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Orange County officials need to focus more on diversity in the county workforce to counteract perceptions that certain segments of workers don’t have opportunities to rise through the ranks, said Supervisor Andrew Do at a recent workshop session among county officials.

There is, Do said, a “sense that people feel that they don’t have an equal opportunity to advance.”

Do added that a large part of the county’s workforce feels that promotions are about “who you know as opposed to what you do.”

In response to Do’s concerns, Human Resources Director Steve Danley said he would look into whether officials still gather statistics on race and gender in the county workforce.

Do also said the county needs to hire a specific staff member to focus on diversity in county contracting.

“We really need a diversity officer…to see if we are up to date in terms of our procurement policy,” Do said, adding that this has been followed “by pretty much every metropolitan area” in the country.

Chief Operating Officer Mark Denny said staff plans to follow-up on the diversity issue and put together a diversity analysis of the county workforce.

Do was the only supervisor to speak about diversity at last week’s meeting.

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