HR association provides resources

Billie Hartley
Billie Hartley

When you think of networking, the first thought that comes to mind might be hunting for a job and using your connections to find positions to which to apply

While the benefits of networking are obvious for job seekers, they’re sometimes underestimated when it comes to business and human resource management. Networking is an important part of any successful business, organization or HR department simply because no one has all the answers. We can all use advice from like-minded colleagues or the chance to compare ourselves to others or what others have done. Networking offers a way to accomplish this.

While networking opportunities for HR professionals can be scarce in the region, networking is among the many benefits the Western Colorado Human Resource Association offers. In fact, the WCHRA is a network of HR professionals who gather to support one another and improve the HR profession.

Because of the support the WCHRA offers, I consider my own membership invaluable. Since my business is a small sole proprietorship, I’m the only HR person. So being a member is like having a personal consulting team available at every monthly program event. I rely on other WCHRA members as a sounding board for my ideas and to talk through issues. Some of the topics I’ve discussed at meetings include social media use by my employees while working, my overall social media policies, getting the best return on investments in employee training and employee benefit options.

In addition to networking and monthly programs, member benefits of WCHRA include job posting opportunities, HR certification study groups and recertification credits. That’s not to mention access to numerous resources, such as the members only section of the website, timely legislative updates and professional growth and development WCHRA can also help with scholarships for HR certifications, and members receive discounted rates for WCHRA events.

One of these upcoming events is the WCHRA spring conference and legislative and case law update set for April 19 at Two Rivers Convention Center  in  Grand Junction.

This conference constitutes the largest gathering of HR professionals on the Western Slope and prepares HR professionals to respond to new developments driven by federal and state legislation and employment case law.

In addition, the spring conference will offer vendors an opportunity to connect in person with current and potential clients by sponsoring an exhibition table. As with past events, WCHRA has built time into the program and will offer an incentive encouraging participants to connect with every exhibitor.

Registration for members and vendors is under way at the website at

Whether you own or manage a business or organization or work as an HR professional, I highly recommend looking into the WCHRA and attending events like the spring conference.

Billie Hartley is a small business owner, member of the Society for Human Resource Management and director of public relations and marketing for the Western Colorado Human Resource Association. For more information about WCHRA, visit