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Winners Announced for the 2021 SHIFT Awards

National Leaders in Hiring and Training Innovations Recognized

What I find so compelling about the SHIFT Awards is that they celebrate the kinds of impact and outcomes for reaching traditionally untapped talent in ways that SHRM exemplifies.”
— Sean Sullivan, SHRM

SANTA FE, NM, UNITED STATES, June 4, 2021 / -- The Close It Summit, produced by Innovate+Educate, has announced the winners of the 2021 SHIFT Awards. The SHIFT Awards were designed to recognize employers who have shifted from traditional hiring, assessment, training, and advancement methods to create new paths to employment, training, and economic opportunity. Applicants submitted innovations that included a focus on invisible or overlooked populations, creating new methods of assessing or training candidates, providing innovative learning pathways to skill- up current employees and candidates, and other solutions that ensure a diverse, work-ready pipeline of talent based on skills.

The winners were announced at the final main event at the Close It Summit by Jamai Blivin, CEO and Founder of Innovate+Educate, and Sean Sullivan, CHRO of SHRM, the world’s largest HR Professional society. “What I find so compelling about the SHIFT Awards is that they celebrate the kinds of impact and outcomes for reaching traditionally untapped talent in ways that exemplify what SHRM advocates for through policy, knowledge, toolkits, and research,” stated Sean Sullivan.

Bosque Brewing/Restoration Pizza and Sugar Plum Bakery were awarded the highest level of award (Platinum) for their inclusive hiring strategies for people with developmental disabilities. Gold category winner TEKsystems/Creating IT Futures was one of the 14 companies honored. “Since the beginning, our relationship with TEKsystems has shared a common mission: Making technology careers more accessible to anyone with a dream and the passion to pursue it,” said Collen Crino, Chief Development Officer for Creating IT Futures. “Together, we’re diversifying the flow of our nation’s IT talent pipeline one help-desk job candidate at a time. We are honored to be part of the amazing group of companies that received this year’s SHIFT Awards.”

Cindy Murphy, one of the SHIFT Award organizers shared, “I am so inspired by the innovative ways in
which the award winners have worked to offer opportunities to those often passed over when it comes to employment and advancement. By sharing their programs, we hope to encourage others to follow their lead and to see the incredible benefits these individuals bring to the organizations that hire them. "

“We are honored to elevate the work of these companies from across the U.S. who have implemented strategies that are critical to the future of working and learning. These companies are leaders providing examples of how shifts in hiring can be done effectively within small, midsize, and large companies,” said Jamai Blivin, CEO of Innovate+Educate.

Company Awards:
Bosque Brewing/Restoration Pizza
Sugar Plum Bakery

Bank of America
Clean Turn
Positive Vibe Foundation
Second Chances Farm
Tek Systems/Creating It Futures
The Bazaar, Inc.
Tyson Foods
We Make: Autism at Work

Honest Jobs
Howdy Homemade

Support Ontario Youth
UNM Hospital

Innovate+Educate is a nonprofit focused on shifting training, hiring, and advancement strategies to ensure the over 100 million low-income workers are provided access to learning and employment leading to lifelong economic success. Our work is a big system change that will support economic mobility for workers and their families. Our team believes in a system shift that will open pathways to career success for millions of individuals while providing employers a much-needed qualified workforce. Learn more about Innovate+Educate at

The SHRM New Mexico State Council is an affiliate of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the leading membership association for over 250,000 human resources professionals worldwide. SHRM New Mexico is a
non-profit, 100% volunteer organization whose primary objective is to support and further the human resource profession in New Mexico. We represent over 1,500 Human Resource Professionals in the state of New Mexico.
Learn more about SHRM NM at

Contact: Tiffany Delgado

Jamai Blivin
+ +1 5056297071
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