Want to Make America Work Again? Make Sure HR is a Part of the Conversation!


It is day two at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio! And, what better day for me to reflect on the role of HR in today’s workplace, than today, coined by the RNC as the “Make America Work Again” day. HR professionals know how to make the workplace work and that often begins with attracting a skilled workforce.

The need for employers to remain competitive was heard loud and clear at a SHRM partner event today, the Republican Main Street Partnership’s GOP Urban Mayors Forum, featuring former mayor of Dayton, Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio); Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City’s mayor; and Betsy Price, Fort Worth’s mayor. The mayors highlighted workforce development strategies utilized by our mayors to attract a high quality workforce.

After hearing from the mayors, I traveled to the Cleveland MetroPark Zoo for a fantastic member event hosted by SHRM, the Ohio SHRM State Council, and Cleveland SHRM. Over 100 SHRM members heard important legislative updates about SHRM’s advocacy efforts throughout 2016, with remarks from SHRM CEO Hank Jackson and SHRM’s Vice President of Government Affairs, Mike Aitken.

In his speech, Hank Jackson reminded an audience of over 100 SHRM members that:

“We are an authoritative voice on workplace issues in Washington, D.C. and beyond. Last year, Congress and federal agencies turned to SHRM for input more than 100 times.”  

Given this level of outreach, it is clear that policymakers and congressional leaders are actively exploring ways to help our nation’s employers navigate workplace policy in a way that expands opportunities for the workforce of the 21st century. And, they are increasingly reaching out to HR for our expertise!

Public policy should allow employers and government to each play a role in educating and training employees to help them become more productive and better qualified for high-skill, middle-skill, and lower-skill jobs, as envisioned in SHRM’s Principles for a 21st Century Workplace.

Events like the Mayors Forum and the SHRM Member Engagement Event here at the RNC provide an ideal opportunity for SHRM to highlight our public policy priorities to key stakeholders. By ensuring the voice of HR is a part of the conversation - these workplace principles can lead to legislative solutions that ensure a competitive workplace for the 21st century.


Kelly Hastings

Senior Advisor, Government Relations






The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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