The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) has reviewed the Utilization Analysis Chart and determined the following significant (double digit) underrepresentation of employees in specific EEO job categories, cross-referenced by race and sex:
White Males - Officials/Managers, Professionals, Technicians, Protective Services (Non-Sworn), and Administrative Support
- Hispanic Males - Skilled Craft and Service/Maintenance
- African American Males - Protective Services (Non-Sworn)
- White Females - Technicians and Protective Services (Non-Sworn)
Additionally, upon reviewing the Utilization Analysis Chart, the Technicians EEO Job Category stands out as identifying significant challenges in meeting minority and female underutilization (i.e. Hispanic Males, Asian Males, Hispanic Females and Asian Females).
The vast majority of employees at IDHS whose job title falls in the Technicians EEO Job Category are employed as Mental Health Technicians (MHT) and Security Therapy Aides (STA). These jobs are utilized by IDHS at its 7 facilities for persons with developmental disabilities, 6 mental health centers, a treatment and detention facility for the treatment of sexually violent persons, the School for the Visually Impaired, the School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education. Both job titles require: the knowledge, skill, and mental development equivalent to the completion of high school.
The MHT and STA jobs are entry level positions. The work is difficult and takes a certain personality to do the job. There is the potential to be hit, bit, spit on, and there is the personal care of residents, which includes bathing and diaper changing. It is a very tough job and unfortunately there is no good way to test for these types of skills. The treatment and detention facility for sexually violent persons is not an enticing job for females, because the residents being cared for are individuals who have been detained or civilly committed as sexually violent persons.
The majority of hires and promotions that take place are contingent upon contractual rights that must be adhered to. Statewide, the training title for the MHT and STA were moved from the Technicians EEO Job Category to the Para-Professional EEO Job Category in April of 2016 by the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). Legally, IDHS cannot specifically request that Hispanics/Latinos and/or Asians be moved to the front of the listing for hire as a Mental Health Technician Trainee or Security Therapy Aide Trainee, due to legal requirements.
Population data shows an increase of persons in the Asian and Hispanic affirmative action groups in regions of Illinois where there are more Colleges and Universities. Subsequently this is where underutilization increases have been observed. Students live in these locations as their residence during their college career; therefore, they are counted in the Census. These numbers are then factored into labor market information, when in fact these students reside in their current location to obtain a higher education, not necessarily to join the workforce after completing school.
Since FY2018, IDHS has received a notice of compliance of minority and female underutilization at the State level from IDHR. IDHS' recruitment program and proactive strategies have helped accomplish the performance measures that allowed IDHS to meet IDHR's compliance standards.
IDHS continues to make a good faith effort to recruit females and minorities by posting jobs on Indeed.com, Facebook, Twitter, and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services Work4 Illinois website. IDHS' Bureau of Recruitment and Selection (BRS) additionally posts jobs on multiple recruiter sites, professional job boards, minority associations, medical associations, high schools, colleges, and universities, LGBT networks, disability recruitment organizations, and veteran groups.
IDHS is part of a cross-agency work group to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) hiring issues. Recommendations have been presented to the Governor's Office. This group meets to improve recruitment and hiring and the State's ability to engage diverse, qualified staff.
IDHS participates in quarterly meetings of the State of Illinois' African American, Asian American, Hispanic, and Native American Employment Plan Advisory Councils. These efforts helped reduce or achieve parity in hiring minorities especially in geographical areas with low minority labor forces.
In addition to all of the foregoing efforts, leadership of the Illinois Department of Human Services is committed to a diversified workforce. Every effort is being made to ensure that, subject to legal requirements, applicants from the underutilized groups are available in the selection process when hiring/promotional opportunities exist.