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No professional team has ever won the championship in its first year in existence.  Instead, management starts building its team slowly, finding the right people for the right position while honing their skills and giving them the tools they will need to succeed.  Then there comes a time when the organization decides it’s time to see how the team performs under game conditions.  So too with the SHRM Advocacy Team (A-Team), which enters Year 3 of the five-year program to enhance the visibility and credibility of the HR profession among public policymakers. 

The A-Team begins 2012 with its most aggressive start to a calendar year yet.  Three training sessions were held in northern Florida during the second week of January by Big Bend SHRM, SHRM Jacksonville and North-Central Florida SHRM.  Colorado became the first 2012 A-Team target state to host a session when the Colorado Human Resource Association (CHRA) offered a session during its 2012 CHRA Human Resources Conference in Denver on January 20.  Maryland, another 2012 A-Team target state, has two A-Team sessions in January.  The first was held on January 26 by the Frederick County SHRM chapter.  The second, scheduled for January 31, will be held during the Maryland SHRM State Council Day in Annapolis (more about this event is available HERE).

Also in place are monthly educational and engagement webcasts for A-Team Advocacy Captains and HR Advocates.  These sessions are typically scheduled for the third Thursday of the month at 4:00 pm ET.  Nine A-Team webcasts were held in 2011, with attendance varying from just under 100 to well over 300.  Due to scheduling conflicts, the first A-Team webcast of 2012 was held on January 26.  Future webcasts may be subject to rescheduling as policy issues that require immediate attention arise.  These sessions are exclusively for A-Team members-only.  Not a current A-Team member but you’d like to become one?  Join the effort at

As the A-Team enters its 20th month in existence, some of you may wonder what has been accomplished.  To date, the initiative has built an email list 8,000 strong.  Over 2,700 SHRM members have participated in over 70 information and training sessions, designed to educate them on how to be an effective HR advocate with congressional offices located in their home communities.  Over 900 volunteers are now engaged, with another round of Advocacy Captains (key contacts within each of the 435 congressional districts across the country) expected to be formally announced in February.  This latest round of Captains will bring SHRM’s A-Team coverage to 128 congressional districts, about 50% of the total number of districts included in the states rolled out under the program in 2010 and 2011 states. 

he SHRM Advocacy Team is helping the voice of HR be heard.  Just over 100 face-to-face meetings with legislator were held by the A-Team during 2011. 

Even the Society’s volunteer leaders understand the importance of sharing their personal stories with their legislators.  In March of 2011, 227 attendees of the Employment Law and Legislative Conference “hiked the Hill” to educate and inform their elected officials, a 23% increase over 2010.  Later in November, 310 members of SHRM’s volunteer leaders attending the Leadership Conference arrived early to join together as a chorus before Congress on behalf of HR, a 77% increase over 2010.

How can your voice be heard by your legislators?  Join the A-Team today by visiting  Not certain what the A-Team is all about and interested in learning more?  See fellow SHRM members discuss their efforts at or read more about the program at  You too can learn more about SHRM’s legislative efforts for 2012 by attending the Employment Law and Legislative Conference in March.  More information and registration is available at

Future A-Team sessions are scheduled as follows:

  • Feb. 1 – WV (2011 target state), during the West Virginia SHRM State Council’s HR Day at the Legislature (more information)
  • Feb. 14 – OK (2012 target state), during the Sooner HR chapter’s monthly meeting (more information)
  • Feb. 15 – OK (2012 target state), during the Oklahoma HR State Council’s 2012 Legislative Conference: HR Day at the Capitol (more information)
  • Mar. 20 – PA (2011 target state), during the Greater Valley Forge HRA chapter’s monthly meeting (more information)
  • Mar. 27 – IL (2011 target state), during the IL State Council of SHRM’s 2012 Advocacy Day (more information)
  • April 27 – NY (2010 target state), during the SHRM Long Island chapter’s Annual Conference and Exhibitor’s Showcase
  • May 18 – CA (2010-2012 target state), during the CA State Council of SHRM’s Legislative Conference
  • Sept. 14 – ID (2012 target state), during the ID State Council of SHRM’s Annual Conference
  • Sept. 20-21 – WY (2012 target state), during the WY SHRM State Council’s Annual Conference (more information)

Additional 2012 A-Team target states that are still finalizing their A-Team session plans include: Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa and Tennessee.  Please contact David Lusk, SHRM’s Senior Associate for Member Advocacy at or 703-535-6158, should your council or chapter wish to learn more about hosting an A-Team session.

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