Dear HR and Business Leaders,

Words can not express how excited I am about my new role as President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. My involvement with Philly SHRM over the past 10+ years has been one of the best experiences of my professional career and in many ways a catalyst for that same professional growth and development. My experience with the organization has convinced me that Philly SHRM’s members are some of the best and brightest HR and business leaders that our city has to offer.

As HR leaders, we have always had a unique ability to influence the growth and strategy of the businesses we support through maximizing the most important assets of any company…its people. I believe that ability and knowledge is not limited to the organizations we support, but to our community as well.

When I think about the Philly SHRM community, our city has seen unprecedented growth over the past decade. We have seen the revitalization of Center City and the surrounding neighborhoods, we have hosted world leaders, and handled national events in ways other cities could only dream of. Still this growth has not been all encompassing, and at around 26%, our city has the highest poverty rate among large cities in the country and an unemployment rate almost 2% above the national rate. At the same time, CEOs consistently rank building talent or finding the right people with the right skillsets as one of their highest priorities for future growth.

In preparation for my presidency, I have spent time talking to our members and workforce development leaders and I think Philly SHRM can help to bridge this gap. During my tenure as President, in addition to all the amazing work we currently do at Philly SHRM through programming, thought leadership, and professional development, we will be focusing on strengthening the talent pool in the Philadelphia area as a whole. We have launched a new Workforce Development committee and begun establishing partnerships that will create new pipelines of talent to our member’s organizations and opportunities for those in our community.

Whether you are an HR practitioner, a business leader, or a community leader, I encourage you get involved with SHRM and look forward to your support as we embark on this journey!

Jameel Rush, PHR, SHRM-CP
President, Philly SHRM