When recent high school graduates Nichelle Johnson and Tranetta Luque began their jobs as customer care center clerks at Entergy Corporation, they were excited. They knew they landed well-paying jobs with full benefits, a retirement savings plan and excellent long-term career opportunities at the only Fortune 500 company headquartered in their hometown of New Orleans.What they did not know is that they had their own, equally excited cheering section inside the company, who had been working behind the scenes to bring them on board. This is the story of their journey, a workforce program called Entergy Career Pathways — and how it all started at the Points of Light Conference.
Corporate Social Responsibility
I am lucky to love what I do. For the last eight years I have had the privilege to watch and encourage the incredible growth of civic and social engagement in companies. Over this time, we’ve seen incredible growth – from only 24 percent of companies offering pro bono programs (CECP, Giving in Numbers, 2011) to 56 percent offering such skilled talent to communities today (CECP, 2018). From CEOs speaking out to Super Bowl ads focused on social action, companies are leading and lending talent and resources at an unprecedented scale.
This year’s Northern California wildfires burned more than 600,000 acres – the largest wildfire in California history. The fires were devastating, resulting in the destruction of numerous structures, the displacement of thousands of residents, and several fatalities. While first responders met the wildfires head-on, volunteers also played an important role, providing comfort and counsel for those at risk of losing everything. CSAA Insurance Group’s award-winning corporate volunteer program, AAA Volunteers, empowers and motivates employees to address diverse community needs through volunteer service. In response to the wildfires, employees volunteered to take time from their normal job duties and daily routines to contact impacted customers.
Generations of skilled tradespeople built the Motor City, put the world on wheels, and created the American middle class. In recent decades though, interest in skilled trades careers has diminished among youth and young adults nationwide along with vocational education options. More than half of Detroit’s youth and adults are unemployed and outside the workforce while redevelopment projects are hindered by a shortage of skilled trades workers. At DTE, our focus is on helping revive Detroit’s trade schools, placing high school students in paid summer work experiences and launching a skilled trades program at Henry Ford College in nearby Dearborn.