Everything Old Becomes New Again…

One of the many details in moving to a new website was pulling all of our old files from the old website. As a history geek, I had to at skim some of the old newsletters as I saved them into a file folder. To my surprise, I found our chapter’s original logo – first issued in the December 2001 newsletter (a special shout out to Gary Sanford for great winning logo contest design)! Here is some of text describing the logo:

“Our new logo clearly and simply portrays who we are. We chose green because Washington is the Evergreen State. The gold star covers the area from which our membership comes. And, it is a clear demonstration of our link to the rest the SHRM Chapters in the State of Washington.”

This is so close to the information that we gave Muller Design (10 years later!) to develop our new logo it is uncanny. Great ideas tend to circle back, like boomerangs or mustaches.

Speaking of mustaches, is anyone else a little creeped out by all of the mustaches this Movember? I am all for creative ways to get the word out about prostate cancer, but I feel like I am either being constantly surveilled by security guards or I just stepped into one of my favorite Beastie Boys videos. Remind the men in your life to get a check up over egg nog this holiday season; then let them know that they have egg nog in their mustache.

I think one random tangent is enough for this month. Happy Holidays!

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Survey says – Stronger a stronger Manufacturing = A stronger economy

If you work in manufacturing, please be sure to take 10 minutes to provide input on local efforts to improve investments in manufacturing:  www.manufacturingsurvey.com

Worksystems, Inc. (WSI), the SWWDC and the Workforce Investment Council of Clackamas County (WICCO) are conducting a survey of regional manufacturers that is intended to identify the specific aspects and challenges the industry faces related to workforce.  Information provided will help the CWWC to prioritize workforce initiatives and investments that support local manufacturers.

This survey will not take more than 10 minutes of your time and all companies that participate in the survey will receive a copy of the final survey results and analysis.  If you have already taken this survey please do not take it again, however, we do encourage people from multiple levels (HR, Training Staff, and Leadership) within your organization to take the survey as we feel it’s important to get the perspectives of staff in varying organizational roles.

Please click on the link below to take the survey:


Your input is appreciated.


The Columbia-Willamette Workforce Collaborative


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Survey says – Stronger Business/Education partnerships

We encourage you to participate in the following 5 minute survey related to  Business Partnerships with Education & Workforce by clicking here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y5NRZ65

You may know that the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council (SWWDC) provides training grants for local employers to upgrade skillsets to help businesses become more competitive, but did you know that we also drive efforts to strengthen the workforce pipeline at the K-12 and higher education levels?

We are looking to understand how local businesses would like to engage with local education, be that internships, mentoring, speaking engagements, or co-research projects.

We invite you to take 5 min to fill out a survey on Business Partnerships with Education & Workforce by clicking here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Y5NRZ65

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We are Chamber Members!

Thank you to all who attended our Annual Conference last week! From the feedback we have received so far, it was a huge success! We look forward to building upon this success moving forward.

As the chapter level, we identified a need to engage our organization with the larger business community. If there was a key takeaway from the Annual Conference, it was that for HR to be viewed as a true Business Partner, we have to get out and lead in our organizations and in the community.

By joining the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce we look to build our network of members, communicate our professional development opportunities to businesses throughout the community, and promote our new brand.  Look for our events on the Chamber website in the near future!




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HR Technology

I am off to the HR Technology Conference next week in Chicago, and I am looking forward to interesting content on the current and future technological capabilities in HR. While I have an aptitude for technology, I feel that a good part of my skill is simply being part of the first generation to grow up with computers. I remember playing on my Atari, the Apple II, and our first home PC; having to constantly adjust to new user interfaces, software, and hardware was part of growing up. While there were plenty of games, there were also DOS prompts to learn, uninstall commands, and plenty of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death – I don’t miss that at all!).

I would not consider myself what is known in marketing as an “early adopter.” The bleeding edge of technology sounds a bit too messy for me, as I prefer to consume technology without the need for a biohazard container. I was late to jump into a smart phone, Facebook, and never ran Windows Vista (whew!). When a concept is proven, I am willing to invest the time to pick it up and run with it. Until then, I feel that there is just not enough time to learn and adapt to all of the new technology that comes out, especially when some of it is bound to fail.

At Columbia Machine, we have been looking at new HRIS and Payroll applications for some time. The current systems work, but they are cumbersome and do not communicate. While sometimes it is easier to deal with the cumbersome way that is known rather than the unknown of learning a new system, the technology available now has too many advantages to ignore. This conference is not only an opportunity to explore what is out there, but to confirm that the path that we find ourselves on and identify the hazards along the way. If you have been down this path and care to share your experience, please email me at President@swshrm.org

One thing that is clear in any technology change is “implementation pain.” As a chapter, we could see this coming when we moved our 3 systems into one with Affiniscape. We were not able to anticipate all of the issues, and appreciate our members patience as we have worked through them. The payoff is already manifesting, with more efficiency and capability on the horizon for our members and our board. The waves of change keep coming, and it is exciting to get out and ride them rather than watching from the shore.

– Earl Meininger


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Check out the 2012 SHRM Commercial!

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SHRM Ballots Are Out – Vote informed!

It’s time to vote. Not just in November, but right now as a SHRM member.

Unlike previous years, when the association’s annual board of directors vote went on quietly, there is some serious campaigning this round. You may have already seen communications from SHRM Members for Transparency, an unofficial group of previous SHRM national leaders, about their concerns with the current practices of the board and their own write in campaign. While I take issue with their tone of some of their communications, they are raising serious and important questions about the practices and future of the organization.

SHRM Members for Transparency’s position

SHRM has issued official communication responding to this group.

SHRM’s position

As members of the leading global organization representing and advancing our profession, each of us has a responsibility to the association and our profession to take an informed stand on these issues and to actively participate in the SHRM election, regardless of which view on these issues we share.

I encourage you to vote today. Ballots are in the mail, if you have not received your paper ballot yet contact 1-866-720-4357 or shrmhelp@electionservicescorp.com. You can also vote online at:  https://www.esc-vote.com/shrm2013

The deadline to return your ballot is September 9th. Do your homework and get out the vote!

Earl Meininger, PHR

President – Southwest Washington SHRM


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