Innovative HR Solutions Dominate 2009 SHRM Pinnacle Awards
War veterans, New Orleans recovery, and recession-time job hunting among workforce themes
Alexandria, Va., – The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) today recognized nine organizations from Indiana, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas with the 2009 SHRM Pinnacle Award, the highest honor given to HR organizations for innovative programs.
Created in 1991, the SHRM Pinnacle Award annually recognizes state councils and chapters for creating programs that solve local workforce challenges and surpass the standard activities of SHRM affiliates.
“The winning projects exemplify the kind of HR leadership that our chapters and state councils engage in on a daily basis,” said SHRM President and CEO Laurence G. O’Neil. “These programs not only make a difference in our local communities, but also serve as HR examples for organizations around the country.”
Each winning program received a $1,000 prize during the SHRM Leadership Conference held in Arlington, Va. The 2009 awards are sponsored by Automatic Data Processing Inc. (ADP).
“ADP extends its congratulations to this year’s SHRM Pinnacle Award winners for pioneering value added programs to help with current and evolving workforce challenges,” said Benito Cachinero, ADP Corporate Vice President of Human Resources. “The organizations honored share ADP’s commitment to HR management and embody the qualities of leadership and innovative practices that are critical in helping to create employment opportunities.”
The nine 2009 SHRM Pinnacle Award winners are:
- New Hampshire SHRM State Council ─ “NH Workforce Readiness Toolkit”;
- Garden State Council – SHRM Inc. ─ “Mission…Career Success!”;
- Evansville-Area (Ind.) Human Resource Association ─ “Seamless Transition”;
The winners were selected from more than 50 applications. For additional information about the SHRM Pinnacle Award, visit: http://www.shrm.org/Communities/VolunteerResources/Pages/2009PinnacleAwardUpdate.aspx.
Brief descriptions of the winning programs are below.
2009 PINNACLE AWARD WINNER PROFILES
1. New Hampshire SHRM State Council (N.H.)
“NH Workforce Readiness Toolkit”
After watching market trends, the NH SHRM State Council used their HR and business knowledge and resources to develop the “NH Workforce Readiness Toolkit.” Providing positive solutions to a negative economy, the dynamic, electronic toolkit contains employment information and links to other resources for all levels of employees and types of businesses. It includes resources for an individual’s job search, an organization’s outplacement program, and managing a mid-life career transition. The toolkit is easily transferable to other organizations and SHRM affiliates and is already in use by seven NH SHRM-affiliated chapters, NHLabornet, New Hampshire Unemployment Security, Southern NH Services, Rockingham Community Action, NH Department of Education, NH Scholars, Newmarket School to Careers, Workforce Opportunity Council and NH Works. The toolkit is consistently evolving with input from end-users and is currently in its sixth edition.
2. Garden State Council-SHRM Inc. (N.J.)
The program delivers career transition services to assist returning Iraq veterans in securing employment. More than a provider of “feel good” moments, the program’s goal is to share expert HR knowledge and insights about job searching and interviewing by delivering a broad scope of information and one-on-one attention for each service member. Due to the success of this pilot program, the council is engaged in taking the program nationally so that all service members may gain employment help.
3. Evansville-Area Human Resource Association (Ind.)
The Evansville-Area Human Resource Association (EHRA) partnered with the Indiana Employer
Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to assist military personnel with a seamless transition into the civilian workforce. In 2009, EHRA provided career counseling services, offering assistance to 500 immobilized military personnel with identifying transferable skills, developing résumés and interview preparation. EHRA’s career counseling initiatives have proven invaluable to military personnel, many of whom have never prepared a résumé or interviewed for civilian employment. EHRA connected these highly skilled and dedicated prospective employees to local employers through the Army’s Employer Partnership Initiative and Indiana Guard’s job posting websites. Through these partnerships EHRA member employers have been asked to identify the certifications employers demand, resulting in the military offering certification opportunities to military personnel to facilitate their future transition to civilian employment. The ESGR now requires all immobilized military personnel to participate in the “Seamless Transition” program.
4. Human Resources Management Association of New Orleans
“504ward: New Orleans Calling”
In an effort to engage people who moved to New Orleans to assist in rebuilding and recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina, the Human Resources Management Association of New Orleans developed “504ward: New Orleans Calling,” a network of professional and community development organizations devoted to retaining the young talent that remains in New Orleans. As a result of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, thousands of young people from around the country moved to help New Orleans, and the program works to retain young talent by helping them form personal and professional networks and connecting them to career opportunities in the city. As a key partner organization in 504ward, HRMA-New Orleans provides networking, career guidance, and mentoring opportunities to the “504s” in our community, leading to a “brain gain” in New Orleans.
5. Human Resource Management Association of New Mexico (N.M.)
“HRMA and TeamWorks Partnership”
The Human Resource Management Association of New Mexico (HRMA) partnered with TeamWorks, an organization that assists single-parent women and recipients of Temporary Aid to Needy Families, to help them overcome barriers that have affected entering or returning into the workforce. HRMA developed interviewing skills and résumé writing training and a tool to conduct mock interviews, helping TeamWorks participants gain experience and confidence as they prepare to compete in today’s job market. Since implementation in May 2008, HRMA members have contributed over 237 volunteer hours. In 2009, HRMA launched the joint initiative to place TeamWorks participants in a nonpaid internship working in professional organizations.
6. Susquehanna Human Resource Management Association (Pa.)
“Workforce Readiness — School District Project”
When many local businesses and workforce boards identified area high school students’ lack of preparation for entering the workforce as a key missing link in their education, the Susquehanna Human Resource Management (SHRMA) and the Shikellamy High School created a program to help graduating students become better prepared for the workforce. SHRMA and the school invented a mock online company that listed company highlights and job openings with job descriptions for all ranges of employment within that company. This year every graduating senior was required to complete an application, cover letter and résumé for a job they chose from the mock online company. They then interviewed for that position with one of SHRMA’s 33 volunteers. The experience prepared students for finding jobs in a difficult economy and helped them develop job search and workplace skills.
7. Austin Human Resource Management Association (AHRMA)
“Stepping Stones to Enhanced Leadership”
The Austin Human Resource Management Association created a leadership academy to develop emerging volunteer leaders for future roles to combat a leadership drain as older members of the association and the Executive Committee began to retire. While the initial objective of “Stepping Stones” was to create a sustainable succession plan, it grew to encompass a three-pronged value proposition including goals for the membership (volunteers), the profession (AHRMA), and the community (employers). In the first year of implementation, the program provided a talent pipeline that filled 60 percent of board positions and, in the second year, filled 75 percent of board positions. The program created significant professional development opportunities and successfully promoted AHRMA as an exemplary HR professional association, which attracted new members and volunteers.
8. Mid-Cities Human Resource Association (Texas)
“Felony and/or Misdemeanor Friendly Community Career Fair”
During a troubled economy, people who have served time in the legal system are finding it even more difficult to find employment and remain out of the legal system. Due to the high recidivism rates in this Texas region (50 percent within three years after release and over 60 percent) after six years, the Mid-Cities Human Resource Association created the “Felony Friendly and/or Misdemeanor Friendly Community Career Fair.” The career fair program connected job seekers with criminal backgrounds to background friendly employers in their community. These individuals have paid their debt to society and the criminal justice system and are now ready to move on with their lives and seek gainful employment. This career fair was a joint effort of public, private, and non-profit groups in the area who wanted to provide their assistance in the program. After the success of the first year, all involved are now looking at providing more opportunities in the future.
9. Raleigh-Wake Human Resource Management Association (RWHRMA) and Triangle SHRM (TSHRM)
“HR On Call— A Resource for a Community in Transition”
With unemployment rising to its highest levels in 26 years, many workers in the Raleigh-Durham area found themselves unemployed. Support services to help were operating at maximum capacity, yet individuals remained in need of assistance. “Human Resources On Call” united two SHRM chapters ─ RWHRMA and TSHRM ─ to provide job search guidance to over 1,100 callers during a 7-hour telethon-style event televised by a local TV station, which broadcasts to 23 North Carolina counties reaching almost 1.08 million households. Training and tools, including an Orientation Booklet and Resource Guide were created, and approximately 75 volunteers were recruited and trained to support the event. As a result of this community service initiative, members shared their expertise to help 1,100 callers at a critical time in their lives.
About the Society for Human Resource Management
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org.
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