First, inspire … someday, hire
First, inspire … someday, hire. That, in brief, is the mantra and motive behind National Grid’s companywide initiatives to ensure the workforce of the future.
It’s also why, for the second year, National Grid was among area businesses to serve as a host company for CNY STEM Job Shadow Day. Fittingly on Feb. 2, National Grid employee volunteer mentors welcomed 20 students – participants in the Le Moyne College Liberty Partnerships Program – to shadow them and explore the working world.
Event host and longtime STEM champion Wally Dengos, Community and Customer Management, kicked off the morning’s activities with a brief company overview and a healthy dose of inspiration. To break the ice, students and mentors then competed in an engineering challenge to build the tallest structure they could, using provided materials. The hard part? The materials consisted of paper, rubber bands, masking tape and paper clips – along with strands of dry spaghetti, several marshmallows, and a golf ball.
Following were other STEM activities organized by company’s Engineering, Right-of-Way, Outdoor Lighting and Energy Efficiency departments. Then, over lunch, students learned about the company’s Engineering Pipeline Program, which offers high school students a path toward future employment after they have earned a college degree in engineering and met other qualifications.
“Our employee mentors understand what it takes to be successful working for a public utility – the years of study, the range of available jobs and skills required, engineering and otherwise,” said Wally. “Our mentors see themselves in the students, many who are just beginning to consider their career paths. They know that giving their time to share a glimpse of work life and the possibilities of a STEM career is especially important for young people at this time in their lives.”
“I spent part of the day with two young women from Syracuse city high schools who were filled with curiosity, intelligence and drive,” said Alberto Bianchetti, CNY Regional Manager for Customer and Community Management. “National Grid’s willingness to show those two students, and the whole group, what can lay ahead for them with their continued focus is another example of how the company’s engagement with the multi-facets of our local community lifts us all up.”
CNY STEM Job Shadow Day is facilitated by Partners for Education & Business, an affiliate of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York.