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Newsletter Article [Chapter Challenges] [10/01/11]
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Chapter Challenges

Martha Bryson, SPHR - Secretary

Chapter Challenge


This is where we showcase YOU and your chapter or district’s best practices and success stories.  This column will feature information from a District Director, Chapter President, or a guest columnist all for the benefit of helping to make your chapter more effective and efficient.  We bet that your chapter has a great story to share and we’re anxious to hear it!  Send your contribution to:

Source: Robert Newland, President Newland Associates, and Central Florida Human Resources Association (CFHRA) Workforce Readiness Director

On September 27, the CFHRA held its First Workforce Connections Summit. The event was a complete success, with the participation of approximately 100 attendees, keynote speeches from Dr. Lewis Duncan, President of Rollins College, and Teresa Jacobs, Mayor of Orange County. It also included interesting panels by educational institutions, employers and a case study on a community organization.

A couple of elements come to mind in understanding the “why” of this event for the CFHRA and how we can all benefit from it. Too often, we speak about HR being a business partner - of taking a seat at the table of sorts. If that is the need and the expectation, then it is incumbent upon us to take a seat at the community table when it comes to Workforce Readiness.

This SHRM Core Leadership Area (CLA) is critical to our nation’s growth and the wellbeing of our fellow citizens. When regional HR organizations get engaged in the community, good things happen. Imagine having a community discussion on how to develop labor force skills to make them more employable without the participation of your SHRM chapter. This happens a lot, and other niche organizations fill that gap, taking the seat that should belong to you.

Our event helped us address these issues in a proactive, positive manner. Let’s look at what we accomplished: a) We created an event where employers, educators, government and community organizations discussed critical workforce issues; b) the magnitude and relevance of the speakers gave standing and credence to the CFHRA in the eyes of other community stakeholders; c) our members got a chance to be exposed to strategic (big picture) discussions; d) we created an event with enormous fundraising potential; and, e) we took our seat at the table!

I encourage all chapters to get engaged in your respective communities. Go ahead.  Grab that seat – it belongs to you! You and your community will be better because of it.  I’d be happy to discuss how to create a similar event in your region.  Feel free to call me at (407) 771-4141 ext. 246, or email me at

Picture - CFHRA and Mayor Jacobs
Pictured (left to right): CFRHA President Annette Wainey, Orange County Major Teresa Jacobs and CFJRA Workforce Readiness Director Robert Newland

Image at the top by bluekdesign

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