11th Grade Program
The 11th grade program focuses on general post-high school readiness and teaches students about career decision making, financial literacy and overall professionalism, among other topics. The sessions, which last 40-45 minutes, are embedded in the school day as a class period since the program aims to work with ever member of the junior class in participating schools for career readiness requirements.
12th Grade Program
The 12th grade program is optional for students and zeroes in on developing resumes, prepping for interviews and identifying skills students can use to market themselves to employers. Each session is 2 hours long and includes hands-on activities, homework and deliverables including: completing a strength assessment, drafting an effective elevator pitch, conducting a social media and digital footprint audit, and finalizing a resume. This level of the program is only for students who have determined they want to start their career right out of high school rather than going on to post-secondary education, at least full-time. Roughly 39% of Pittsburgh high school graduates head straight into the workforce, so PartnerUp works to help prepare these students for that transition.
Engage Multiple Stakeholders
Working with students, teachers, and parents has proven to be the most effective way of creating an environment for students to succeed; recognizing that each stakeholder holds an important role in the student’s success.
The program also engages employers across multiple industries to provide more opportunities to students. PNC has partnered with Allegheny Health Network, Peoples Natural Gas Co., Comcast, Giant Eagle, UPMC-Mercy and Matthews International. New in the 2029-2020 school year is a Fayette County contingent led by Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, 84 Lumber, West Virginia University Health System and Ford Business Machines.
Meet students where they are — in the classroom
PNC has dedicated staff spending time in the schools for a hands-on approach to helping students prepare for the workforce. They also focus on creating content that matches career education standards to help fill in the gaps for high school students and by offering real pathways to job opportunities for students who may have otherwise had no direction.
The program, which began as a pilot in February 2018, has already celebrated successes. Ninety three students participated in the pilot with more than 30 applying for roles with partner companies. The second year saw significant growth, with expansion from five schools to nine. The program served 2,500 students. Now in its third year, PartnerUp is serving 3,500 students in 24 school districts across the region. Demand for the program has increased, but immediate plans are to stabilize the current offering and deepening partnerships with existing schools before expanding to be sure there is a strong, scalable model that can be deployed across regions, schools, and employers.
About PNC Financial Services
PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is a bank holding company and financial services corporation based in Pittsburgh, with branches across the US. PNC has partnered with local school districts and other major employers in southwestern PA to provide high school students career readiness support and post-graduation employment opportunities for career tracked jobs.