The new director of the Utah Anti-Discrimination Division is aware of the criticism the division has received in the past but is determined to make it an agency that will serve the people.

Joseph Gallegos Jr., who will assume his new position April 22, said he wants to make the division the "best objective operation we can make it. Our intent is to improve the division."Gallegos, who has been district director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs for the U.S. Department of Labor since March 1987, said he doesn't want to dwell on what the division has done in the past, but wants to move forward.

He has studied recent recommendations by the legislative auditor general and considers those a starting point when be becomes director. Some of the recommendations have been implemented by Jay Fowler, who has been acting director since Anna Jensen resigned last August.

Fowler will return to his assignment as an investigator.

Part of Gallegos' job involves dealing with the Anti-Discrimination Advisory Committee, a group that was created 20 months ago in answer to criticism that the division wasn't responsive to employees' needs and the complaint process was lengthy and cumbersome.

Late last year when the commission advertised for a new director, 28 people applied. Even though the directorship is an exempt position and the commission has the authority for the appointment, the commission asked committee mem-bers to help screen the applicants.

The committee sent the commission two names, but the three commissioners rejected those names and reopened the job.

Gallegos said in his job with the OFCCP he receives job notices and decided to apply. He has dealt with division employees in the past, knows some members of the advisory committee and is anxious to get their comments on how the division can be improved.

Asked about the creation of the Workforce Services Department and concern about some who said the division would be lost in the shuffle, Gallegos said Gov. Mike Leavitt thinks the division is important and it won't disappear.

Gallegos said there will be plenty of study on the impact the new department will have on several social service agencies and State Industrial Commission agencies combining their roles and he intends to make certain the division will not be forgotten.

A native of Laveta, Colo., Gallegos came to Utah at an early age when his father started work in the Carbon County coal mines. His parents still live in East Carbon.

Gallegos spent three years in the U.S. Army and after his discharge went to work in the coal mines. After seven months, he decided he didn't want a career in mining and attended the College of Eastern Utah.

He has worked in the public service career program that was part of the governor's office and that program eventually evolved into the Equal Employment Opportunity Office. Gallegos was the first director of civil-rights compliance programs for the Utah Transit Authority and was an equal employment opportunity officer at Dugway Proving Ground for 21/2 years.

He transferred to the OFCCP office as an equal employment opportunity compliance officer and worked his way up to director. His district includes Utah, Montana and Wyoming.