SHRM Creates Young Professionals Program

by Beth Mirza

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SHRM is reaching out to its younger professional members—age 30 and younger—to provide resources and networking opportunities to help them develop their careers.

Chuck Salvetti, SHRM’s manager of student and young professional programs, said SHRM kicked off the program in December 2009 with a happy hour/networking event at SHRM headquarters. Three more events have been held in the nation’s capital in 2010, with each event drawing 35-60 participants coming to meet other young HR professionals in the area and learn more about SHRM.

“We’ve had repeat attendees, too, who bring their colleagues,” Salvetti said. “It’s a good way to engage young professionals and introduce them to SHRM and its benefits, resources and networking.”

The young professionals who are members of SHRM often are members of their local chapters as well, Salvetti said, and look to the chapters for education and the chance to meet and learn from more-senior HR professionals.

SHRM will soon launch a monthly e-mail for young HR professionals, identifying SHRM resources and educational opportunities that can help them develop their careers. SHRM also encourages young professionals to become certified through the HR Certification Institute. “That’s an important step in the career path,” Salvetti said.

Activities planned for young professionals attending the Annual Conference include Meet to Eat on Sunday and Monday, as well as a happy hour Monday evening. Check for more information and to join the YP Group on SHRM Connect. Young professionals also can stop by the SHRM booth in the exhibit hall to pick up their “Young Professional” ribbons.

The young professional program will expand to New York City and Chicago this fall with happy hour/networking events planned in those cities, Salvetti said. “We’re also looking for opportunities to hold networking happy hours in other major metropolitan cities” by collaborating with local chapters and state councils, he added.

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