The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners established the office on December 11, 2018, and approved the staffing plan on February 26, 2019.
The County began its Cultural Intelligence initiative in 2013 with the formation of an internal committee tasked with educating employees, hosting an annual forum and getting more involved in community diversity initiatives. After five years, Ottawa County leaders knew it was time to do more.
The DEI office will lead the development of an equity plan for County, and should consider the entire range of human differences. A key initiative will be identifying implicit bias in internal policies, procedures, practices, and in external service delivery. In addition, the County intends to extend assistance to local units of government that desire to tackle similar objectives.
Funding for the office is a combination of public, private and non-profit dollars. The cost to Ottawa County for the first five years is approximately $630,000.