Recruit, Inspire & Retain

August 2008

Ideas for “Marketing” and Providing “Customer Service” to Current and Potential Employees

Great Training for Great Employees

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bullet FUN Days to Celebrate (Call/Email for Ways to Celebrate
FUN Days to Celebrate!)
bullet RECRUIT:  Passing on “Know How”
bullet Dog & Cat Diaries
bullet Who's Wearing Fun Meters?
bullet INSPIRE: Living A Joyous Life In A World That Says “Be Busy”
roller coaster

What FUN WAYS are you and your staff celebrating Summer?

bullet TRAIN: You Hear the Word, “Training” and You Think Facilitator with Group in Room
bullet RETAIN: Are Gas Prices Causing You to Lose Employees?
bullet Professional Development Conferences
bullet Ways to Volunteer & Give

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August is...
Coffee Month (You know you’re drinking too much when you're the employee of the month at the local coffeehouse and you don't even work there.)
Golf Month
Napping Month
Brownies at Brunch Month
Happiness Happens Month

August 1-7 – Simplify Your Life Week
August 10-16 – Smile Week

August 6 – Fresh Breath Day & Pamper Yourself Day
August 8 – Happiness Happens Day
August 12 – Thank You Day
August 13 – Left-Handers Day
August 16 – Tell A Joke Day & Roller Coaster Day
August 17 – #2 Pencil Day
August 19 – Soft Ice Cream Day & Potato Day (How about potato ice cream, huh?)
August 20 – Lemonade Day
August 22 – Eat a Peach Day
August 24 – Can Opener Day & Waffle Day
August 25 – Banana Split Day, Healthy Lifestyle Day, & National Park Day (Again, which of
                   these 3 doesn’t belong?)

August 26 – Toilet Paper Day, Dog Day, & Horseshoe Day
August 29 – Lemon Juice Day, Chop Suey Day, & College Colors Day
August 29 – Toasted Marshmallow Day & Red Telephone Day
August 31 – Eat Outside Day  

Sept. 3 – Do It Day
Sept. 4 – Bright Idea Day
Sept. 6 – Coffee Ice Cream Day, Read A Book Day, & Rent A Movie Day
Sept. 8 – Nose Hair Maintenance Day
Sept. 9 – Hot Dog Day

Email TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. for ideas on how to celebrate any of these days.

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Passing on “Know How”

Subtitle – knowledge retention strategies can keep employees’ workplace-acquired wisdom from walking out the door when they retire – so how is this a recruiting article? You will be more attractive to employers if there is information, training, mentoring for the new person. Many organizations today can’t offer that.

When retirees walk out the door, they take with them everything they've learned on their jobs. Their replacements must slowly regain the on-the-job knowledge the ex-employees spent years accumulating.

In certain industries where special technical information is the norm, a retiree may be the only person who knows how to operate certain heavy machinery or expertly mix a chemical solution.

To prevent valuable information accumulated on the job from getting lost in the transition, HR professionals at many companies are finding ways to retain employees' know-how and best practices so that the information can be passed on to future workers. Capturing--and documenting employee knowledge takes a number of forms. Some companies interview employees and keep written records of their answers. Others make employees the stars of their own "how-to" videotapes. Still others encourage workers seen as experts in specific areas to mentor other staffers or to remain on call after their departure dates.

In addition to capturing instructions for performing everyday tasks, these methods apply to the transfer of so-called soft knowledge, such as tips and tricks that no written manual is likely to include and that the departing employee often doesn't think to pass on.

Making Knowledge Stick
"Retaining employee knowledge has also become a priority at 3M during the past few years as the issue of retiring employees has become more prominent", says Barry Dayton, head of the knowledge management program at 3M headquarters in St. Paul, Minn.

The company applies what Dayton calls high-tech, low-tech and no-tech methods to a gamut of knowledge retention measures. "No-tech tools like storytelling work best for getting to that deep, tactical knowledge," Dayton says. High-tech "searchable knowledge bases are the best tools for knowledge that can be written down."

1 The company's searchable knowledge base, called Maven, makes the job information gleaned from 2,000 technical-service engineers across the globe accessible to all 3M employees. "That's a huge business advantage in an industry where about 30% of the U.S.-based technical-service engineers are set to retire in the not-so-distant future", Dayton says. Maven is a high-tech extension of a database system already in place at 3M's call centers. "Historically, if call center representatives couldn't find an answer to a technical question, they'd ask a technical-service engineer", Dayton says.
2 The tool is complemented by a 3M corporate wiki that employees use to catalog and share expertise.
3 The third tool in the 3M knowledge retention arsenal—considerably less formal than Maven and the corporate wiki—is a technique Dayton calls storytelling. It works like this: A 3M department will identify business scenarios that, though they don't crop up often, happen regularly enough to merit consideration. When they do come up, these events can throw a wrench in day-to-day plant operation. Examples include a switchover to a new machine or a repair to production equipment that takes it offline. After the situations are identified, Dayton's department creates groups of experts--including production, maintenance and engineering employees previously involved in comparable situations--to relate their experiences dealing with a similar event. They "sit in a conference room and have facilitators ask them questions. We use software to map out their diagnosis of what happened" and what they did as a result, Dayton says. "We polish that up a little bit and publish it on their plant portal so that operators, in their spare time or when something happens, can do a quick search."

An Exchange of Ideas
Though IBM has implemented many traditional knowledge management tools, its latest measure takes a slightly different tack than previous projects, says Karen Ughetta, director of learning and knowledge at the information technology giant. Last year, her department spearheaded a Learning Marketplace. The effort combines mentor and apprentice training with a searchable database filled with best practices and useful information.

To launch the project, IBM identified important business sectors likely to see the highest number of retirements in the near future. The company hired a consultant to help analyze the data, Ughetta says. After IBM identified high-priority business units, members of Ughetta's department asked pertinent experts in those units to mentor new employees as well as other employees looking to change jobs or pick up knowledge. Apprentices log on to the Learning Marketplace site to ask mentors questions. The dialogues are stored on the site.

"Most of this is done online, and it's much more valuable than a document," Ughetta says. "With IBM, a lot of people work from their homes, so this can be entirely virtual."

But for all the efforts many companies are making to capture the knowledge of retiring employees, some HR professionals say organizations need to do even more. Laurie Reeves, chief talent officer at the American Cancer Society, is concerned employees won't refer to static documents, whether stored as online dialogues or as written reports. And she's skeptical that employees new to a position will replay online videos.

Because of its makeup—with 6,000 employees and close to 3 million volunteers—the American Cancer Society relies on another approach to allow retirees to continue to impart their knowledge. The society encourages retirees to stay on as volunteers or to remain on call occasionally if a current employee wants to tap their expertise.

Excerpted from HR Magazine, June 2008

Get more tips on recruiting great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.


Lost Knowledge, by David DeLong

Continuity Management: Preserving Comforts Knowledge & Productivity When Employees Leave, by Hamilton Beazley, Jeremiah Boenisch, and David Harden

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Recruitment, inspiration, training, and retention ideasHave a recruitment, inspiration, training, or retention idea or question? Ask by clicking the question mark, and we’ll post your idea or question (and the answer) in Answers & Ideas on Recruiting, Inspiring, Training, & Retaining Great Employees at

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Dog & Cat Diaries

dog diaryThe Dog's Diary
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Dinner! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

cat diaryThe Cat's Diary
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates my capabilities. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter"
I am.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow, but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released, and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird must be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

**TOOL BOX****
"All stressed out and no one to choke" poster Here’s a FREE poster that everyone will LOVE Want more? Email or call 800-469-3560 to find out how to buy packs of posters!

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Fun Meter   * Participants @ Boom Your Business 2008
* People met by the Director of Development of U of MD


Living A Joyous Life In A World That Says “Be Busy”

by TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. own Roz Trieber

"People will show you their good side. Almost everybody has a good side. Just keep waiting. It will come out."R.Pausch

Is This Your Average Day?
You wake up in the morning; you're grouchy, you already decided it is going to be a "bad" day; you begin complaining about not being able to get all of the things done on your "to do list," and you don't expect much help from your co-workers. After all, you can do the work much better than they do anyway! You are also thinking about the chores your children were supposed to do, and you don't think they will be accomplished to your satisfaction either. Of course there was no time to eat a so called "healthy" breakfast; you'll have donuts and coffee when you get to work. If you're lucky, you might get to eat lunch at your desk; it's almost impossible to change your lunch environment. There's too much work to do. You are full of anger and resentment. You can't get rid of the pain in your back. For some reason you seem irritable most of the time.

By the way, when you do get to go home; is it a martini or a beer or two, or pick up the kids from soccer practice, or maybe you had to pick up the kids on the way home from work, then have a quick bite out or order dinner in, and then it's off to a night of work (house or office).

What Motivates You To Change?
Research demonstrates that something negative usually occurs in your life that motivates you to change your behavior or attitude. Do you have to have a life threatening event occur before you learn what is really important in life and how to balance living in a "busy world" with joy, fulfillment, peace, and fun? Why not let the stress in your life be the tipping point that inspires and motivates you to adopt life transforming habits.

Life Transforming Habits:

Embrace the Habit of Mindfulness: Mindfulness is a state in which one is "attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present." You have so much chatter going on in your head about what was done or not done and what has to be done that you do not pay attention to the NOW or present. When you focus on what is only going on in this very moment, you can achieve a state of calmness, mental clarity, and a feeling of fulfillment (Kabat-Zinn, 2007). These moments have never happened before. What is your relationship with these moments? You only have these moments once. Whatever happened 10 minutes ago, happened; you have a choice to focus on what's happening right now, and not what was and not what you are thinking will happen later.

Let Go Of Judging Everything You And Others Do As You Let Go Of Too Much Attachment To Expected Outcomes. A foundation for reducing and managing stress is to ACCEPT life as it happens without judgment (Kabat-Zinn, 1990). Realize the law of impermanence where nothing in life remains stable; life is uncertain. That doesn’t mean that you never plan for the future. Remember that. We take care of the future by taking care of the present now (Kabat-Zinn, 2007). When you accept the present, let go of judgment, and trust yourself, you will be accountable and responsible for your actions. You will discover you can make the best of your resources and the best of you!

These are habits I adopted that led to my transformation after having lived through pancreatic cancer, pancreatic surgery and learning how to live as a type I diabetic without resentment, anger, and fear.

- I deliberately focus on seeing beauty and good in the world.
- I deliberately focus on interpreting many more things as positive.
- I practice mindfulness everyday.
- I read spiritual books by inspiring authors.
- I lowered my judgmental quotient by 75%.
- I have truly let go of too much attachment to expected outcomes.
- I live in my heart broadening spiritual emotions such as love, gratitude, awe, and transcendence.

I am fully at peace, living a life full of fun, joy, fulfillment, love, and working everyday either writing articles and new e-books about happiness, play, and living fully in the moment or giving presentations on how to Live Life Laughing™.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I gave up the fear of dying from cancer. I choose to live while I am alive. You can too. You don't need any more stress than you have already given yourself.

These habits only work if you are ready to take action and practice. There is no magic pill; only the acceptance of life as it comes to you, the readiness to be attentive to and aware of the present and letting go of becoming too attached to expected outcomes. If you allow yourself to exhibit kindness more often, and let go of having to be right, of having to have the last word, of complaining about everything, and let go of needing permission to laugh and have fun, you can live a joyous life nurturing what is deepest and best in yourself. There won't be enough space on Facebook® to include all of the people who want to be your friend!

Was your day filled with things that made you feel joy, made you feel fulfilled and at peace in a world that says "Be Busy"?

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
Unstuck, by James S. Gordon, M.D.

Order by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.

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You Hear the Word “Training” and You Think Facilitator with Group in Room

Even today, training is still so often thought of as classroom.

A bountiful training budget marks a well-run, forward-thinking company--or so say many human resource professionals. But a study in June's International Journal of Training and Development debunks this line of thinking, at least as it applies to small employers in the United Kingdom.

"Workplace learning is not simply the inferior alternative taken by employers who are unable to offer external training or by those who attach little value to skills," writes John Kitching, a senior researcher for the U.K.'s Small Business Research Center at Kingston University. As evidence, Kitching cites the experience of a rapidly growing digital media agency whose success lies in special service to clients.

But skills development among workers came mainly from structured discussions between small groups of employees. A mismatch between method of learning one’s job and the actions used on the job. How about using the learning methods of a small real estate agency, the most important lessons were learned during routine employee interaction at the workplace and on visits to client premises.orkplace and on visits to client premises.

"Learning and training practitioners might want to consider a wider range of activities than hitherto as creating skill development," he concludes. "Enabling higher levels of workplace learning by restructuring work roles and relationships in order to create an expansive learning environment, or a learning-supportive culture--rather than increasing expenditure on externally provided training--might be the best investment in skill development an employer can make."

Adapted from HR Magazine July 2008

TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC. and plenty of other performance improvement professionals have known that "training" is just a catch-all word for "whatever way people need to learn so they can perform.

Best Definition of Experiential Learning
Active doing rather than passive listening that ensures higher retention & application

We’ve recently added quite a few new Participative Learning Methods to our list.

Click here, print it, post it, refer to it! Call/email us with questions about the Learning Methods you want to know more about.

Make a Comment?

Get more tips on training great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results, by Tim Mooney & Robert Brinkerhoff

The Success Case Method: Find Out Quickly What’s Working & What’s Not, by Robert Brinkerhoff
Order both by emailing or calling 800-469-3560. Mention RIR for 10% off.

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gas prices carAre Gas Prices Causing You to Lose Employees?

This question isn't so much about skyrocketing gas prices as it is about smart recruiting -- and retention -- strategies.

Chances are, many of your current employees share your recruits' anxieties. If you haven't discussed the issue with them yet, you should, says Michael Alter, president of payroll firm SurePayroll, based in Glenview, Illinois. Alter has dealt with gas-price panic at his own company and has seen clients wrestle with it. If you don't address the issue with your current workers, he says, you may have as much trouble keeping them as you do attracting new ones.

Both current and prospective employees will tell you that they are feeling the pain of rising fuel costs. It's your task to figure out precisely how much, by finding out the distance your commuters travel. Arming yourself with the numbers will help you determine whether to offer incentives such as gas cards and/or help employees do the math to assuage their worries. "If it's $1.50 extra per day, forgoing the daily latte can make up the difference," Alter says. "Without somebody helping them to do the math, employees and recruits might make a mountain out of a molehill, and the gas card makes them feel you’re aware."

Transportation bonuses, equivalent to yearly gas costs, may be appropriate for high-level employees, says Bob Kustka, CEO of Fusion Factor, a recruitment firm based in Norwell, Massachusetts. But you have several less expensive options as well. You could give out periodic gas cards, either as a spot bonus or whenever extra driving is required; Alter's workers, for example, get one whenever they put in a Saturday shift. You can also help organize office carpools. And if your employees are looking for more fuel-efficient rides, you could contact local car dealers and try to arrange discounts on hybrid vehicles.

Even if telecommuting isn't an option, you could offer flexible schedules. For instance, you could allow employees to work four 10-hour days a week instead of five eight-hour days. Or you could meet your employees halfway. When Kustka was a human resources executive at Gillette, he arranged for a shuttle to take workers to the office from the nearest commuter rail station. To keep great employees on staff, Kustka says, "You have to find creative strategies to get them to you."

Adapted from Inc. Magazine, August 2008

Carl LaMell, Executive Director of Clearbrook (a non-profit) told me last week he was very concerned about how the economy – especially gas prices – were affecting his staff. He just wanted to do something to make it better. They’d been giving an outstanding performer (chosen by peers) type of award with monetary gift certificate for awhile. Last month they added a gas card.

But that wasn’t enough for Carl’s concern, so they just rolled out a new program — the outstanding performer gets use of a company leased, great gas mileage but spiffy looking car for 1 month and all gas is paid!

When I said that this only helps one employee a month, Car described how motivating this has been for other staff too.

What can you do for your staff?

Make a Comment?

Get more tips on retaining great employees from TRAINING SYSTEMS.

Slash Gas Prices: How to Save Money at the Gas Pump, by Judie Brown (digital)
Gotcha Capitalism: How Hidden Fees Rip You Off Every Day — And What You Can Do About It, by Bob Sullivan

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August 9-12, 2008
Meeting Professionals International World Education Conference, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas,

Information Mapping’s Developing Procedures, Policies, and Documentation Workshops

August 12-14
August 19-21
September 9-11
September 16-18
September 23-25
October 14-16
October 21-23
October 28-30
November 4-6
November 11-13
November 18-20
December 2-4
December 9-11
December 16-18
St. Louis, MO
San Diego, CA
Chicago, IL
Washington, D.C.
New York, NY
Atlanta, GA
Waltham, MA
Phoenix, AZ
Columbus, OH
Houston, TX
Orlando, FL
Waltham, MA
Washington, D.C.
San Francisco, CA

August 14-17, 2008
American Psychological Association Convention, Boston, MA,

August 16-19, 2008
ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership Annual Meeting & Exposition, San Diego Convention Center,

August 25-26, 2008
National Business Travel Association Asia Pacific Conference, Sydney, Australia, http//

August 21-23, 2008
International Special Events Society Eventworld 2008, St. Petersburg, FL,

September 24-26, 2008
SHRM Strategy Conference 2008: Creating the HR Leadership Agenda, Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Palm Springs, CA

September 18-20, 2008
27th Annual Inc. 500 Conference & Awards Ceremony, Washington, D.C.,

September 24-26, 2008
SHRM Management Strategy Conference, The Westin Mission Hills Resort & Spa, Palm Springs, CA,

October 6-7, 2008
Exceptional Boards: Strengthening the Governance Team Workshop, The Fairmont, Chicago, IL,

October 15-7, 2008
Canadian Society for Training and Development Annual Conference 2008, Toronto, CAN,

October 15-17, 2008
HR Executive’s 11th Annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition, McCormick Place, Chicago,

October 27-28, 2008
SHRM Workplace Diversity Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, GA,

January 27-28, 2009
Association Technology Conferencee, Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC,

January 29-30, 2009
Exceptional Boards: Strengthening the Governance Team Workshop, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, National Harbor, MI,

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WAYS TO VOLUNTEER & GIVE has a list of hundreds of organizations that support the military. The Yellow Ribbon Fund is one such group and focuses on injured service members and their families.





K has great tips on green cleaning.
KK & will help you get off junk mail lists.
K has tips on every facet of green living.
K gives advice on replacing old light bulbs w/energy efficient bulbs.
K provides comprehensive "green power" info.
K urges the use of recycled paper.
K helps you plant trees to save the environment.

Going Green At Work
find ecofriendly building materials and services at
buy ecofriendly office supplies at http://www.thegreenoffice.comcom
work from home ideas at 
find jobs and volunteer opportunities with socially responsible organizations at 
Reduce paperwork by invoicing, & paying employees & bills electronically
TRAINING SYSTEMS, INC.  now invoices exclusively by email and is close to paying everyone
         by credit card, PayPal, or automatic debit from checking account)
Encourage employees to use public transportation
Use ceiling fans to reduce air-conditioning costs
Reduce your hot water heater temperature by 2 degrees and insulate the tank
Use energy-saving light bulbs

B.I.G. ON BOOKS is an organization that promotes literacy in underprivileged countries, primarily Africa, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. You can donate books through most Rotary Clubs. B.I.G. also accepts cash donations. Send email to Steve Frantzich at for more information.

Kicking World Hunger is the biggest soccer juggle-a-thon in the world (uh, that we know of), much like a walk-a-thon, but more fun! Participants sign up to juggle a soccer ball thousands of times while raising money to provide hope for children and communities that desperately need it.

Charity Navigator ( is an in-depth, searchable guide to more than 5,000 charities worldwide that aims to encourage "intelligent giving". They rate charities based on their total expenses, revenues, and organizational capacity. If you want to give, but the recent slew of charity scandals has you feeling skeptical about where your money would go.

Take Pride T-Shirts ( was founded by a group of friends who all share the belief that the more difficult the mission facing our military, the more deserving they are of our thanks and support. Each unique shirt design provides a glimpse into the life of a different US Service member who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and is hand silk-screened. The message of the shirts isn’t political, it's about acknowledging, celebrating, and taking pride in the spirit of young Americans who despite facing an extremely difficult job and unpleasant conditions, nonetheless strive to do their job well. Take Pride gives at least 20% of profits to charities and causes that assist combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Set a reminder to visit daily and click this button to help underprivileged women get mammograms. helps you find organizations in your area that spark your interest in volunteering. fights for family-friendly programs and policies at work. honors the heroes and victims of 9/11, by giving ideas for good deeds to perform. helps entrepreneurs by connecting them with backers for short term loans and both make sure the organizations you’re supporting are legit and give the bulk of their money to their mission

Global Volunteers (
You can:
select by type of work project
select by country and date
select by service program conditions
select by cost

Recycle yogurt containers and old toothbrushes!
Recycline’ Preserve partnered with Stonyfield Farm and is recycling yogurt containers into toothbrush handles. Old toothbrushes are used to make plastic lumber for picnic tables. Go to http://www.recycline.comcom for details.

Responsibly Dispose of Your Old Electronics
Donate Old Cell Phones
911 Cell Phone Bank provide free emergency cell phones to needful people through partnerships with law enforcement organizations,

Recycle PCs, cell phones, printers, CDs diskettes, etc., with GreenDisk. For $29.95, they send a 70-pound-capacity box. When it’s full, you download postage from their website and ship it back. Your “junk” then goes to workshops for the disabled and are refurbished.  http://www.greendisk.comm

Donate PCs to National Cristina Foundation,; Goodwill,, Salvation Army,

Recycle PCs and other computer products at Hewlett Packard and Dell. See their websites for details.

Several other places to recycle old PCs:,,

Find local Electronics recyclers at and


SHRM Foundation scholarships: application deadline July 15, 2008, for more information, visit it

US Chamber’s 2008 Small Business of the Year Award: for info or to apply, go to

ASAE’s 2008 Associations Advance America Awards: apply at

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