In the first annual competition of its kind, County Director of Human Resources Carlos Arauz has been selected as one of the San Diego region’s “Human Resources Professionals of the Year.”
Arauz was named one of ten outstanding professionals “who go above and beyond their duties as employee-focused directors,” according to the publishers of the San Diego Business Journal, which presented the award.
All 17,000 County employees fall under Arauz’s purview of employment and labor relations. As Director of Human Resources for more than 10 years, Arauz has ensured that the County workforce is trained and motivated in providing excellent customer service to the public.
One of Arauz’s biggest accomplishments is the “Work Safe/Stay Healthy” program, which has saved the County an average of $2.6 million each year by reducing annual workplace injuries by an average of nearly 19 percent and lost productivity hours by 25 percent.
Three new human resources programs this year alone have enhanced the County’s ability to better serve the public: a customer service “boot camp,” an HR and Payroll certificate program, and a management internship. Additionally, Arauz oversees the administration of the County’s Workforce Academy for Youth, which matches foster youth near adulthood with internships in County departments. The program provides the youth with valuable work experience as well as a worksite mentor.
"My focus is on recruiting and retaining a highly skilled workforce that continuously improves its service to the public while saving taxpayers' dollars,” said Arauz. “I am very fortunate to work in an organization that encourages and rewards creativity and innovation.”
Award recipients were chosen from among 40 finalists in both public and private organizations.