Here's a look at the 8 things you need to know today...
La Crosse is gradually becoming a more diverse community.
According to the lastest Census report.
about nine-percent of the La Crosse County population
are people of color.
A conference in La Crosse today is looking at ways
to improve diversity in the workplace.
News eight's Eric Jacobson joins us now with more.
The Greater La Crosse Area Diversity Council held
its fifth annual workforce diverstiy conference today.
It's looking at ways to improve diversity and inclusivness
in the workplace.
And organizers stress that it will take everyone to
help solve this problem.
It's a problem.
that often goes unnoticed.
People are afraid to bring it up.
But organizers hope Thursday's conference on workplace
diversity will shed some light on how to get more
people of color in the La Crosse area work force.
You can look at organizations, you can see who's leading
when I've talked about the specific identities, and
you can see there's a lack of diversity.
Speakers from various companies and organization spent
the day talking about what needs to be done to make
the workforce more inclusive for everyone.
One of the areas we can improvement on is communication.
How well do we develop our listening skills, how well
develop ourselves in hearing things that we may not
agree with or things that are very different from
what we grew up with.
Places like the Mayo Clinic Health System.
say the key to workforce diversity may be right here
in La Crosse.
One of the things we've been noticing is that the
children that are in our schools, have a lot more
diversity than we have in our own workforces.
So we really need to focus on keeping the kids that
are in our communities, who are brining the richness
of diversity -- keeping them here in La Crosse and
making sure they feel welcome and excited and engaged
-- both about working at school here, higher education,
and joining our workforce in the future.
And those attending feel it takes everyone to make
La Crosse a more appealing place to work.
You can't coerce it.
You can't make it an administrative function, or a
You have to see what's culturly intersting.
And that process starts with a converstion.
We need safe environments where people can speak openly
and honestly about their concerns.
In LAX, EJ, N8.
Speakers from Gundersen.
La Crosse County.
and UW-La Crosse were all on hand at today's conference.
What are some of the barriers companies say make it
difficult to tackle for minorities to feel included
at their place of employment?
Organizers told me that employees often find it difficult
to voice their concerns about discrimination to their
superiors at work.
They said the a huge part of improving these problems
is just about having a more open and safe conversation.