div.jpg (165393 bytes)The City of Portland, Maine has a team of 40 employees comprised of nine trainer groups, who are conducting workshops throughout its organization on the copyrighted National Coalition Building Institute’s (NCBI) Prejudice Reduction Model. The model is being delivered in 2 separate day sessions to all permanent full-time employees; one 4-hour Phase I session and a follow-up Phase II session of 2-1/2 hours. The model encourages tolerance and acceptance of all people, and explores how various groups of people experience discrimination. It also addresses how past conditioning influence workplace behavior.

Focused on recognizing the importance of welcoming a diversified workforce, the City is broadening employees’ awareness of existing cultural and ethnic differences and similarities within the workplace; and is opening communications across non-traditional work barriers. The training workshop is the initial and primary tool being used to deliver these messages. For the first time, open and honest dialog about departmental perceptions is occurring between field personnel (e.g., Police, Parks & Recreation, Public Works departments) and traditional office personnel within administrative offices.

Employees are finding the sessions thought provoking. They appreciate the openness, insights, and safety that the trainers are providing during the sessions. Many training participants report through evaluations, that the personal stories shared by trainers and other class participants are the most memorable and appreciated aspects of the training. Trainers are pleasantly surprised that they are perceived as leaders in diversity issues. It motivates them, even more, to balance their regular work duties with their growing commitment to the Diversity Team.

We invite inquiries about diversity at the City of Portland, Maine at any time. Please contact the Human Resources Department at 207-874-8624.