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SHRM Foundation Recognizes First Employer to Join HR Apprenticeship Program

Alexandria, VA., March 18, 2021— In a virtual signing ceremony today, the SHRM Foundation recognized Hypertherm as the first employer to participate in the HR Registered Apprenticeship Program (HR RAP). 

With support from the U.S. Department of Labor, the SHRM Foundation launched the HR RAP in February to help individuals enter the field of HR and to build a more skilled and diverse workforce. The program, which comes amid increasing interest in registered apprenticeships and their proven success in meeting the needs of employers, will help close the skills gap in HR by allowing individuals to earn wages while receiving hands-on training to successfully fill the high-skilled, in-demand HR specialist positions of today. 

"As workplaces focus on recruiting, hiring and retaining diverse, untapped talent, the SHRM Foundation and organizations like Hypertherm are creating a sustainable registered apprenticeship model that will cultivate and empower a new generation of HR professionals with the skills needed to support, manage, and lead in a 21st century workplace," said Wendi Safstrom, executive director of the SHRM Foundation. "We encourage employers to implement registered apprenticeship programs, which can create pathways to employment for untapped talent. We're excited to help individuals—whether they are just starting out in their career journey or individuals looking for new opportunities—enter the field of HR."

Hypertherm has been engaged in registered apprenticeship programs for more than 12 years. They currently have five occupations registered with the U.S. DOL and have completed over 700 apprentices. The Hypertherm Technical Training Institute leverages Registered Apprenticeship to provide a pipeline of CNC machinist that are hired based on their aptitude and willingness to learn the occupation. There is no prior experience required. Registered Apprenticeship allows Hypertherm to access candidates that would traditionally not be qualified, increasing the accessibility to living wage employment in our region. 

"Hypertherm is thrilled to see the SHRM Foundation's HR RAP come to life. It aligns perfectly with our commitment to our people. It aligns perfectly to us trying to grow opportunity for everybody at Hypertherm, and it aligns perfectly to how we want to keep our doors open to people coming in from all backgrounds to achieve and succeed," said Jenny Levy, vice president of People, Community and Environment at Hypertherm. "This program is critical in helping HR professionals provide leadership, perspective, and create employment opportunities for those seeking a career in HR."

The SHRM Foundation's HR RAP leverages SHRM's signature educational programming, aligned to its competency model and credentials, to cultivate HR leaders who will be equipped to manage and lead with innovation and insight. Upon completion of the program, apprentices will eligible to take the exam for the SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) credential.

For more information and resources on the SHRM Foundation's HR RAP, visit or email

Media: Contact to schedule an interview.

About the SHRM Foundation

Founded in 1966 as the philanthropic arm of SHRM, the SHRM Foundation inspires and empowers HR professionals to unlock human potential and lead social change in the workplace and beyond. Its purpose is to elevate and empower HR and the generosity of donors to lead positive social change impacting work, workers, and the workplace because our vision is to be a world of work that works for all. The SHRM Foundation's robust and relevant programming, resources, and meaningful partnerships, along with evidence-based research, educate and train HR professionals to hire diverse talent, build inclusive workplaces, and help employees find purpose at work and beyond.

About Hypertherm

Hypertherm engineers and manufactures industrial cutting products used by companies around the world to build ships, airplanes, and railcars, construct steel buildings, manufacture heavy equipment, and more. Its products include cutting systems, CNCs, and software trusted for performance and reliability that result in increased productivity and profitability for hundreds of thousands of businesses. Founded in 1968 and based in New Hampshire, Hypertherm is a 100 percent Associate owned company, employing more than 1,800 Associates, with operations and partner representation worldwide. Learn more at


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