Every year, Covestro participates in SkillShare, working in teams of 3 to 5 employees with nonprofit organizations to solve a well-defined technical or management challenge in approximately 12 to 14 weeks. Patrick Furey, senior global analytics specialist, knew he needed to get involved. His expertise in human resources, core competency development, statistical analysis, and I/O psychology – paired with his passion for helping vulnerable and under-served populations – made him a perfect fit for the Bradley Center’s need to build HR infrastructure within the organization.
The Bradley Center (TBC) is a steadfast nonprofit that is committed to improving the lives of children, youth, and families affected by trauma, mental illness, and behavioral health challenges. TBC was in the process of updating its organizational chart, job titles, job descriptions, and bonus evaluation process, looking to “ignite the passion” in their staff and have a reward process that recognizes staff who go above and beyond expectations on a regular basis.
Read more about their collaboration and Patrick’s experience in this program.
“I first heard about the program through an internal referral. My colleague told me about his great experience participating in SkillShare last year, and I immediately reached out to Rebecca Lucore and Ange Loiseau, who coordinate and run it from the Covestro side of the program.
I wanted to make the world a brighter place, right here in Pittsburgh. I already do exciting work for a great company, but I also wanted to use my professional skills to help contribute to the success of the mission of a nonprofit organization. We live in a world and in a city of many needs. There are people in every community who have needs that would be unmet without the daily efforts of selfless and service-oriented people, many of whom work for nonprofit organizations. There are literally thousands of these nonprofit organizations serving the needs and interests of the people of Pittsburgh alone, and they need our help. Resources are often scarce for these nonprofits, especially for professional consultation. SkillShare offers the bridge I was looking for between nonprofits and Covestro professionals to build solutions to major challenges these nonprofits are facing.
The Bradley Center partnered with the Covestro Center for Community Engagement’s SkillShare initiative to help them build important HR infrastructure. I have a background in Industrial & Organizational Psychology and have been an internal or external consultant of strategic HR professional services my entire career. For me, this project was a perfect fit to my skills! The project gave me the opportunity to further master and develop these skills.
There were also people on my project team who came from very diverse backgrounds and functional areas in Covestro. Some of the most helpful and creative ideas for our project, and other 2018 projects, came from Covestro team members who had subject matter expertise in different disciplines. SkillShare initiates each program cycle with a survey to assess relevant skills, then matches you with a nonprofit project and team of Covestro colleagues accordingly. You just need to remain open to creative ways to use your skills, and be courageous enough to offer your ideas to your project team. Regardless of the project to which you are assigned, you will have a tremendous opportunity to develop yourself and your Covestro and community networks.
For anyone thinking about participating in the future, consider the following:
We have all learned incredibly valuable and useful skills in the course of our careers. We are surrounded by the needs of our fellow Pittsburgh’ers, our neighbors, every day. Our neighbors need our help, and you have the skills they need. The SkillShare program has already discovered their needs. All you need to do is accept the mission. How will you make Pittsburgh a brighter place in 2019?”
And what did TBC think of the collaboration? Executive Director Lisa Fox said,
The project will improve the effectiveness of our HR evaluation process. The Covestro team was able to make significant progress towards a great tool for us. Our hope is that improved core competencies/evaluations will assist us with staff retention. We were blessed to have been a part of the SkillShare program. The team challenged, inspired, and delivered to our agency with impressive results!
If you would like to participate in SkillShare as an individual, employee, or company or learn more about the program, contact Covestro Center for Community Engagement Associate Director Yvonne Van Haitsma at (412) 397-6002 or firstname.lastname@example.org.