Monday, April 29, 2013

ILSHRM Capitol Visit 2013… a Great Success

Today's post is from Brian Spencer. He is our intern this semester at ILSHRM as well as RogersHR Consulting.  He will be graduating this May from UIS with a degree in Management and focused on beginning a new career in HR.  He has been a tremendous asset to us in promoting the Advocacy Program here in the state and help coordinate projects for the upcoming Legislative Conference this April.  Connect with him on Linkedin

We had a fantastic group of HR folks travel down to the State Capitol Building this year!  This is the fourth year that we have had our spring conference and capitol visit and the first year that it has rained so I guess we should count our blessings.  Everyone took the weather in stride.  Some car pooled over the few blocks and some of us walked with umbrellas as the rain started to lighten up; falling gently but steadily down rather than sideways.  We met in the rotunda for a few group pictures before descending on our individual local official’s offices.  Many of us even used the tunnel, connecting the Capitol building to the Stratton building next door, for the very first time!
Those who visited the Illinois Statehouse as part of the Legislative Conference

We had our plan of attack ready before we left the conference.  For those of us who knew our official’s names we looked up their office numbers for those that did not we were able to look up our district and get the information we needed.  Then we had a quick debriefing on how to get around the facilities and to best introduce ourselves.  Then we set out wielding our fact sheets and business cards in hopes of meeting with our elected officials.  (Appointments are rather difficult to get more than a few days in advance when the legislators are in session here in Springfield.  Their schedules are much more flexible while at the local offices, but then you don’t have the opportunity to see the legal process in action!)  For some, it was our first time to see the state legislature in session, since our fourth-grade field trip to the Capitol - or ever.  Others were able to help direct traffic because of their familiarity with the facility.  It was fascinating to sit in the gallery and observe the bills being debated and voted upon.  I can’t promise that every bill is exciting as the scenes in the recent movie Lincoln, but it is a tremendous learning experience nonetheless. 

I loved hearing so many great stories coming from those that participated in the experience.  It is great to have so many of us to share in the excitement of the day together.  Overwhelmingly, the experiences were quite positive in dealings with the staff as well as some who were able to meet with their legislators that day!  We hope to be sharing some of those success stories in the weeks ahead.  I expect that several of us will have the opportunity to continue these new relationships in the local offices in the months ahead.  As those relationships begin to flourish, we will have more capacity to help educate our legislators in the world of HR and offer our unique perspectives into how potential legislation can impact our businesses and our workforce.  My hope is that by this time next year we will have even more of us to help lead the way for the others who are joining the wave of Advocacy for the first time.  If you have an interest in getting involved
with your local legislators click here and we will get some basic information to you to help equip you to make an impact where you live and work.