Hiawatha Valley SHRM summer Newsletter


Happy summer! It finally arrived. I’m guessing many of us are thick into trying to figure out how to schedule everyone’s vacation. While it looks like our SHRM chapter is pretty quiet right now, there really is a lot going on to prepare for the 2019 fall season. Programs are being planned, we’re involved in two local steering committees, some of us are studying for the SHRM certification exam, while others are looking at starting a mentoring program and more activities for members new to the profession. And all of this with the goal in mind of keeping true to our 2019 strategic goals: better communication, more opportunities for volunteering, better training for volunteers, and continued excellent programming. With that said, we really do need some new faces for a couple of activities we having coming up in the fall. Give me or one of the other officers a shout if you would like to help. We would love to see you!

Karen Renshaw, President Hiawatha Valley SHRM

Upcoming Programs

September 19, 2019: Marijuana in the Workplace - A Hazy Issue for Employers [more information below]

October 23, 2019: Wage Theft Law, Kate Bischoff

November 21, 2019: Mental Health Initiatives - NAMI

Minnesota Wage Theft Prevention

The Minnesota Legislature passed and the governor signed a new Minnesota Wage Theft Law. The new law amends existing state labor laws and provides for new wage and hour requirements, protections and sanctions. All provisions, except for those amending Minnesota Statutes § 609.52 (criminal wage theft and sanctions), go into effect July 1, 2019. The provisions providing for criminal wage theft and sanctions go into effect Aug. 1, 2019.

Marijuana in the Workplace: A Hazy Issue for Employers



Join us for an interactive workshop to help educate employers and our community.

  • What is Minnesota's Medical Cannabis Program and what are qualifying conditions?
  • Is an employer required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana?
  • Do employers need to change their drug testing programs?
  • What is the latest from the State Capitol on this topic?
  • How should employers be prepared should recreational marijuana be passed into law?

Admission is free! Advanced registration is required. Call Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce at (651) 388.4719 or email frontdesk@redwingchamber.com.

Beat the Heat

Andy Bertram, Hiawatha Valley SHRM President Elect

It’s official! Our three weeks of summer have finally arrived (and you thought it was three months). With summer comes bugs, sweat, humidity, and higher temperatures. If your employees work outside or in a building without air conditioning, the heat also brings the potential for issues such as cramping, exhaustion, and heat stroke. The good news? Most heat-related illnesses are preventable if you properly prepare for your day.

As the humidity and mercury rises, your internal temperature can increase to dangerous levels. Sweat is your body’s natural defense against overheating. Even so, sweat alone will not be enough to protect you from all heat-related illnesses. Here are a few tips to help protect you and your employees from overheating during our three (hopefully more) weeks of summer:

  • Drink lots of liquids throughout the day, preferably water and other non-caffeinated beverages. Caffeine drinks have the ability to dehydrate your body. Depending on your environment, a minimum of eight ounces of water are recommended at least every half-hour.
  • Take regular breaks in the shade, especially if you are performing more strenuous tasks.
  • Perform your most physical activity during the early morning or later in the day if possible.
  • Wear lighter colored clothing and hats.
  • Use sunscreen with at least a SPF of 30 and zinc oxide. Not all sunscreen ingredients are safe, so make sure to read the label.

In addition to these precautions, it is important that your supervisors are trained to know the signs of heat-related illnesses. The CDC has a chart to help you identify these symptoms and how to treat them.

Each person has a different level of risk to heat illness. These risks can increase with age, poor diet, being overweight, medications, alcohol, and lack of water consumption among others. If you or any of your employees start to notice any symptoms of heat stress, make sure to take a break and notify your supervisor.

Be safe this summer!


SHRM Board Member Profile: Katie Hardyman

Title: Director of Business Relations @ Minnesota State College Southeast in Red Wing

HVSHRM Responsibilities: Workforce Readiness Chair & Programs Committee

Spouse: Doug Morem, Goodhue County Building Official (NOT Matt Hardyman...that's my brother! Gross.) Offspring: Evan (23), Project Mgr for a roofing company; Seth (20) junior @ St. John's University & Defensive End on the FB team

Fun Fact: I lived at Hogwarts for 6 months in college.

Alnwick Castle was used for filming 3 of the Harry Potter films and is still the site of SCSU's study abroad program.

Bucket List Item: Bring Evan & Seth to "my castle" which is hopefully going to happen May 2020 when Seth studies in London next year!

Favorite Quote: Life is short and it is here to be lived. ~Kate Winslet

Live Well Goodhue County: Wellness Forum

Live Well Goodhue County is looking to start a new workplace wellness forum in 2020. The meetings would be open to all businesses and would take place bi-monthly or quarterly throughout the year. Each meeting would cover a different workplace wellness topic, with the goal of helping businesses establish or improve their workplace wellness programs.

Live Well Goodhue County Co-Coordinator, Megan Roschen, is looking for input from HR Directors to see if there is interest in this type of group from businesses in the area. If you would like to provide feedback, please contact Megan Roschen at megan.roschen@co.goodhue.mn.us or (651) 385.6140.

Conferences & Continuing Education

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is hosting two SHRM offerings this year.

September 3 - November 22: Online SHRM-CP / SCP Certification Prep

September 19th: MRA HR Conference (in-person or streaming)

Apprenticeship builds business.

Have you considered building your business through an apprenticeship? The Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry has employer resources, education and more to help employers invest in their workforce by building apprenticeship programs.

Stay Connected!

Please add the Hiawatha Valley SHRM email to your safe list to make sure you don't miss out on meeting notices and other important messages from the Chapter. We promise not to share your contact information!


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