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Latino Employment

November 19, 1987

Your article regarding Latino employment in Los Angeles County's Health and Probation Departments (Metro, Nov. 6) recognized the special recruitment efforts that are under way in the Probation Department.

The article correctly states that Latinos represent 13% of our work force, a fact that prompted me to initiate an aggressive Latino recruitment program in September, 1986. This was 14 months in advance of our knowledge of the federal investigation of the Latino employment practices in the Department of Health Services.

Because of the recognized need to increase Latino representation in the Probation Department work force, I appointed a special recruiter, Ramon Hernandez, in September, 1986, to assist in hiring under-represented minorities. Following adoption of the county budget in July, 1987, we had a need to hire a large number of new employees to staff our institutions and manage a growing workload in our field services.

I used this opportunity to intensify Latino recruitment. In early August, 1987, I instructed my personnel director to involve the Latino employee organizations and the county's Office of Affirmative Action in an aggressive recruitment campaign which will continue until such time as we achieve parity in our work force.

The internal memo from my personnel director to which you refer in your article was simply a reaffirmation to the staff of our long-standing commitment to recruit more Latino employees. It certainly was not an effort "to avoid a similar occurrence . . ." as stated in your story.

BARRY J. NIDORF

Chief Probation Officer

Los Angeles County

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