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PART 1 ONLY: Intentional DEI Recruitment Strategies

Event Start Date: 10/8/2020 9:00 AM

Event End Date: 10/8/2020 11:30 AM


The Right Talent, Right Now Symposium Series

Intentional DEI Recruitment Strategies

October 8th 

9:00am - 11:30am

*held virtually via ZOOM*

This program has been pre-approved for 2.5 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) by the Society for Human Resource Management and 2.5 HR General credits by the HR Certification Institute

At this pivotal time in our shared history, talent solutions are needed now more than ever.  The unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities and many minority populations is at alarming levels, while businesses struggle to fill job openings and to find the right talent, right now. How do we survive and thrive in this new normal? How does Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) adjust to these times? How do underserved populations find a workplace that feels like home? Our impactful educational and professional development series offers three sessions that give organizational leaders, workforce preparation agencies, and Human Resource/Staffing professionals the opportunity to learn strategies for improving employment results. This ultimately improves business outcomes through attracting, retaining and advancing the broadest diversity in talent.

This session will explain how recruiting diverse talent requires new thinking and action. The workforce participation rate is currently 61%. With COVID-19, the Racial Equity Movement, and the change in our nation’s demographics and marketplace, businesses need to examine their practices to ensure they are attracting and modeling an inclusive workplace. 

What will attendees learn/gain from this session? 

  • Attendees will learn from experts on best practices in the recruiting, interviewing and selection processes
  • We will demonstrate innovative ways to find diverse candidate
  • The business case for hiring people with disabilities and other historical barriers will presented
  • Participants will receive education on unconscious bias and microaggressions in the workplace

About the speakers:

Joseph L. Searles, Jr., a Rochester native, is corporate diversity relations director for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. Under his leadership, the organization has evolved its diverse and inclusive culture and as a result has received local and national recognition, including “Diversity Leader Awards” from Profiles in Diversity Journal; “Best Place to Work for LGBT Policies” from Human Rights Campaign; and the “Community Service Award” from Ibero American Action League. Searles earned Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in organizational management from Roberts Wesleyan College. He enjoys photography, traveling and spending time with his family.

Jim Scutt will present on how employers can best work with disability providers. Jim is an Associate Vice President at People Inc. located in Western New York, one of the largest providers of disability employment services in NYS. Jim has over 20 years of experience in all aspects of disability employment and has presented at dozens of conferences. In addition to his job at People Inc., he also serves as president of the New York State Association of People Supporting Employment First (NYSAPSE) Board, the most recognized national professional organization for disability employment service providers. 

Stephanie Peete is the internship and Career Pathways Program supervisor for Employer Outreach at Say Yes Buffalo Inc. In this role Peete is responsible for cultivating employer relationships, growing industry representation, connecting area leaders with racial equity training, and contributing to the development of a youth workforce ecosystem in the city of Buffalo, New York.

Peete has more than 10 years of combined experience in health and human services, and community-based youth mentoring. Before accepting this most recent position, Peete was a family support specialist with Say Yes Buffalo for three years and provided preventive services to a direct caseload of students in the Buffalo Public Schools. Previously, she has worked with Stop the Violence Coalition, Inc., as the assistant coordinator of its Youth Intervention Project. This initiative provided high school equivalency classes, job readiness training and group mentoring to at-risk youth and adults.


She is a graduate of City Honors School in Buffalo and received dual bachelor’s degrees in urban studies and sociology from Canisius College, as well as a Master of Public Administration from Hilbert College. Peete is passionate about racial equity, inclusion and supporting young people in her community. She currently volunteers as a Say Yes Buffalo Mentor, serves on the board of directors for Theatre of Youth, is a member of the Emerging Philanthropists of Color through the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, and serves as an advisory board member for the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County’s Next Generation United Council and Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s BN360 Young Professionals.

**Both GVCSHRM and ELEVERSITY will be reaching out with ZOOM virtual details for the meeting**