about job applicantsâ criminal history until after making a conditional offer of employment appears to be on its way to a vote in the U.S. House of Representa- tives. The Fair Chance Act (H.R. 1076), would apply to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, including the U.S. Postal Service. It would also apply to private-sector companies with federal contracts. Exceptions include law enforcement and national security positions, any roles requiring access to classified information, and jobs in regulated industries for which criminal- history information is required by law before an offer is made.
58 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs merit system rules or collective bargaining agreement provisions applicable to the airport. This due diligence task can be performed in-house with the assistance of the airportâs legal counsel. It is also important to ascertain relevant labor market data, including the demographic profile of the labor pools applicable to the job classifications that would be subject to the diverse work- force development policy. The labor pools may be very, somewhat, or not diverse. An analysis of census and other data to understand the availability of potential candidates for employment, and related demographic information (e.g., geographic residence, gender, race, and ethnicity), informs managers on where best to focus their efforts. Public agencies often engage consultants to prepare economic or disparity studies, which provide a substantive snapshot of the relevant labor markets. The economic studies are useful in supporting data-based employment strate- gies, such as demonstrating the airportâs need to prioritize job readiness training programs over traditional recruitment and outreach efforts. After the internal reviews and economic and legal analyses are completed, the public agency is well positioned to draft, officially adopt, and deploy the programmatic features of the workforce development program. Any such program or policy should be subject to periodic review and assessment by the airport managers and governing body. Talent Development and Retention Workforce Development Strategies Employers use various strategies to equip their workforce with the skills and training neces- sary to be successful in their jobs. These strategies may be applied to both the internal work- force and the external workforceâpeople working for contractors or concessionaires. Effective Figure 4. Roadmap to implement a workforce equity program.
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 59 development programs can include the use of in-house resources to train employees, as well as the use of external resources, such as partnering with local academic institutions (Young 2010). For example, Turner Construction, an airport general contractor, has a workforce diversity program that allows students to work in summer internships and a work-based learning compo- nent that rotates students among their advisory council members (interviewed for this research). Offering these programs is beneficial for the airportsâ workforce development and for the studentsâ aviation career introduction and preparation. However, these programs do take time from staff who may already be at capacity, and can cost money to sponsor students or interns. Programs for current employees may include training for technical skills, basic skills, and communication to prepare employees for business, management and strategic planning, and executive-level certifications (Young 2010). Airports may also encourage their employees to enroll in academic programs and financially support individualsâ attainment of degrees. One such example is MWAA, which has a tuition assistance program for career employees. This reimburses employees as much as 100 percent of tuition expenses up to $5,000 per year. Programs for prospective employees may include internships, apprenticeships, externships, mentorships, and other cooperative opportunities. Airports may also encourage their employees to attend workshops or industry professional development courses (Young 2010). They may also set aside employment opportunities where employees attend rotation programs to gain experi- ence working in different sectors of the aviation industry. Workforce development strategies are further detailed in ACRP Synthesis 18: Aviation Workforce Development Practices (Young 2010); ACRP Research Report 186: Guidebook on Building Airport Workforce Capacity (ICF International 2018); and ACRP Report 28: Identifying and Evaluating Airport Workforce Requirements (Cronin et al. 2016). Workforce Development Practices Training and Education Diversity and cultural competency training and experiential learning can improve diversity and inclusion in the workforce. In response to the increasing emphasis on diversity, many transit agencies have devel- oped diversity training programs and initiatives to meet the needs of employees and customers (Simpson 2003). These diversity training initiatives can act as a positive influence on facilitating the recruitment of minorities and women into the transit industry. FHWA increases the employment of women and minorities through its On-the-Job (OTJ) Training Program. This program requires state transportation agencies to establish training programs targeted at women, minorities, and disadvantaged individuals (Daniel, Schachter, and Washington 2017). Similar methods may be employed by airports to expand the diversity of their workforces. Likewise, airports can leverage the training and skill-building opportunities offered by other industry organizations to build work- force capacity. Organizations such as AAAE, National Air Transport Association, National Business Aviation Association, International Air Transport Association, TRB, and ACI-NA offer workforce development programs for the avia- tion industry, some of which can be customized to suit an individual airportâs needs (Young 2010). By having these resources at their disposal, airports can feel a greater sense of confidence expanding their recruitment efforts and casting a wider net for prospective employees, knowing that even if staff starts at varying levels of knowledge, they can be brought up to similar levels Workforce Training and Hiring Program As a part of its construction workforce diversity program, the Port of Portland offers on-the job training to support skill building, particularly for the construc- tion industry. For construction projects, the Port requires that contractors have this training. This program applies to all construction projects that are at least $500,000 and to all subcontracts that are at least $100,000 on the same project. Read more in Appendix AâCase Studies.
60 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs of expertise through available training. Furthermore, by professionalizing their workforces, airports can ensure that they give their employees opportunities to grow. This can ensure a more inclusive workplace, which makes it easier for airports to maintain a diverse workforce. Monitoring and Evaluating Performance Performance monitoring and evaluation is necessary to affirm whether a diversity strategy is contributing to an organizationâs competitive advantage. Monitoring airport performance is a cyclical process that identifies goals and measures used to achieve success (Infrastructure Management Group Inc., The Performance Institute, and Counter Technology Incorporated 2010). Qualitative performance measurement is one that airports may use to assess intangible aspects of their organization, such as workforce diversity. Qualitative information includes lessons learned, mistakes made, powerful stories, and best practices (Infrastructure Manage- ment Group, Inc., The Performance Institute, and Counter Technology Incorporated 2010). Airports may also use monitoring and evaluation methods to validate their methods of hiring and maintaining a diverse staff (Brenman 2012). Airports may gauge employee satisfaction and success on a number of variables including âproductivity, developing innovation and creativity, improving job satisfaction, career development over time, retention, decrease in pay disparities, performance on exit interviews, ranking of [airport] in terms of best places to work, and becoming an employer of choiceâ (Brenman 2012). Airports may also measure âsavings in recruitment costs from achieving higher retention rates for âminorityâ employees through building a more inclusive culture,â the rate of employee presence/absenteeism, and general engagement rates of employees (Brenman 2012). Diversity Best Practices from Other Industries This section describes the best practices from the military, the medical field, the financial industry, and the public sector for increasing and maintaining a diverse workforce. Although these industries operate under different constraints and involve different complexities, the strategies employed have broad applicability and can offer instructive examples for airports. Military The military pioneered many of the racial and ethnic diversity strategies used in workplaces today. Beginning with an official desegregation order in 1948, the military has often been at the forefront of diversity in recruitment and retention. Based on the National Military Strategy, the military services determine military workforce requirements to deliver essential capabilities (Kamark 2019). The military requires a staff with varied knowledge, skills, and qualifications to fulfill its missions. The military recruits from a demographically diverse pool of U.S. youth, with some arguing that policies and programs that support diversity help the services attract, recruit, and retain personnel. Others also argue that the military should strive for diversity that reflects the demographics of the entire country, so it best represents the United States (Kamark 2019). Policy makers in the military services have been concerned about minority representation among recruits since before the start of the all-volunteer force in the early 1970s (Asch, Heaton, and Savych 2009). Today, the military invests a great amount in recruitment, including funding research to understand recruitment challenges and trends, developing quantitative predictive models to identify potential problems, and outreach and advertising. The military uses sophis- ticated software to help identify candidates and sends recruiters to high school and college cam- puses to identify and recruit high-quality candidates. The military offers competitive benefits to students, including tuition payments for college. Overall, the military invests substantial time
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 61 and money into identifying eligible and interested candidates and offers very expensive packages to recruit them. The military draws from national labor pools and narrows down their target demographic using strict eligibility requirements. The services also are willing to re-evaluate their criteria to ensure they are not excluding potentially qualified candidates (Hardison, Hosek, and Bird 2018; Rostker et al. 1993). The Department of Defense (DOD) Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan 2012â2017 lays out a series of strategic goals for identifying, attracting, and retaining diverse talent to support U.S. global defense (U.S. DOD 2012). One strategy identified in the plan is to develop strong formal and informal mentoring programs. Successful mentoring programs will lead to service members making informed career choices, which can help diverse talent leverage and compete for leadership opportunities at the highest levels of DOD. The DOD set objectives to review and modify mentoring policies to ensure broad access for all personnel, as well as review and assess existing mentorship models and their effectiveness. As part of its Diversity Tool Kit, the U.S. Army implements comprehensive talent manage- ment processes to support its ability to attract, develop, and retain diverse talent (U.S. Army 2009). Through proactive outreach, recruitment, assignment, mentorship, and succession initiatives aimed at diverse talent, the Army ensures that it increases the pool of candidates to choose from and retains diverse service members. As in other sectors, the militaryâs focus has shifted from diversity recruitment to diversity management, which focuses on building both an internal culture and a set of policies that help diverse employees advance their careers (Kamark 2019). These include strategic goals to âidentify, attract, and recruit from a broad talent pool . . . [and] position DOD to be an âemployer of choice,ââ and to develop, mentor, and retain talented individuals across the force (U.S. DOD 2012). The DOD strives to create a merit-based workforce life-cycle continuum that focuses on personal and professional development through training, education, and develop- ing employment flexibility to retain a highly skilled workforce (U.S. DOD 2012). It also works to ensure that the leadership is committed to âan accountable and sustained diversity effortâ (U.S. DOD 2012). Oversight of DODâs diversity management and equal opportunity programs is in the depart- ment, while the individual services and military departments implement the policies. Their programs include research and data collection, training, and process and procedures for equal opportunity complaint resolution. There are several key differences between the strategies used by the military and the strategies available to airports. While some airports may be able to increase their investment in outreach and recruitment, they will not have the same resources available for outreach and recruiting as the military and are highly unlikely to offer similarly competitive benefits. In addition, airports are generally drawing from local labor markets, depending on the labor category and job type, rather than national labor markets. The military is focused on narrowing down their labor pools using strict eligibility requirements that may be illegal for airports to use (e.g., age, weight, parental status), whereas airports may be focused on expanding their labor pools to include more potential candidates. Of course, the military faces unique recruiting challenges, including national political conditions and the demands placed on the active duty military during wartime. While airports will not have the scope and resources of the U.S. military, there are still valuable lessons from the militaryâs success in recruiting people from diverse backgrounds: â¢ Successful recruitment efforts require long-term investment. Airports may need to invest more resources into recruitment efforts to achieve results. Short-term programs may not be sufficient to diversify the workforce or to sustain the necessary recruitment levels needed to keep airports operating at full capacity.
62 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs â¢ Recruitment and retention can be influenced by the benefits offered. Airports can carefully examine the types of benefits offered to employees. Different demographics may have different needs that can be addressed through benefits. For example, low-income employees may benefit from transportation subsidies to help make the commute to the airport feasible. Medical Field Medical schools, hospitals, and other health-care settings are implementing successful measures to increase the racial diversity of matriculated students, health-care providers, and other staff. Diversity is particularly important for the medical field because diversity among hospital staff can reduce health disparities and positively influence patient outcomes. A diverse medical work- force is associated with improved cultural competency and increased access to high-quality health services, among other benefits. These benefits have the downstream effect of improving patient outcomes (Cohen et al. 2002). Hospitals and other health-care settings have developed several initiatives to build a more diverse workforce, including developing permanent diversity committees and pairing manage- ment compensation with diversity measures (American Hospital Association et al. 2018). In addition, health-care centers have sometimes restructured their hiring requirements to reach more diverse candidates. For example, bilingual candidates are sometimes brought in at a higher pay grade to help recruit staff from more diverse backgrounds. In terms of tracking success, management staff may examine the percentage of racially diverse candidates and women who apply for positions, the percentage who are interviewed, and the percentage who are ultimately hired. As one chief diversity officer noted, the candidate pools must be composed of qualified candidates to be considered truly diverse, as a diverse candidate pool without qualified candi- dates does not help advance diversity in the health-care industry. In 2009 the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accreditation body for medical schools, issued new requirements for diversity. Since the requirements went into effect, there has been a notable increase in diversity among matriculated students. In addition, medical schools have developed mentorship programs to help high school students succeed in STEM classes and develop an interest in medical school. Some medical schools and hospitals have also invested in chief diversity officers. Minority candidates have reported that the presence of a chief diversity officer can make a workplace more attractive (Witt/Kieffer 2015). While there are significant differences between the medical field and airports, there are still some applicable lessons to be learned from the diversification of medical schools and hospitals: â¢ Hiring requirements can be adjusted to attract a more diverse range of candidates. For example, in airports that serve a high percentage of Spanish speakers, candidates who are bilingual in English and Spanish may be offered a higher pay grade because they have a skill that is valuable to the airport. â¢ A designated position such as chief diversity officer, or a designated diversity office, may be necessary to successfully diversify the workforce. While every department may ultimately support diversity efforts in some capacity, making diversity efforts a top priority for at least one staff member or department can make it easier to achieve results. Other departments and staff may have higher-priority concerns related to airport operations and safety and may need a diversity officer for support to make effective changes or to have a system of accountability to demonstrate progress. Building a successful pipeline may require extensive community service programs in order to be successful. For example, students from disadvantaged backgrounds may benefit greatly from technical training and other forms of material support to successfully complete job training or education requirements for highly skilled positions.
Proactive Practices: Workforce Diversity 63 Public Sector Public-sector agencies seek to promote the hiring and workforce development of diverse populations through various methods. In addition to grant programs, state and local laws and federal regulations, incentive programs, and public education efforts, other workforce diversity measures are used by public-sector entities. One such example is the CityBuild Program created and implemented by the San Francisco Mayorâs Office of Economic and Workforce Development. A representative who works in the city of San Franciscoâs Office of Workforce Development Information was interviewed for this research in May 2019 and provided significant information about the CityBuild Program. City- Build offers an 18-week pre-apprenticeship training program for individuals interested in enter- ing the carpentry and construction trades. Although CityBuildâs pre-apprenticeship program is unpaid, participants receive various services that help with program retention. These may include personal support services and transportation and food stipends. CityBuild has an alumni program for graduates of the pre-apprenticeship program; this presents alumni with networking opportunities and funding support to help them succeed in their careers. CityBuild Program managers work closely and successfully with city contractors to meet the cityâs local hire ordinance requirements on city-funded construction projects. The local hire ordinance calls for the hiring of San Francisco resident labor from economically disadvantaged and diverse neighborhoods. CityBuild also offers training courses in math to prepare individuals for mechanical or elec- trician trades, which then allows these individuals to join unions if they so desire. Additionally, CityBuild offers hospitality, health, and technological sector career pathway programs in addi- tion to construction. Finally, CityBuild partners with and provides funding to nonprofit organizations that help San Francisco residents who experience barriers to employment. These nonprofit organiza- tions conduct outreach through public presentations and at recruitment fairs. CityBuild has CityBuild The City of San Francisco partners with non-profit organizations, labor, industry employers and San Francisco City College to offer local residents 18 weeks of pre-apprenticeship skills and hands-on training through a program called âCityBuild.â Trainees receive: â¢ Supportive services, including math tutoring and Vocational English as a Second Language. â¢ Recruiting and job placement services. â¢ Case management and retention services, such as transportation and food stipends. â¢ An Alumni program, which provides networking opportunities and funding support. â¢ CityBuild also offers San Francisco employers assistance to attract, grow and retain a diverse workforce. CityBuild managers and contractors work closely to meet the Cityâs Local Hiring Policy for Construction which promotes resident hiring on locally sponsored construction projects.
64 Guidance for Diversity in Airport Business Contracting and Workforce Programs also begun a pilot program with a local nonprofit that helps recruit individuals to work at the San Francisco International Airport in machinery and light repair tasks. A recent, creative program initiated by San Francisco Mayor London Breed is CityDrive. The cityâs municipal transportation agency has a driver shortage. When a private shuttle company that had provided public transportation closed and laid off its fleet of drivers, Mayor Breed saw an opportunity. The Mayorâs Office of Economic and Workforce Development reached out to the laid-off drivers and offered the specialized training to obtain required certifications to qualify for open city bus driver jobs. Several of the laid-off drivers took the training and pursued the job openings. SFO also opted to financially support the CityDrive model so that SFO could recruit trained drivers for its on-airport bus system. Notably, a substantial number of the laid-off drivers were individuals of color. Thus, the innovative workforce development strate- gies addressed a labor shortage in critical city and airport jobs and promoted the diversity of San Francisco and SFOâs transportation workforces. Agencies with departments like the San Francisco Mayorâs Office of Economic and Work- force Development may take an active role in either working directly with airports or non- governmental organizations to facilitate career development and skills training that can have significant impacts in improving career opportunities for disadvantaged communities. In addi- tion, they may use tracking methods to monitor success.