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. Sessions last 40-45 minutes are embedded in the school day as a class period, as 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 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. Roughly 39% of Pittsburgh high school graduates head straight into the workforce, so PartnerUp works to help prepare them 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.
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. Of the 93 students who participated in the first cohort, 21 candidates submitted applications to PNC and of those, 11 interviewed and 10 were offered and accepted full-time jobs. Other graduates of the program landed jobs at other partner companies, as well. The second cohort of the program, currently in progress, has expanded from 5 school partners to 10 and is reaching more than 2,500 students with a stronger emphasis on soft skills. 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.