SCHENECTADY COUNTY -- A new affirmative action manager started work with Schenectady County on Monday.
Nikita Hardy, of Glenville, was appointed to the position by County Manager Kathleen Rooney. Hardy will be responsible for efforts to diversify the workforce within county government.
"I'm dedicated to public service; it's something I focused on in my undergraduate, graduate and work career, so the opportunity to serve the people of Schenectady County is wonderful," Hardy said.
She worked most recently as a senior legislative analyst at Manatt, Phelps and Phillips LLP, a large lobbying and law firm. Previously, she worked for Empire State Development as the entrepreneurship and innovation manager, and as an excelsior service fellow in the Division of Science, Technology and Innovation. She also previously worked for the state Assembly.
Hardy was named to the Schenectady County Human Rights Commission in June. She is also on the board of directors of the YWCA of NorthEastern New York and a member of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga. The mother of two young children, she is also co-founder of the Capital Region Black Breastfeeding Empowerment Network.
Originally from New York City, Hardy has a bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College and a master's in public administration from Baruch College.
Hardy replaces Miriam Cajuste, who left the affirmative action position in April after seven years with the county.
Hardy will have a salary of $75,215.
As affirmative action manager, Hardy will oversee the county's efforts to diversify its workforce and ensure compliance with equal opportunity and affirmative action guidelines.
"It adds dimension to our offices. It adds a tone -- it adds a welcoming tone -- to have a diverse workforce," Hardy said.
She said she expects to meet with people in the community to discuss opportunities within the county for recent school graduates and those in job transitions.
"I want to let them know there are roads to success in the county," she said.
Hardy also said she plans to help people plan for taking civil service tests, which are required for many of the jobs in the county workforce.