July - September 2020
Special Announcements & Resources
Diversity & Inclusion Town Hall Forums on Racism
Close to 900 County employees participated in two Town Hall Forums to provide input on the problem of Racism, held on June 10 and 12, 2020, to discuss the tragic killing of George Floyd and to search for ways we can work together to move forward in unity and understanding.  The events were sponsored by the County’s Diversity & Inclusion Task Force, hosted by County Executive Officer Mike Powers and included a panel of County leaders.
Town Hall Forum panelists included: Dr. Sevet Johnson (Director, Behavioral Health), Marcus Mitchell (Director, Department of Child Support Services), and Claudia Bautista (Assistant Public Defender). The conversations were facilitated by Monique Nowlin (Deputy Director of the Area Agency on Aging).
Attendees shared their ideas, suggestions, and compelling personal experiences. Because the Town Hall Forums were very well received, there will be similar forums held again in the near future. Stay tuned for more information to be shared soon! The Diversity and Inclusion Task Force is committed to reviewing the information shared in these forums and to taking action to promote enhanced unity, diversity, and inclusion.    
If you have suggestions or ideas as to how the County can enhance unity and promote diversity and inclusion, please consider submitting an idea on the Diversity & Inclusion page of the HR website.
County Employees Critical to Crisis Response
Sections 3100 through 3109 of the California Government Code designate all public employees as Disaster Service Workers (DSW), requiring that they provide assistance and service as needed during emergencies. On March 17, 2020, the County’s Health Officer issued local emergency orders in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the County's continuity of operations plan was activated, and employees were designated as disaster service workers. With the cooperation and support of County agencies, Human Resources has sent over 350 DSW to:
  • Area Agency on Aging to ensure older adults have the food and supplies needed to stay healthy and safe. AAA has delivered approximately 10,000 meals each day – more than 890,000 meals since the COVID-19 crisis began – to homebound seniors in our community. AAA also acts as a crucial link providing information and help with resources like housing, transportation, caregiver support, and professional referrals.
  • Human Services Agency to provide counseling, outreach, and referrals by phone.
  • Emergency Operations Center to provide emergency response support.
  • Resource Management Agency for code enforcement of Stay Well VC Order.
  • Continuum of Care Emergency Shelters to temporarily house, provide services and resources to high-risk individuals.
  • Health screening for County worksites.
  • Contact Tracing through Public Health - DSW from across the County have been cross-trained to engage with patients, track transmission, prevent further spread of COVID-19, and provide ongoing support.
  • Screening Locations have been organized throughout the county for COVID-19 testing.
Thank you for your support of the County’s crisis response efforts in our community!
Benefits Update
The annual Health Insurance Feedback Survey is coming soon to your County e-mail account. We look forward to your feedback as we approach a new plan year.  We thoroughly review the survey responses and use those responses to guide us while working with our health plan partners to provide options that best meet the needs of our employees.
CEO Benefits and Disability Management Division are happy to provide a one-stop shop for COVID-19 resources for County employees. Please visit the special COVID-19 page on our website to discover COVID-19-related forms, FAQs, charts, and more.
According to MetLife Dental, only 58% of County enrollees and their dependents had at least one cleaning in 2019. Preventative oral examinations and cleanings are 100% covered by both in-network and out-of-network dentists. Regular cleanings can help detect problems before they get worse, and can help prevent cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.  
For additional information, please visit MetLife.
When Times Get Tough...
There is a place you can turn if you are in need of emergency financial assistance. The Employee Emergency Assistance Program is designed to help County employees and retirees manage a sudden, difficult financial situation.

For more information and to apply for assistance, please visit the Human Resources website .

24-Hour Employee Misconduct Hotline
Complaint Resolution and Misconduct Hotline
We believe employees should be able to voice concerns about tough workplace issues like harassment, discrimination, or discourteous workplace behavior. Employees are encouraged to first discuss concerns with their supervisors, then the HR representative in your department/agency. If resolution is still not reached, more information and online reporting are available at:  hr.ventura.org/complaint-resolution .

Calls and online reporting can be anonymous so there is no fear of retaliation. Human Resources has made a commitment to compliance and your participation is essential.
County Human Resources Adapts to Meet Current Business Needs
COVID-19 has changed the way HR business is done and it is critical to adapt in order to meet the needs of County agencies, job seekers, and candidates.

County HR has implemented new practices that align with social distancing protocols and make communication with job seekers and candidates more effective.
The trend of using text messaging to reach applicants is growing rapidly. The County can now utilize NEOGOV’s Intelligent HR to reach out to candidates in a method that they prefer and check frequently.
Text messaging applicants with updates on the status of their applications is an efficient and effective way to keep them engaged with our application process. By adding text messaging to our recruiting strategy, we will stand out from the competition, get attention faster, and build closer relationships with candidates.
HR will be piloting a video streaming service for candidates and raters to review exams via video conference. Video exams and interviews are an opportunity to improve candidate experience by having the convenience of not traveling to exams and interviews. By improving the candidate experience with video, we lay the groundwork for a better interaction, which can contribute not only to hiring the right person, but also to retention.
During COVID-19, recruiters have been unable to test candidates in person. Recruiters are now creating eligible lists by following a Training and Experience Guideline (T&E). With the T&E method, candidates receive a score based on a thorough review of their application and are placed on eligible lists accordingly.
County Lactation Rooms Upgraded
Lactation Room Enhancement funds from the WorkLife Program were recently granted to seven agencies/departments for 19 projects to improve and enhance lactation rooms in County facilities.
Need to know where the closest lactation room is to you? Contact the WorkLife Program for information.
Sheriff's Ojai PD Station - Ojai
This lactation room went from drab to FAB! This room can be available for any County employee who has field assignments and may need accommodations in the Ojai area.
Contact 805-646-1414 to make arrangements.
Department of Child Support Services - Camarillo
The DCSS lactation room is now extra cozy with a variety of textures and lots of storage.
Employee Assistance Program - Here For You
It's Easy to Access EAP Services!
It is easier than ever for County employees to access the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services! EAP provides confidential counseling by licensed professionals for County employees and dependent family members. Sessions can be done by phone and video. There is some availability for in-person appointments. Please call 805-654-4327 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Take a Mindful Break
Would you like a moment to mindfully pause during the week? EAP has piloted a series of short videos called Centering the Week with EAP. These video are about 10 minutes long and can be delivered to your inbox so you can view them when it is convenient for you. Weekly group Skype sessions are also available.
In addition to some moments of quite reflection, each video features a different topic related to stress management and well-being. Topics covered so far include:
  • Community
  • Resting the Mind
  • Guided Relaxation
  • Journaling
  • Breathing
  • Positive Self-Talk
  • Acceptance
For more information, please visit the EAP website.
Learning & Organizational Development
New Feature in
VCHRP Self Service

Employees can now cancel their VCHRP training enrollments up to 24 hours before the scheduled class.

How to Cancel through
VCHRP Self Service

Log into VCHRP and follow this path:

Employee Self Service > Training > Cancel Training
Enjoying Your LinkedIn Learning Benefit?

Look out for a curated LinkedIn Learning Playlist in the upcoming 2020 Summer/Fall Catalog.

Risk Management -
Work Safe in the New Normal
Deferred Compensation - Your Workplace Savings
Focus on your Total Well-Being during Uncertain Times
These are unprecedented times for us all. With the coronavirus pandemic reshaping how we live and work, you may be looking for help with how to make positive, informed decisions about your money during this chaotic time. We are pleased to announce that Fidelity has developed a website to provide information and resources in four categories that make up your Total Well-Being :
Managing your finances
Maintaining physical & mental health
Staying productive at work
Adjusting how we live
Click on any of the categories above to visit Fidelity's COVID-19 Well-Being website for your financial health and overall well-being or go to http://www.coronavirusguide.netbenefits.fidelity.com.
Online Financial Education
With the suspension of in-person workshops, now is a great time to explore the Fidelity library of online workshops and live webinars. Learn online, on your own time, wherever you are, or attend a live, presenter-led seminar right from your computer. 
Workshop titles include: 
  • 2020 Navigating Market Volatility
  • Creating a Rainy-Day Fund
  • Five Money Musts

Live webinar topics include:
  • 2020 Manage Unexpected Events and Expenses
  • Create a Budget
  • Ditch Debt
  • Start Building for the Future
To view an online workshop, or register to attend a live webinar, logon to NetBenefits ® at http://netbenefits.com/ventura , click on 'Library,' browse educational opportunities by topic or format. Take advantage of these quick and easy options to help you become a more educated investor.

Although in-person meetings with our dedicated Retirement Planner, Andrew Kremer, CFP, have currently been suspended, he is still available to conduct appointments, answer your financial questions, and address your concerns virtually or by e-mail. If you would like to connect with Andrew, schedule a time via Fidelity’s online scheduling system getguidance.fidelity.com/ventura , or e-mail him directly at Andrew.kremer@fmr.com to set up a time that is convenient for you.
VC-WELL (Wellness Program)
Wellness Screenings are Back!
Wellness Screenings at County locations will resume in July. Please visit the Wellness registration page to sign up. For everyone’s safety, screening events will be offered at a reduced capacity. Be sure to register early. If screenings are full, another screening option is to complete a physical with your doctor. Just download and follow the instructions on the physician submittal form found on the Wellness website .
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person physical activity classes and events are currently not offered. Instead, VC-WELL has gone virtual and is offering live, online meditation sessions via Zoom, and new on-demand yoga class videos have been added to the Wellness webpage. To register for meditation, please visit the Wellness registration page.
WELLthy Reward$
Staying active and taking care of yourself during these times of uncertainty will help your mood and can earn you points toward a WELLthy Reward$ cash award. Online VC-WELL health education courses and WELLtrek challenges are still ongoing. As of May 31, there were only 496 employees with 100 or more points. There are still two months left to earn WELLthy Reward$ points, so don't miss out on getting a cash award! Visit the VC-WELL website now to learn more!  
WELLtrek Challenges
Which agencies will win the 4 th annual Golden Sneaker competition? Which team will win the annual Team Competition? Both competitions will take place this summer, and are each worth 20 WELLthy Reward$ points.

If you don't have an account yet, click HERE to register. If you already have an account, you will automatically be added to the competitions. Good luck!   
Did you know?
VC-WELL's newest program can help you learn healthy eating habits and make lifestyle changes.

County employees who purchase a Weight Watchers (WW) program, or are current members, can receive a partial reimbursement worth up to $50. For program details, visit the VC-WELL website .
Keeping Your Balance with WorkLife
The WorkLife Program provides resources to help you care for the most important people in your life! Visit the WorkLife webpage to access resources on child care discounts, positive parenting, lactation accommodation, elder care support group, housing benefits, and new baby resources.
Child Care/Preschool Discount List
Over 70 licensed child care/preschool programs in Ventura County offer discounts to County employees. Click above on the list cover to view.
You knew parenting wouldn't be easy, but no one told you it would be like this! If you are tired of the exhausting power struggles, the meltdowns, the fights and the guilt, now is the time to make a change! Learn how to break the cycle and be the parent you have always wanted to be!

Watch a free 60-minute webinar , exclusive for County employees, that gives you some tools to reduce the yelling and nagging. You will discover an exciting benefit (available to regular County employees) that will help you feel more confident and successful as a parent.
Elder Care Support Group
Caring for an elderly or sick relative can be stressful, whether your loved one lives with you, is across town, or out-of-state. It is important for each caregiver to nourish their spirit, and take care of their physical and mental health. Join us for support and resources at the Elder Care Support Group on the last Wednesday of each month (January-October).

July 29, August 26, September 30
Noon - 1:00 pm
Support Group meeting will take place by Zoom. Email Worklife@ventura.org to request a Zoom reservation. A limited number of reservations are available.
Thinking about Buying a Home?
 Use the Coastal Housing Partnership's Education Tools to Help You Get Started!
Online Home Buying Education

Buying a home can seem overwhelming. There is an enormous amount of information on the internet that can at times be conflicting and confusing. Coastal Housing Partnership’s online home buying education tools are designed to take the confusion out of the process for you – and help you take it one step at a time. 

You are encouraged to view our Step-by-Step Home Buying Education.