Projects addressing childhood hunger, workplace violence, poverty and job readiness for incarcerated women re-entering the workforce were among the 2010 Pinnacle Award winners that the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) announced Nov. 19, 2010, at its annual Leadership Conference in Arlington, Va.
The awards program, which dates to 1991, honors the highest achievements in SHRM chapter and state council development that enhance the development of effective HR management. Seven chapters and two state councils took home awards, with each winning chapter and council receiving $1,000. Additionally, the president of each of those chapters and the state director of each winning state council received a Pinnacle pin. Board members of each of the winning groups receive replicas of the pin.
“Our internal and external judging committees had a tough time choosing from among the many terrific programs that were submitted this year,” said Robert LaGow, manager of volunteer relations for SHRM. Judges had to select winners from 62 applications.
“Year after year, I’m heartened by the magnitude of the reach that our chapters have in their communities, and this year was no exception. This list of winners exemplifies the kind of good works performed by our chapters—and HR in general—on an ongoing basis.”
SHRM will continue the practice begun in 2009 of featuring each winning project in a best practices webinar that SHRM will post on its Volunteer Leaders’ Resource Center.
The chapters winning 2010 Pinnacle Awards are:
- HR/NY, “HR-PRO: HR—Providing Resources to Organizations.” This program enabled chapter members who became jobless during the recession to serve as volunteer HR consultants at one of 25 nonprofit organizations. HR-PRO became a pro bono consulting agency with a mission statement, an established process and operating protocols, and a work plan agreement for each “client.”
- Michiana SHRM (Ind.), “Future Project Story.” This is a long-term strategic partnership aimed at breaking the cycle of generational poverty. The chapter worked with local agencies, professional organizations, employers and the community on a county government program that helps people gain job skills and reduces the number of people needing welfare assistance.
- Greenville SHRM (S.C), “Workforce Readiness Council.” This program provided educational and career planning resources by developing collaborative relationships in upstate South Carolina among local government, community organizations, businesses, educators and individuals to develop a qualified workforce in the community. That included strengthening collaboration and coordination among community partners and educating employers on the benefits of WorkKeys— a job skills assessment system measuring real-world skills—in hiring and promoting people who have the skills they seek.
- Human Resources Management Association of Greater New Orleans, “A Seat at the Table: HR’s Role in the Hon. Mitch Landrieu’s Mayoral Transition.” The newly elected mayor’s transition team turned to the chapter for help in filling 250 civil service positions. In the 12 weeks between Landrieu’s election and his inauguration, the chapter provided HR guidance on job-related issues and two HR professionals whom the transition team used to recruit, evaluate and select talent, and to provide onboarding for those employees.
- Space Coast Human Resource Association (Fla.), “Advancing the Profession to ‘Generation Next.’ ” This program was aimed at high school students transitioning to college. In fall 2010, the chapter created an HR Certificate Program at a local community college that aligns with SHRM’s curriculum guidebook and templates. Two chapter board members certified to teach courses for the program were instructors, and the chapter promoted it with administrators of the Career & Technical Education Program that serves high schools in the county.
- Salina Human Resource Management Association (Kansas), “Coping with Community Tragedy—Workplace Violence.” A 2009 double-homicide in a local workplace prompted the chapter to collaborate with the city government, local police department and state highway patrol to provide a free educational seminar that the local public access television station aired. The chapter underwrote the production expenses for a DVD to be used as a workplace training tool.
- Four Corners Human Resource Association (New Mexico), “Methamphetamine Pilot Project (MPP).” The chapter partnered with the New Mexico Workforce Connection to provide work-readiness training and support for this national rehabilitation project targeting women who had been incarcerated for meth possession. The chapter educated the women on the hiring process, coached them on exploring opportunities that matched their strengths, conducted mock interviews and referred them to workforce resources. Chapter members attended their graduation from the program.
State council winners are:
- Wisconsin State Council, “One Day to Make a Difference.” Twelve Wisconsin SHRM chapters enlisted more than 265 of their members to volunteer with more than a dozen organizations during a weekend in June 2010. Services rendered included serving meals at food pantries, providing workforce readiness assistance such as mock interviews and resume reviews, raising funds for charities, and manual labor such as gardening, cleaning and painting.
- Indiana State Council, “Partnership with Gleaner’s Food Bank BackSacks …Weekend Food for Kids Program.” The council’s state conference committee partnered for the second year with Gleaner’s Food Bank, which serves children in poverty who attend a Kids Café. The chapter provided meals to 300 children during a weekend in 2009 and 680 children during a weekend in 2010. Members recycled state conference bags for the bags containing “kid-friendly” food; members also donated food and and cash to be used to buy food for the bags.
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