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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers

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Friday, May 24, 2024   

Amid nationwide labor shortages and high turnover, employment experts say fostering an equitable workplace is key to finding and retaining workers.

To help, Florida Gulf Coast University is launching the Building Equitable Workplaces: 2024 Summer Workshop Series, a free program aimed at equipping Southwest Florida businesses with strategies to create inclusive work environments.

Meagan Baskin, director of the Southwest Florida Leadership Institute at the university, said the workshops will address topics such as gender equity, generational differences and using AI to address equity challenges.

"And when employees feel that equity," she said, "they're more likely to be satisfied with the place where they work, they're more likely to stay in that organization and talk positively about that organization, which brings in new workers."

Business groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce stress the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion programs. Baskin noted that professional development is crucial for employee retention and job satisfaction, and encouraged businesses to visit the Southwest Florida Leadership Institute website to register for the workshops on June 14 and July 24.

Chrissann Ruehle, provost faculty fellow for artificial intelligence at the university, is leading a workshop focused on the challenges and opportunities of using the technology to shape the workforce.

"It's almost like today's candidates need to write for two audiences," she said. "They may be writing for an AI screener and then later on down the road there will eventually be a human screener, so sometimes biases can creep into the hiring and selection process."

Ruehle noted that while AI offers efficiency, equity and diversity within the design teams are essential to catching potential problems.

Baskin added that the workshops, valued at around $100 each, can save employers as much as $600 if they attend all six sessions.

Disclosure: Florida Gulf Coast University contributes to our fund for reporting. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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