Featured Committee: NHEW Aims to Engage New and Younger Workers

Earlier this year, we began profiling different SEA committees to highlight the work those committees and their members do. This week, we talked to Alicia L’Esperance and Tracy Rousseau, both members of the SEA’s newest committee, New Hampshire’s Emerging Workforce, or NHEW for short.

Still in its infancy, NHEW is technically an ad-hoc committee that was approved by the Board of Directors last year. NHEW is a member-driven outgrowth of SEIU’s Millennials program, which was created in 2012, that focuses on engaging newer and younger workers.

Question: What does your committee do? What function does it serve in the SEA?

Answer: We are a welcoming group looking to raise up the voices of all workers. Our audience is all workers who are interested in learning about the union and how they can get involved.

Question: What would happen if the committee didn’t exist? (Put another way, if there was no committee, what wouldn’t get done)

Answer: The connection to new workers coming onboard might not happen. We host educational events for younger workers, so those likely wouldn’t exist. The union would also be lacking the voice of the newer and younger workers, which was much of the impetus to create the committee in the first place.

Question: How many are on the committee?

Answer: Eight are currently involved.

Question: Can anyone be on the committee?

Answer: Yes. Any SEA member who’s interested in moving forward the interests of newer and younger workers and bringing about change is welcome.

Question: How often does the committee meet, and what kind of time commitment is involved? What’s a typical meeting like?

Answer: We meet on the first Wednesday of each month. We have an agenda, and everyone is encouraged to participate in the meeting. As an example, this month, we reviewed our last social networking event, talked about getting involved with the SEA’s summer outing, and talked about the minimum wage law (an area of advocacy we’ve focused on) and the work that needed to be done.

Question: Why should SEA members join this committee?

Answer: Current issues matter to us, and we like to have fun when we focus on these issues. We are engaged and like to take action, and we are open to new ideas and leadership in the committee.

If you’re interested in checking out a NHEW meeting or event, you can contact SEA Field Representative Andy Capen at acapen@seiu1984.org.

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