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Federal lawmakers seek to increase workforce diversity in Arizona

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PHOENIX — Just days ahead of the 88th Academy Awards, which has recently garnered controversy over its lack of diversity with Oscar nominees, lawmakers in Washington are working to increase workforce diversity in Arizona.

On Thursday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ Diversity and Inclusion Task Force announced a new initiative to address the lack of diversity in the technology, telecommunications, finance and entertainment industries.

Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego, who is co-chair of the task force, said those areas are “big sectors” in the economy that do not accurately represent the entire population.

Gallego said these industries either have a stake in Arizona or will have a future presence in the state and he wants to work with these companies to get “qualified people” working in those industry jobs.

“What we’re trying to do is bring in the industry and advocates outside the industry to work together in a collaborative manner to come up with a plan of how we can help diversify these industries,” he said.

The task force will conduct diversity round-tables over the next few months to hear from industry leaders about how to increase diversity and figure out which policies Congress can enact.

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