Seniors land full time jobs through Pittsburgh PartnerUp program

Senior Brayden Fitzgibbon signs with PNC.

Kevin Hutchinson, Staff Writer

Through the Pittsburgh PartnerUp program, run through the Society and Careers class, three students already have landed full-time jobs right out of high school.  

Seniors Brayden Fitzgibbon, Austin Leong, and Kamal Powdyel signed on with PNC, landing positions with full employee benefits.

“I’m going to take a 60-day program (called the Early Career Transition Associate … and through that I’ll become a teller at PNC,” Powdyel said.

Throughout the full-year Pittsburgh PartnerUp program, students learn all the basic tenets of keeping a job, like finances, promotions, and saving for retirement. Once a month, a representative from PNC speaks with the class on a topic.

At the end of the course, students have the opportunity to interview with several local companies, including Giant Eagle, Peoples Gas, UPMC, and PNC. A free way for students to bypass college and trade school, the program allows for a direct move into the workforce. 

For Powdyel, the job brings immediate advantages. 

“They have benefits like college reimbursement,” Powdyel said. “I think I’m going to go for graphic design.”

Teacher Natalie Grattan runs the class at Baldwin.

“We expect the program to grow.” Grattan said. “There are many different pathways to careers. Many employers are willing to pay for college because they want to develop their talent early.”

The program exists at several schools in the area.

“It is an alternative path to a professional career,” Grattan said. “Maybe not everybody might take that path, but it is certainly worth exploring.”