Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson's Communications Office
Governor’s EEO conference explores personnel topics, highlights new affirmative action plan

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, November 20, 2013  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

Plan adjusts state hiring goal for minorities from 10 percent to 12. 2 percent

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The 27th Annual Governor’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Conference was held today at the University of Louisville Shelby Campus, and explored personnel issues facing Kentucky state workers and highlighted a new affirmative action plan to increase the state’s minority hiring goals.

The conference, hosted each year by the Personnel Cabinet, featured remarks from Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who discussed Gov. Steve Beshear’s authorization of a new executive branch affirmative action plan.

“The plan supports this administration’s continued commitment to maintaining workplaces where all employees feel valued, respected and supported,” said Lt. Gov. Abramson. “Enhancing our workforce diversity and fostering inclusive workplace cultures are essential elements to effectively serving the people of this Commonwealth.”

The plan reaffirms existing state and federal guidelines to ensure that all executive branch employees and applicants, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, political affiliation, or veteran status are afforded equal employment opportunities. The protection against employment discrimination in state government based on sexual orientation and gender identity were adopted by Gov. Beshear in a 2008 executive order.

Based on the most recent 2010 Kentucky census data, the plan also adjusts executive branch hiring goals for minorities from 10 percent to 12.2 percent to ensure a workplace that is reflective of the Commonwealth.

The new plan also encourages state agencies to proactively offer employees and managers training on issues such as harassment and diversity; encourages support for the Governor’s Minority Management Trainee Program; and institutes broader agency reporting requirements.

“Kentucky has long recognized that a diverse and inclusive workforce enables state government to better serve an increasingly diverse community, while also being a desirable place of employment,” said Tim Longmeyer, Personnel Cabinet secretary. “The Commonwealth has made many strides in equal opportunities in the workplace. However, we remain committed to evaluating our current processes and setting new goals for the future.”

Conference attendees receive d training on a variety of subjects facing today’s human resource professionals and employees, from challenges associated with transgender and gender-variant workers, to the human resource investigative process, and understanding generational work styles.

“The only thing that remains the same is that our workplace is ever-changing,” said Arthur Lucas, Office of Diversity and Equality executive director. “This conference gives our HR management teams and others an incredible opportunity to share best practices for building an inclusive work environment within our agencies, one of the core values by which our state agencies operate.”

Fayette County Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone delivered the keynote address and received the conference’s annual Charles W. Anderson Laureate Award. The award honors those who have made unparalleled contributions to their communities that benefit at least one of the EEO protected classes.

A Fayette County circuit court judge, Scorsone served in the Kentucky Legislature for 24 years, where he championed the fair treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Kentuckians. As an attorney, Scorsone led a legal team in Wasson v. Commonwealth resulting in Kentucky’s fourth-degree sodomy law being declared unconstitutional. He also led the legal team in Ireland v. Commonwealth, which guarantees domestic violence protection to LGBT couples. In 2010, Scorsone was inducted in Kentucky’s Civil Rights Hall of Fame.

For more information on the EEO Conference or other programs and services provided by the Personnel Cabinet’s Office of Diversity and Equality, visit