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The Strategic Goal of Workforce Excellence is designed to invest in the future by investing in employees; and to continue to recruit, develop, and retain best-in-class employees as the foundation of the MWRD’s ongoing success. 


SP Logo Investing in Our Foundation 

To address the change in workforce dynamics that has occurred over the past couple of years, the MWRD is conducting an organization-wide employee survey and focus groups in late summer of 2022. The goal is to get direct feedback from employees on what is currently important to them in several key areas including: job satisfaction, engagement, development, benefits, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. The survey and focus group results will inform many upcoming strategic initiatives. 

Current initiatives include development of updated supervisory and coaching training, and inclusion of a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) as an additional employee benefit. 


SP Logo Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

The MWRD continues to leverage its Affirmative Action Program to emphasize the importance and value of diversity in its workforce. The program recommends the selection of diverse candidates from the civil service examination eligible lists in classifications where minority and female populations are underrepresented. This continues to increase female and minority representation within the MWRD employee population when compared to the external labor force. Utilization of these recommendations as part of the promotional process has also helped promote the advancement of female and minority candidates to more responsible roles in the organization.


Workforce Rates Chart


The Human Resources Department will collaborate with the newly formed Environmental Justice Section to address internal equity for current employees as we implement initiatives to develop the workforce of the future. A new Human Resources Manager dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion was hired in 2022 to advance the efforts of this section.


Stategic Plan logo Community Partners and the Workforce of the Future

The MWRD will increase partnerships throughout our service area to recruit and develop the workforce of the future. Initiatives include targeted recruitment, participation in mentorship programs, expansion of the apprentice program, reintroduction of the internship program, and outreach to youth in underserved communities.


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The MWRD has recently partnered with the HIRE360 Chicago Mentor Program in an effort to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. This program seeks to connect area job seekers from underrepresented communities with employment inspiration and opportunities. The goal of the recently launched mentorship program is to increase retention of minority apprentices in the skilled trades. The MWRD currently has two Assistant Master Mechanics, including one female representative, that are serving as mentors for this program.  


U.S. Water Alliance Logo




The MWRD recently joined the U.S. Water Alliance Water Equity Network. The partnership will provide best practices and program examples from other organizations across the country as the MWRD continues to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.    


The information presented here is meant to provide context for this Strategic Goal and serves as a baseline for efforts going forward. We are still in the early stages of implementation; as we progress further through the Strategic Plan, we will provide more information as it becomes available.


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