workshop participants praise content, speakers
ITDs two-day workshop last week on Equal Employment
Opportunities attracted 110 participants the opening day and
another largely unduplicated 90 individuals
on the second day.
Responses from participants were very complimentary, said
EEO manager Karen Sparkman. We received very positive
feedback on our evaluation sheets. People seemed especially
pleased with the workshop content and quality of the speakers.
first day was devoted to employment law as it pertains to
EEO, nondiscrimination and workplace harassment, Sparkman
explains. It included a presentation on the Americans with
Disabilities Act and a session by the Tribal Employment Rights
Office of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe. The latter focused on
rights of Native Americans related to construction projects
on or near reservations.
First-day participants included ITD employees, representatives
from other state and county jurisdictions, the Local Highway
Technical Assistance Council and federal employees.
The second day addressed ITDs Disadvantaged Business
Enterprise program and contract compliance as it relates to
EEO. Contractors and ITD representatives were the primary
Sparkman said highlights included:
A presentation by ITDs legal counsel
and deputy state attorney general Steve Bywater about ADA
implications and religion-based discrimination in the workplace;
A session on sexual harassment, presented
by Boise attorney Bobbi Dominck and management consultant
"Discrimination complaints in Idaho,"
presented by Leslie Goddard of the Idaho Commission on Human
Discussion of Civil Rights requirements
in federal contracts, presented by ITD and the Office of
Federal Contract Compliance program.
Idaho Transportation Board member Jack Combo, a respected
eastern Idaho attorney, also provided an informative look
at the evolution of the legal system and what shaped todays
Sparkman and her EEO staff began working on the program in
June, identifying speakers and topics and making logistical
arrangements. The organizational team included Julie Caldwell,
Jacqueline Wilson, Elizabeth Healas, Debby McCarthy and Annette
Steidel, along with District 6 EEO safety/training coordinator
As part of the conference, which rotates among different
regions of Idaho every two years, Sparkman and the EEO office
presented awards to individuals and organizations for their
outstanding achievement and support of EEO programs. Recipients
were: Steelman-Duff Inc., of Lewiston; ITDs Catherine
Young; ITDs Brent Jennings; Sylvia M. Medina, North
Wind Environmental, Inc.; and A&R Construction, Inc.
Photo caption: Karen Sparkman presented framed certificates
to elementary school students who produced posters that focused
on employment rights for the EEO workshop.