From street to corporate suite
Many companies large and small support the Tulsa Area United Way each year through workplace campaigns. Last year, employees at HILTI took that support one step further.
We served as a United Way Trailblazer for several years,” said Shelli Hartman, HILTI Logistics Analyst. “But we wanted to take our support beyond the financial.
HILTI designs and manufactures tools and other products for the construction industry around the world.
After some exploration, Shelli, her co-workers, and the company’s leadership formed a partnership with Street School, an alternative public high school in Tulsa and United Way partner agency.
They decided to recruit five interns from Street School to work in various departments at the company according to the students’ areas of interest. But first, the students had to develop a resume, apply for the positions, and go through interviews.
Once hired, the students completed standard on-board training for all new HILTI employees.
Then they were assigned to five different departments, including Credit Services, Corporate Communications, Customer Service, Finance, and Training. They work three days a week, functioning as typical employees and even eating lunch in the company cafeteria.
Each Tuesday, the students assist HILTI staff with planning their annual United Way campaign, providing them with experience in fundraising and community support.
The students’ six-week tenure culminates in lunch with the CEO.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Kevin Alvarado, a senior at Street School. “It’s definitely got me thinking about my career path.” Several of the students would like to work at HILTI in the future.
“We’ve had the privilege of witnessing these students achieve confidence and professional growth,” said Ashley Cunningham, HILTI Credit and Collections Lead, who serves as a mentor to Kevin.
The first cohort “graduated” this spring. A few days later, a new crop of five interns began work at HILTI.
“They really received a jump on their professional careers,” Shelli says. “They discovered with they are capable of doing.”