CalPERS Spotlight on Excellence 2019 | Michelle Tucker


(upbeat music) – Caltrans, what we’re most
known for is our maintenance of the state highway
system, which is over 50,000 lane miles of highway. We’re here to serve the public, and to make sure we
keep the infrastructure going for California. – We touch every corner of the state, in terms of all the bridges,
culverts, tunnels and tubes. – So in human resources, our
job is to really make sure that there is a workforce
that’s available to do all of the transportation projects. It’s an area where when
everything’s going well, not a lot of people think about. I want to acknowledge them
and say thank you HR team. Thank you for everything you do, to hire, and recruit, and retain and
take care of our workforce. You’re making a difference in California. – I think it was easy to have
Michelle as the nomination for the Spotlight on Excellence,
because she exemplifies leadership skills, enabling the
heart and encouraging people to do their best on some of
the more complex HR issues that we face with such
a diverse department. – There is five leadership
practices that we all follow. My favorite has always
been encourage the heart. That’s your humanity. I think we need to inspire your people. You need to model the way. Fundamentally, people
need to know you care. (upbeat music) – So in response to
Senate Bill 1, we hired nearly 2,000 people within
about a six month span of time, which necessitated us
going all over the country to try to find really qualified people. It’s not just like she’s
saying, okay I empower you, go do this but do it my
way, she really gives you that faith that you’re
going to be able to succeed. She’s gonna be there to support you. – Everybody was surprised
at how successful we were able to be with these hiring efforts. Michelle’s staff worked really
hard under her leadership to make it happen. But we surprised everybody. That’s always fun. (light music) – It’s so exciting to talk about
the Prison to Work program. Michelle really spearheaded
the program and coordinated the efforts with Cal HR and
Gov Ops, so that we could find a way to help individuals
transition from prison to work, through her
coaching and encouragement, we were able to go into
the prisons and to, for a select group of eligible individuals that were identified, go
through the hiring process, all the way through the interview process, and it really was a heart warming, encouraging, motivating
thing to be a part of. (light music) – Our work with the
unsheltered is another way that we are matching up our
need to hire a strong workforce with people who may not have had access to all the opportunities in the past. So there are several
groups that we worked with to try to find a path
to employment for people who are unsheltered. Caltrans and the Bay
Area office in particular has actually promised 20
jobs to successful graduates of that program. To be able to hire people who have skills and who just kind of
need a foot in the door, is really gratifying. – Not only does she have
the vision to kind of see how far a program like
this can go in terms of addressing the needs of the community, but it’s that vision that
essentially’s trickled down to the rest of us so that we
embrace that vision as well. (upbeat music) – I think the nice thing
about being a leader is that you have more
opportunity to make changes that you want to see in the world. Gandhi says “Be the change
you wish to see in the world.” and I think when you’re
a leader, it’s easier to be the change because
you have an impact on more people’s lives. – I can genuinely say that
I think she is the one who believes in people, and her teams, and supports them to the fullest. – Michelle exemplifies true leadership, with heart, with determination, and really with a can do attitude, and she really does model the way. – If people like Michelle are
the future of civil service, we can all relax, ’cause we
know the state’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be in good hands. – There’s very few places
I think, where you can find as much meaning, and I
feel so proud to be part of connecting people to
their jobs and communities. So to be a public servant
is someone who wants to make a difference. – [Group] Caltrans you’re awesome. Thank you for your hard work!

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