Introduced in 2020, ITW’s “Do More” Agenda reaffirms our commitment to promoting and supporting more inclusive economic growth and opportunity in underserved communities. As part of this commitment, we have expanded our investment and engagement in organizations, programs and partnerships that improve access to a high-quality education and to meaningful employment opportunities for African Americans.
Within ITW’s Food Equipment Group, the leading supplier of food service equipment and service worldwide, Hobart Service has developed a national fellowship program aimed at providing long-term employment opportunities for students enrolled in technical colleges in underserved and disadvantaged communities.
Launched in 2021, Hobart Service works cross-functionally with partner schools to promote education and full-time opportunities in good paying jobs. Each person accepted into the program is a part-time employee, receiving both classroom and on-the-job training to become a food service equipment technician for commercial-grade food equipment commonly found in restaurants, hotels and universities. Each employee’s related educational costs are paid in full by ITW through to certificate completion. During the training period, employees are provided personal protective equipment, necessary tools and an ITW mentor who works with them for on-the-job training. Upon completion of the program, the part-time employees are offered full-time positions with Hobart Service.
“Skilled technicians are at the core of what we do. From installation to decommission, they are responsible for the entire life cycle of a piece of equipment. It is important that we fill this critical talent need for our business,” said Stephanie Peters, vice president of operations at Hobart Service. “Leveraging our food equipment expertise, this program provides underserved individuals with the right skills and training to position them for success in full-time careers at ITW.”
In addition to tuition support, the program offers mentorship opportunities between students and seasoned ITW technicians. The mentorship is designed to help students better understand the ITW Culture and develop professional skills such as interviewing and customer service techniques. Today, 13 students are enrolled in the fellowship program, with the first student graduating in February 2022.