When Mayor Jim Paine decided all city staff should receive diversity training, he turned to the Mayor’s Commission on Communities of Color for advice.
After reviewing three proposals Monday, July 12, the commission concluded the best option was training already available through the city’s insurance company, Cities and Villages Mutual Insurance Company.
The options varied from a $12,500 contract for 16 hours of training to a $7,500 contract for 1½ hours of training to the basically free option from the city's insurance company, said Deanna Reder, chair of the commission.
Nick Raverty, the mayor’s chief of staff, said CVMIC's option would allow the city to enroll employees and see who has completed all of the training. The program is already included in the city's contract with the insurer.
Commissioner Deonne Nelson said she would like to see an option where commissioners and council members could also receive the training. Raverty said officials could make that happen.
Reder questioned the reasonableness of expecting staff to sit through 16 hours of training or the sufficiency of covering issues of diversity in 1½ hours.
“I think we should look at the quality of the training and what we want to see the employees of Superior being trained on,” Reder said.
Working with training at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, Commissioner Kat Werchouski said 16 hours of training would be a lot and 1½ hours is just too short, especially if the city is paying for a contract.
Werchouski suggested the city require all modules of training available through CVMIC, except the comprehensive seven-hour module. The program would lay the foundation for more focused diversity training in the future, she said.
The rest of the commissioners agreed.
“I think the foundation with this one will be great and move on to more in person department engagement where we can use some of those resources,” Commissioner Ephraim Nikoi said.
The training includes a one-hour module, according to Raverty, and smaller modules that would take about two hours to complete, Werchouski estimated.
The commission unanimously approved Werchouski’s recommendation to utilize the CVMIC training modules and will explore more detailed training in the future in its recommendation to city administration.