PNC Bank’s Strategies for Accessibility and Early Career Success

The Next Practices Weekly call series has become a well-attended and wide-ranging discussion for HR leaders each Thursday at 11am ET / 8am PT. On this week's call, i4cp VP of Research Lorrie Lykins and VP of Executive Search, facilitated a conversation with special guest Joshua Stewart, SVP, Head of Talent Acquisition & Outreach at PNC Bank. Here are some highlights from the call:

  • PNC Bank has a long history dating back to its founding in 1845. They are headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but operates in 27 states plus Washington, DC, with over 2,500 branches.
  • Stewart has been at PNC Bank for over 20 years, starting as a financial sales consultant before shifting into HR roles later in his career.
  • Stewart shared about PNC's PartnerUp program that helps attract, retain, and develop early-career employees. The program's mission statement reads: "PartnerUp empowers high school graduates to enter, and thrive in, a job market that's in need of their skills. When employers partner with schools to provide committed guidance, real-world opportunities and ongoing assistance, students will take the first step on a road that leads to a proud, flourishing and secure future -- for themselves and the Communities they call home."
  • The PartnerUp program was first piloted in 2017 following an external inflection point study that showed the region would fall significantly short of skilled workers in the coming years. Full launch came in 2018 in the Pittsburgh, PA area. It then expanded to Cleveland, OH in 2021, and a further expansion in Birmingham, AL has since been announced.
  • The program now involves 65+ schools, 18 employers (including PNC Bank), and multiple community partners.
  • The program especially targets students who are not necessarily focusing on college as their next step after graduation. PartnerUp is a recruiting initiative that builds connection between career-bound high school seniors looking for an alternative to the "college for all" mentality and employers with career opportunities. Some key highlights:
    • Hiring the goal. Retention is the key.
    • Business-facilitated curriculum for high school seniors during the school day.
    • Partner directly with the schools.
    • Unified employer approach supports education partners through single program delivery model with multiple industries represented.
    • Can be an integral part of overall Talent strategy to recruit and retain diverse early career talent.
  • Industries included in this initiative include healthcare, trade organizations, the service industry, financial services, and many others.

Links to resources shared on the call: