Austin Community College (ACC) welcomes Kelly Torrico as the college’s first Employee Relations Officer (ERO).
As ERO, Torrico will address employee concerns that impact the work environment, and her focus will center on the following:
– Resolution of concerns at the lowest level possible, including the utilization of trained college mediators,
– Guidance to empower employees in the resolution of interpersonal disputes to maintain an ongoing positive team environment,
– Coaching for supervisors to support effective performance management, and
– Expertise in managing formal employee grievances to ensure a timely and equitable response for all parties.
“The ERO was established to support a positive workplace culture centered around the college’s 3 Cs initiative,” says Charlene Buckley, director of the Equal Opportunity Compliance Office. “Stakeholders districtwide shared a vision for how employee complaints could best be addressed. The designation of the ERO, as outlined in Resolution of an Employee Grievance, ensures employee concerns will be resolved fairly, efficiently, and consistent with College values. Kelly’s experience and expertise in employee relations provide the guidance our employees need and deserve in a private setting.”
Torrico, a self-proclaimed Army brat, enlisted out of high school and was later commissioned as an officer upon graduating from the University of Wisconsin with bachelor’s degrees in Applied Linguistics and Military Science and Leadership. She has since obtained master’s degrees in Psychology and Business Administration from Capella University and the University of Memphis, respectively. Professionally, Torrico left active duty when she was recruited to a role with McDonald’s Corporation where she served as a Divisional Employment Strategy Director. She also has experience working in a large and diverse psychiatric hospital where she worked as a hospital administrator over People and Operations with Universal Health Group.
Torrico relocated to Austin in January 2022 to be closer to family and has found what she describes as the ideal “trifecta” at ACC — rewarding work reflecting the values she is passionate about, people who are great to partner with, and amazing culture and lifestyle.
The ERO is positioned in the Office of Equal Opportunity Compliance (EOC Office), formerly the college’s Compliance Office. Read more about the expansion of the EOC Office earlier this year here.
The ERO will not handle issues involving discrimination or harassment. Those will continue to be handled by the illegal discrimination side of the EOC Office.
The Office of the Ombudsperson continues to serve as an informal resource for employees, and can be consulted for confidential support.
Torrico’s first day was May 9, 2022. Learn more about the employee grievance process here.