In 2011, Alcoa Foundation began to track its grants dedicated to reaching diverse populations and promoting inclusiveness. From the global partnership with Girl Scouts of the USA to employing people with disabilities at Point Henry Café in Australia, to more than 100 employees who serve as mentors to U.S. veterans, Alcoa is reaching people of all backgrounds in an effort to make organizations and communities stronger.
As the world evolves, so do the skills needed to stay competitive. To prepare communities for these changes, Alcoa Foundation focuses on programs that increase the number of students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) initiatives.
Reaching out to the next generation of workers starts with programs that engage young minds. In March, Alcoa Foundation awarded $25,000 to the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK), a program developed by the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to raise the interest of STEM in underrepresented minority students.
In support of this program and recognizing the importance of engaging a broader audience, Alcoa invited NSBE members who attended the annual convention and career fair in Pittsburgh to use Twitter to share their thoughts and experiences. Alcoa’s Recruiting Center of Excellence partnered with the Alcoa African Heritage Network (AAHN), one of Alcoa’s affinity groups that support diversity across the company’s worldwide operations, to plan the “Tweetup.”
Approximately 70 Alcoa employees supported the event as volunteers, including Everick Spence, Plant Manager of Alcoa’s Kawneer plant in Springdale, AR and co-chair of AAHN. There were also 20 Alcoa employees conducting onsite interviews for full-time jobs and internship positions.
More than 200 NSBE student members, faculty and administration from Alcoa’s 18 Campus Partnership colleges and universities across the U.S. tweeted #iwannawork4Alcoa, resulting in nearly 1,600 tweets. Students attended the interactive exhibits from the Alcoa Innovation Center, a showcase of Alcoa initiatives in sustainability and technology, and learned about careers at Alcoa from several business unit leaders and corporate recruiters.
To date, five full-time job offers and 16 internship positions have been accepted by NSBE members who attended the career fair. While the investment was relatively small, the gains were significant, demonstrating that deployment and integration are key.
While this was a great opportunity to expose minority Millennials to a mining, manufacturing and innovation company and connect people through social media, Alcoa’s involvement with NSBE extends far beyond the “Tweetup.” The company has also become a member of the NSBE Board of Corporate Affiliates to further enhance its efforts to recruit talented engineers and support NSBE’s 30,000 members.
Alcoa Foundation’s STEM and workforce development partnerships are integrated into a Talent Value Chain for the next generation of skilled operators and trades people, engineers, designers, and managers. Support for STEM education provides the base for more students to have the academic and career knowledge required to continue their studies at two- and four-year academic institutions. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation will invest $1.1 million in STEM and workforce development programs.