PNC Leverages High Schools as Way to Address Entry-Level Skills Gap

NORTHAMPTON, MA/ACCESSWIRE/January 25, 2023/ PNC Financial Services Group

The PNC Financial Services Group, Wednesday January 25, 2023, Image from press release

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There’s a problem in the job market, and PNC has become a leader in helping to solve it with an impactful program.

Before the pandemic, 70% of employers in Pittsburgh, where PNC is based, cited a skills gap between what they needed and what was available in the current talent pool1.

This skills gap, combined with the 22% of workers expected to retire within 10 years – and no group of comparable size to replace them – concerns business leaders.

This workforce landscape prompted PNC to seek input from nonprofit, business, and school leaders to create PartnerUp with high schools and major employers across Southwest Pennsylvania. The program offers high school students the opportunity to write their resumes, sharpen their interview skills, and develop other skills in preparation for interviews with potential employers. Since its launch in February 2018, the program has created a talent pool of early-career professionals ready to enter the job market upon graduation from high school in entry-level positions.

“PartnerUp empowers high school graduates to enter and thrive in a job market that needs their skills,” says Brianna McMeekin, talent program manager at PNC. “Employers partner with teachers and parents to provide engaged guidance, real-world opportunities and ongoing support. Graduates then take the first step on a path that leads to a fulfilling and secure future – for themselves and the community. community they inhabit.”

The program and its impact

The program has been rolled out to 50 high schools and more than 6,000 students to date, providing a curriculum for 11th and 12th graders. Accent for 11e graders focuses on teaching students about career decision-making, financial literacy, and professionalism, among other topics.

In Grade 12, students focus on resumes, interview preparation, and identifying skills they can use to market themselves. This level of program is only for students who have decided to start their career right out of high school, rather than going on to post-secondary education.

Throughout the program’s five-year history, 16 employer partners have participated and offered students the chance to land positions in a variety of industries. PNC has offered positions in the company to more than 70 graduates of the program. Niko Haughey, senior detection and investigation analyst at PNC, was among 70 PartnerUp graduates to receive an offer from the bank.

“PNC gave me a way to get my foot in the door and demonstrate what I was capable of,” says Haughey, who joined PNC in 2019 as a bank teller. “The combination of courses focusing on the hard and soft skills you need to succeed, and the mentorship and job shadowing opportunities we were afforded really prepared me to step into my first role.”

Expand Effort

In 2022, the need to close the skills gap remains paramount. Three out of four global employers have experienced a talent shortage of around 75%2.

To meet talent development needs beyond Pittsburgh, PNC has expanded PartnerUp to its Cleveland market and plans to offer the program in the Birmingham, Alabama market during the 23-24 school year. . The PartnerUp team is also building resources and support for PNC markets interested in bringing program components to their regions.

Vicki Henn, director of human resources at PNC, says the program’s vision has always been to develop a scalable model that could be rolled out to other regions.

“With the expansion of PartnerUp, we are working with more local employers and education partners to equip local high school graduates with the skills needed to land entry-level careers in high-demand sectors such as healthcare. healthcare and financial services, without the burden of student loan debt,” says Henn.

Invest in the talent pool and community

PartnerUp represents a shift in the way PNC and other employers view the job market, investing in talent in new ways instead of simply consuming it, Henn says.

“As a talent-driven company, we are committed to investing in impactful skills development programs and educational initiatives that help drive career growth and economic opportunity in the communities we serve,” adds- she.

McMeekin sees PartnerUp as more than a way to leverage early-career talent, saying the program is also about adding to the communities PNC serves.

“Ultimately, our goal is to invest in communities,” McMeekin said. “We want to ensure that our high school graduates have a clear understanding of all the opportunities available to them upon graduation and that they are prepared to apply their talents productively to make a difference in their careers. community, the local economy and their future.

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Contact information:
Spokesperson: PNC Financial Services Group
E-mail: [email protected]

THE SOURCE: PNC Financial Services Group

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