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Frederick County Workforce Development System Re-affirms Commitment to Equal Opportunity

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

BlueOps, Inc. president Robert Gunter, serving as the One-Stop Operator and Equal

Opportunity Officer for the Frederick County Workforce Development System, issued the following statement to staff of all local WIOA partners:

Reaffirming our Commitment to Equal Opportunity and Respect for All in the Frederick County Workforce Development System

Dear Colleagues,

Like many of you, I am deeply grieved by the events of last week in Minneapolis. I grieve with the family of George Floyd, I grieve with the Minneapolis community and I grieve with America.  While we have seen significant progress and legislative protections in the areas of civil rights, human relations and non-discrimination over the past several decades, recent history has demonstrated yet again that America still has hard work to do to achieve our shared values and to fulfill our promises to each other. As the events unfold on the news, I feel powerless to help, powerless to effectuate change and a sense of hopelessness settles in. And I suspect that many of you are feeling the same. 

In the two and a half years that I have served as your Equal Opportunity Officer, I’ve received no complaints or allegations of discrimination.  And while I celebrate that milestone, recent events remind us to remain vigilant against bias and discriminatory practices. While we may feel powerless to make an impact on a large scale, we can certainly impact each and every person we come into contact with, including customers, colleagues and members of the public. It is our duty and our obligation to remain vigilant and combat any ingress of unlawful discrimination.  Moreover, I call upon all of us to serve as a beacon of equity, inclusion and opportunity not just in our places of work but also in our communities and in our neighborhoods. 

As members the workforce development system in Frederick County, we are all committed to the legal requirements and values of non-discrimination, equal access, and equal opportunity.  We shall:

-Continue to treat all persons with respect and dignity;

-Continue to embrace inclusion, diversity and equal treatment;

-Continue to ensure all of our programs and services are accessible to all including individuals with disabilities and individuals who speak and read languages other than English;

-Continue to serve all customers, co-workers, students and members of the public equally without regard to their physical appearance, what they sound like, their background, what religion they practice, their gender identity, if they are gay, straight, bi, trans, or queer, their income, their politics, their family status, or their national origin; and

-Continue to serve as a resource for our customers and the public, providing appropriate information about their legal protections and where they can receive assistance.

I would be lying to myself and to you if I said that that circumstances that lead to the deaths of George Floyd, Freddie Grey, Breonna Taylor, Michael Lorenzo Dean, Eric Reason, Christopher McCorvey, Christopher Whitfield, Pamela Turner and the countless other persons of color who were killed by police officers in recent years were simple and easily fixed. Or that these deaths are isolated to certain parts of the county and could never happen here. And I would be lying to you if I said I had all the answers or solutions.  But as workforce development professionals, as educators, as social workers, as government employees, as leaders and persons of influence, we can make a difference with each and every person we come into contact with. As an organization, let’s continue to do our part to contribute to the solution, one customer at a time.

My door is always open (virtually for now) if you have any questions, concerns or just want to talk. I encourage you to maintain an open and respectful dialogue with your coworkers and offer support and encouragement where needed. I appreciate the hard work each and every one of you are doing for Frederick County residents during these very challenging times.  And thank you in advance for your ongoing efforts to reaffirm our collective commitment to inclusion and respect for all. 

Bob Gunter

One Stop-Operator and Equal Opportunity Officer

In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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