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York County hires Joe Morales as its first Chief Opportunity Officer

The position will be responsible for developing and maintaining a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion program and enhancing the county’s training initiatives.
Credit: York County Commissioners Office
Joe Morales, York County's first Chief Opportunity Officer

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — The York County Commissioners on Tuesday announced the hiring of Joe Morales as the county's first Chief Opportunity Officer. 

This position will be responsible for developing and maintaining a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion program, as well as, enhancing the county’s training initiatives, spokesperson Mark Walters said in a press release announcing the move.

"Investing in and developing our employees is critical to the effectiveness and strength of an organization," said York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler.

Morales, who lives in York County, believes his challenges with racial discrimination as a child make him a solid fit for the position that the Commissioners created to promote diversity and inclusion.

He attended Millersville University in Lancaster County before working with Lancaster‐Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13, where supervised the adult education program. 

He later worked with the Lancaster Community Safety Coalition, a citizen‐operated network of security cameras around the City of Lancaster.

When he learned York County was creating the Chief Opportunity Officer, Morales said, he knew it was the kind of work he wanted to do.

“It is right up my alley and is something I can do and enjoy and be challenged by,” Morales said of the job. “Beneath all of that, it is about my lifelong desire to bring people together across race, nationality and religion.”

While the Chief Opportunity Officer position had been conceptualized shortly after the Commissioners came into office in January, the planning phase was delayed because of the COVID‐19 pandemic.

“Having been part of a multinational enterprise for over two decades, I have witnessed firsthand that diversity in the workplace is an asset for both the organization and their employees,” Wheeler said. “A diverse workforce has the capacity to foster innovation, creativity and empathy in ways that homogenous work environments seldom do.”

Morales began working for the county on Monday.