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Valley HR Bulletin Shenandoah Valley Society for Human Resource Management


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Title: Valley HR Bulletin Shenandoah Valley Society for Human Resource Management

Valley HR BulletinShenandoah Valley Society for
Human Resource Management
  • Volume 2, Issue 2
  • Fall 2006

Inside this Issue
  • Continued Success pgs. 3-6
  • Your Foundation at Work
  • Research Based Knowledge pg. 7
  • Workforce ReadinessWhat is it? pg. 8
  • Many Employers to Provide Extra
  • Holiday Days Off in 2007 pg. 9-11
  • SHRM at Bridgewater College pg. 12
  • 2006 Scholarship Award
  • Recipients pg. 13
  • U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose
  • to 321,000 Last Week pgs. 14-17

Continued SuccessBy Lisa Seekford, SPHRSVSHRM
  • What a busy year 2006 has been for our Chapter!
    I want to use this article to highlight some of
    our achievements in 2006
  • The 2006 SVSHRM Board of Directors held a
    planning meeting in late November 2005 at BRCC to
    transition, brainstorm, and set goals for the
    chapter for 2006. We were off and running!!
  • A key goal for this year was to increase the
    online capabilities of our Web site to offer
    more online tools to our members. Accordingly,
    in January we conducted an online member survey.
    We had 79 members participate and we have
    continued to use the feedback throughout the
    year. A major accomplishment was the addition of
    an online member directory to our Web site, which
    enabled us to streamline the management of the
    membership directory and improve efficiency. In
    September we also added a web-based new member
    application with an online payment option.
  • In fall 2005, our membership was 160 our
    membership is now 185! We just keep growing! In
    order to familiarize new members with the
    chapter, a New Member Orientation was implemented
    last year and met great success. A primary goal
    of the Membership Committee in 2006 was to
    increase senior member involvement in the
    orientations. They have achieved this by
    extending personal invitations to different
    senior members for each orientation. This
    provides the new members another opportunity to
    meet and connect with long-term members and gain
    their perspective on the organization.

Continued SuccessBy Lisa Seekford, SPHRSVSHRM
  • We have had some wonderful meeting programs this
    year thanks to the efforts of our Program Chair,
    Terri Stevens. We continue to struggle with the
    balancing act of location, facility, and cost.
    As the size of our group has grown, it is more
    difficult to find locations that can accommodate
    us and fit our budget. Our average meeting
    attendance thus far this year is 54. Per
    membership feedback, we attempt to rotate the
    meeting locations geographically, which can be
    quite a challenge. We are always open to
    suggestions for meeting programs, presenters, and
    locations ----- please let us know!
  • We strive to provide as many opportunities for
    certification as possible, with six of our
    meeting programs being approved by HRCI for
    recertification credit this year. In May we
    offered a Strategic HR Leadership course at EMU
    in an effort to assist members needing strategic
    recertification hours for SPHR. We extended an
    invitation to nearby chapters and had a total of
    31 participants for the all-day course. We are
    also holding a 10-week certification prep course
    which is meeting at Friendship Industries. We
    want to serve our members by supporting their
    professional goals with certification being a
    key. Good luck to everyone on your test!

Continued SuccessBy Lisa Seekford, SPHRSVSHRM
  • Another 2006 goal was two-fold ---- to increase
    awareness of our organization in the community
    and to increase community involvement of our
    chapter. Accordingly, we decided one step would
    be to create brand awareness for the chapter.
    We started by conducting a logo contest in
    January with a prize of a 100 gift card to the
    member with the winning entry. Jamie Calcagnos
    entry was voted the winner! We have purchased a
    table skirt with the logo on it for our
    registration table. We also have post-it-notes
    with the logo that we will distribute at various
    events. Other initiatives have been
    participation in the Business Resource Fair in
    May at BRCC. Finally, we adopted the
    Rockingham-Harrisonburg and Augusta Regional
    SPCAs. Our members have been volunteering for
    events over the last few months. The wonderful
    news is you can volunteer for just one event a
    long-term commitment is not required! We are
    happy to have an avenue to give back to the
  • The Compensation Survey was conducted again this
    year with an added benefits section. We had
    approximately 43 participants. We will be
    looking for sponsors for the 2007 survey. We
    also held our Annual Supervisor Seminar on
    September 20th at BRCC. We had Richard Flint
    return and present the program Effective
    Communication. Thanks to the seminar committee
    for all their work on a successful 2006 seminar!

Continued SuccessBy Lisa Seekford, SPHRSVSHRM
  • The JMU Student Chapter hosted our April meeting
    which was a great opportunity for chapter members
    to share information with students about the
    Human Resources profession. The Bridgewater
    Student Chapter reached a milestone ---- the
    required 8 national SHRM members to be recognized
    as an official chapter! Congratulations!
  • The Shenandoah Valley Chapter of SHRM is a
    Superior Merit Chapter because of the commitment
    of its Board of Directors and continued support
    of its members. THANK YOU to all the Board
    members for your efforts, support, and time ---
    all is greatly appreciated!
  • I also want to thank you, the members, for the
    opportunity to serve as your President and work
    with such a wonderful group of HR professionals.
    I will always be grateful for the confidence that
    you placed in me to serve in a Chapter leadership
    role over the past two years. I hope that each
    of you will consider volunteering to serve on the
    Board in the future and seize the opportunity to
    play a role in the future success of our Chapter!
  • I look forward to seeing you at upcoming SVSHRM

Your Foundation at Work Research-Based
Knowledge By Marcy EngleEastern Mennonite
  • The SHRM Foundation promotes the use of
    "research-based knowledge". What does that mean
    for you? It means enhanced credibility. Imagine
    proposing a new program to senior management and
    being able to cite solid research to demonstrate
    the benefits of your proposed change. The
    Foundation is funding practical research every
    year to help you do just that.
  • Current research projects focus on critical
    areas such as Technology HR, HR Measurement,
    Global HR, and The Changing Role of the HR
    Professional. Research results will help provide
    research-based answers to questions such as
  • How should an organizational mentoring program be
    structured for maximum effectiveness?
  • How do HR leaders make a strategic impact on
    their organizations?
  • To review SHRM Foundation research findings,
  • The SHRM Foundation Investing in Your Future as
    an HR Leader

Workforce ReadinessWhat is it?By Mary
SullivanBlue Ridge Community College (BRCC)
  • One of the responsibilities of the Workforce
    Readiness Committee is to develop and support
    workshops and seminars that address workforce
    readiness issues. Human resources professionals
    often find that not every employee they hire has
    all of the necessary skills to perform his/her
    present or future position. Thus, workforce
    readiness is not only an issue for the emerging
    workforce, but for your incumbent workforce.
  • As announced during BRCCs sponsorship of the
    July SHRM meeting, we have developed and are
    currently delivering a program entitled,
    Essential Workplace Skills Training to 20
    working individuals who have low to moderate
    incomes. The goal of the program is to help
    these individuals gain skills so that they may
    advance and add value to both their companies and
    their careers. Due to a grant from the Bank of
    America, this program is entirely free to
    participants. The content of the program, which
    meets once a week for 15 weeks includes computer
    software skills, soft skills such as effective
    workplace communication, tips for being a valued
    employee, enhancing customer service, as well as
    preparation to achieve the Commonwealth of
    Virginias Career Readiness Certificate a
    workplace skills credential.
  • 13 of the 20 participants were referred to the
    program by businesses, many of whom heard about
    the program through SVSHRM. The other seven
    participants were referred by various public
    agencies serving low to moderate income

Many Employers to Provide Extra Holiday Days Off
in 2007By Kathy GurchiekRetrieved 11/24/06 from
  • The season of short workweeks begins this week,
    as employers close offices on Thanksgiving Day,
    but next year looms even brighter with extra days
    off during the holiday season, according to a
    Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Nearly three-fourths of employers plan to
    observe the day after Thanksgiving as a holiday
    in 2007, and nearly half will mark the day before
    Christmas as a day off next year, SHRM found.
    Thats in addition to the nearly 100 percent of
    employers that close offices on Thanksgiving Day
    and Christmas Day, according to the survey,
    conducted with 502 HR professionals the week of
    Oct. 31, 2006. Among the findings
  • 72 percent of employers plan to close their
    offices the day after Thanksgiving in 2007. In
    February 2006, 63 percent of 469 HR professionals
    said they would be closed.
  • 93 percent plan to close Thanksgiving Day in
    2007 90 percent planned to do so this year
  • 48 percent plan to close their offices the day
    before Christmas in 2007 29 percent
  • planned to do so this year.
  • 97 percent plan to close Christmas Day in 2007
    91 percent planned to do so this year.
  • 16 percent plan to close the day after
    Christmas in 2007 8 percent planned to do so
    this year.
  • 27 percent plan to close New Years Eve in
    2007 5 percent planned to do so this year.
  • 96 percent plan to close New Years Day in
    2007 88 percent did so this year.
  • 3 percent plant to close between Christmas and
    New Years Day at the end of 2007.
  • There was no figure for 2006.

Many Employers to Provide Extra Holiday Days Off
in 2007 (cont)By Kathy GurchiekRetrieved
11/24/06 from
  • Unchanged was the percentage of HR
    professionals4 percentwho said their
    organizations would not close for any holiday in
    2006 and 2007. However, 5 percent polled in
    February said their organizations follow the
    federal governments holiday schedule, while 7
    percent indicated in October that their
    organizations followed the federal governments
  • While most employers close completely on
    Thanksgiving or Christmas, a small percentage
    plan to close early this year and next on those
    days, SHRM found
  • Three percent will close early on Thanksgiving
    this year. The same percentage plan to do so in
  • One percent plan to close early this year on
    Christmas, which Christmas falls on a Monday. One
    percent in 2007 also plans to close early on
    Christmas, which falls on a Tuesday.
  • A similar surveyconducted with 100 HR
    executives the week of Nov. 13 for global
    outplacement firm Challenger, Gray
    Christmasfound that 70 percent of companies will
    be closed the day after Thanksgiving this year.
    Fifteen percent plan to open that day, and those
    employees working most likely will be bank
    tellers, restaurant workers, hospital employees,
    retail employees and emergency personnel,
    Challenger found.

Many Employers to Provide Extra Holiday Days Off
in 2007 (cont)By Kathy GurchiekRetrieved
11/24/06 from
  • Among that 15 percent working Nov. 24, 3
    percent will have a short day.
  • Providing an extra day off is a great way to
    build positive employee morale, Challenger CEO
    John A. Challenger said in a press release.
  • Additionally, it makes sense for most offices
    to close since the day after Thanksgiving is
    historically a very slow day for traditional
    business. Of course, the same cannot be said for
    retail, which sees one of its busiest days of the
    year, he added.
  • Some employers close the day after Thanksgiving
    as a cost-savings measure, said Challenger, who
    pointed to Yahoo! Inc.s decision to close during
    the week between Christmas and New Years and to
    require workers to take vacation or take unpaid
    leave during that time.
  • However, a separate Challenger poll found that
    only 8 percent of companies plan to close that
    week. Thirty-eight percent will maintain normal
    business hours the four days following Christmas,
    which falls on a Monday this year, and 18 percent
    will be closed at least one additional day.
  • Kathy Gurchiek is associate editor for HR News.
  • She can be reached at

SHRM at Bridgewater CollegeBy, Andrew Deitz,
PHRAdecco Employment Services
  • Bridgewater College has completed all the
    requirements and will be getting their National
    SHRM Affiliation very soon! Marissa Baker and
    Professor Betty Hoge have been working very hard
    to get the Student Chapter off the ground and
    running over the past year. They have gained a
    lot of interest this year from the student
    population at Bridgewater and were able to meet
    the requirement of eight National SHRM Student
  • Marissa Baker has been elected the Student
    Chapter President and Keith Endicott was elected
    the Student Chapter Vice President. Together,
    they will be working with the Bridgewater College
    Community and our Shenandoah Valley SHRM Chapter
    to provide a beneficial experience for their
    student members.
  • They met over the summer to organize and have
    had three regular Chapter meetings (Sept., Oct.,
    Nov.), two company tours (Dynamic Aviation and
    the new Wal-Mart Distribution Center), and a
    two-part resume clinic. The Resume Clinic
    featured a speaker, Teresa Norie from
    Riddleberger Brothers, and involved HR
    professionals meeting with students one-on-one to
    critique their resumes. They also held a
    fundraiser, the Hot Dog and Baked Goods sale on
    Nov. 18. They have one more regular meeting
    scheduled for this calendar year, Dec. 7, which
    will be followed by a holiday social open to all
  • Please join me in congratulating them on their
    National SHRM affiliation accomplishments and
    supporting them as their Chapter grows!

2006 Scholarship Award RecipientsBy Chuck
FlickShenandoah Shared Hospital Services
  • The Shenandoah Valley Society for Human
    Resource Management Scholarship Fund continues to
    have outstanding investment performance and has a
    market value of over 25,000 as of June 30, 2006!
    These funds are invested with the Community
    Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.
  • For 2006, SVSHRM awarded a 1,000 scholarship
    to a student who is pursuing a career in human
    resources. Students residing in or attending a
    school in the SVSHRM membership area (Shenandoah,
    Rockingham and Augusta Counties, Virginia) were
    eligible to apply. The recipient is selected
    based on academic achievement, community
    involvement and future goals related to advancing
    the human resource profession.
  • Our 2006 Scholarship recipient is Lauren
    Michele Cole. Lauren is a candidate for a
    Masters Degree in Adult Education/Human Resource
    Development from James Madison University. Lauren
    has earned a JMU undergraduate degree in
    Psychology with a minor in Human Resource
    Development. In addition, Lauren received the
    2006 Adult Education/Human Resource Development
    Outstanding Leadership Award. She works as a
    Graduate Assistant and at Horizons Youth Services
    in Harrisonburg.
  • Congratulations to Lauren!

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose to 321,000 Last
Week By Joe RichterRetrieved 11/24/06 from
  • Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The number of U.S.
    workers filing first-time applications for state
    jobless benefits increased more than expected
    last week, while remaining low enough to suggest
    little sign of weakening in the labor market.
  • Initial jobless claims increased by 12,000 to
    321,000 in the week that ended Nov. 18 from the
    prior week's 309,000, the Labor Department said
    today in Washington. The four-week moving
    average, a less volatile measure, rose to 317,000
    from 314,000.
  • Claims have averaged 311,000 this year, down
    from 332,000 for all of 2005, suggesting
    companies are holding on to workers even as the
    slumping housing market drives down economic
    growth, economists said. Economists are watching
    claims figures for signs of a slowdown in hiring
    that might ease pressure on wages, which the
    Federal Reserve has cited as a potential driver
    of inflation.
  • If increases in claims persist, it could
    suggest modest slowdown in the labor market, but
    up to this point employment has remained solid,''
    said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO
    Capital Markets in Toronto. There may be some
    gradual softening, but that's exactly what the
    Fed would hope for. They may be a little more
    comfortable with a higher unemployment rate.''
  • Economists had forecast initial jobless claims
    would rise to 310,000 from the 308,000 initially
    reported for the prior week, according to the
    median of 40 estimates in a Bloomberg News
    survey. Estimates ranged from 298,000 to 325,000.

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose to 321,000 Last
Week (cont)By Joe RichterRetrieved 11/24/06
  • Treasury securities were little changed after
    the report, with the yield on the benchmark
    10-year note at 4.56 percent as of 848 a.m. in
    New York.
  • Continuing Claims
  • The number of people continuing to collect
    state jobless benefits rose to 2.454 million in
    the week that ended Nov. 11 from 2.440 million in
    the prior week. The unemployment rate among
    people eligible for benefits, which tends to
    track the U.S. jobless rate, remained at 1.9
  • Eight states and territories reported an
    increase in new claims, while 45 reported a
    decrease, the Labor Department said. Those
    numbers are reported with a one-week lag.
  • U.S. employers have added about a half-million
    new jobs the past four months, and the
    unemployment rate stands at a five- year low of
    4.4 percent, the Labor Department said Nov. 3.
    Workers' average hourly earnings last month rose
    3.9 percent from October 2005, close to
    September's five-year high of 4.1 percent.
  • The truth is we have a shortage of labor,''
    said Paul Reilly, chief executive officer of
    Korn/Ferry International, the world's largest
    executive-recruiting firm, in an interview this
    week. You can find people, but it is much, much

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose to 321,000 Last
Week (cont) By Joe RichterRetrieved 11/24/06
  • Employment Figures
  • Last week's claims figures cover the same week
    the Labor Department surveys businesses to
    calculate the monthly job gain. Employers have
    added about 147,000 jobs a month this year,
    government figures show. Rising wages have kept
    Federal Reserve policy makers on watch for signs
    that inflation is heating up. Economists surveyed
    by Bloomberg News this month expect the Fed's
    target rate for overnight loans among banks to
    remain unchanged at 5.25 percent through the
    first quarter of 2007, based on the median
  • A slowdown in growth from earlier in the year
    is leading companies to add fewer jobs. With
    the economy set to grow below trend for the third
    consecutive quarter, we do not believe the
    current levels of employment can be maintained,''
    Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche
    Bank Securities in New York, said before the
    report. Data on homebuilding and manufacturing
    point to further weakness in those sectors. It is
    just a matter of time before the service sector
    also reins in hiring and claims figures begin to
  • Third-Quarter Growth
  • The economy expanded at a 1.6 percent annual
    pace in the third quarter, the slowest pace in
    more than three years and down from an average of
    4.1 percent in the first half. Residential
    housing construction fell at an annual rate of
    17.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1991.
    That hasn't stopped some companies from

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose to 321,000 Last
Week (cont)By Joe RichterRetrieved 11/24/06
  • United Technologies Corp.'s Sikorsky unit,
    maker of the Black Hawk helicopter, plans to open
    an engineering center in Fort Worth, Texas, next
    year to support rising military and civilian
    production. The center will hire about 100
    employees. The helicopter maker hired about 600
    engineers in its Florida and Connecticut
    headquarters and opened a Huntsville, Alabama,
    engineering center in the past year.
  • Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. said this
    month it would recall 1,000 more flight
    attendants in 2007 as it adds international
    routes. Some businesses are trimming work forces
    to rein in costs.
  • Intermec Inc., a maker of hand-held scanners,
    said it will eliminate about 9 percent of its
    workforce by the end of the first quarter as part
    the Everett, Washington-based company's plan to
    save as much as 25 million a year.
  • Brad Garlinghouse, a senior vice president at
    Yahoo! Inc., recommended cutting staff by as much
    as 20 percent to reduce overlapping
    responsibilities. Sunnyvale, California-based
    Yahoo owns the most-visited U.S. Web site.
  • To contact the reporter on this story Joe
    Richter in Washington

SVSHRM would like to wish all its members and
their families
  • A Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

See you in 2007!!
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