Study Names JJC Among Most Promising Community Colleges to Work

Joliet Junior College has been recognized as a 2022 Most Promising Places to Work in Community Colleges (MPPWCC) by the publication Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD). 

JJC is among 24 colleges nationwide and one of two in Illinois to make the list, which was composed using a web-based survey approach. With a focus on workplace diversity, staffing practices and work environment, the research team examined categories such as family friendliness, salary/benefits and professional development opportunities, among others. The findings will be published in the May 26 edition of the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

“This honor reflects the collective efforts of our visionary leadership and holistic campus commitment to creating a culture of inclusion and belonging,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Nicole Whitehead. “JJC has had a pulse on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for many years. It is rewarding to see that the seeds planted have contributed to being recognized as one of the most promising places to work.”

JJC will be honored during NISOD’s International Conference on Teaching and Leadership Excellence May 28-31. Last year, the college received the national Award for Excellence in Advancing Diversity by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and has been recognized as a top employer by online job board DiversityJobs for the past two years. 

“I am extremely proud of the collective work our institution has focused on throughout my tenure with diversity, equity and inclusion being one of my top priorities. We continue to explore new opportunities and invest in what is right, our employees and the students we serve,” said JJC President Dr. Judy Mitchell.

Through its seven Core Values, JJC fosters a caring and friendly environment that embraces diversity and sustainability and encourages personal growth. The college’s 2020-2023 DEI Plan formalizes efforts to foster such practices across the institution, while building on years of diversity initiatives. In 2020, JJC hired Dr. Escortina Ervin as its first executive director of diversity, equity, inclusion and compliance, who has continued to built upon the college’s DEI work. 

“The development and implementation of the employee engagement programming, cultural competency workshops, diversity book clubs, peace circles and table talks have been successful tools, which have begun to contribute to the incremental inclusion success and sense of belonging at the college,” said Whitehead. 

She added the MPPWCC honor further encourages JJC’s dedication to DEI growth, and helps to retain employees while attracting new and innovative talent. 

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