Pioneer Partner Western & Southern Ready for Year Four

Western & Southern Financial Group has been a Partner in DPCR’s Corporate Work Study Program since the school opened, and Vicki Alford has been a supervisor since day one. As she recently bid her student workers farewell for the summer, she was already looking ahead to the next school year. “DPCR will have its first graduating class next spring and it’s rewarding to know we’ve been a part of that from the very beginning. I’m excited for these students,” says Vicki.

Western & Southern is making a difference in young lives because the company leaders understood the potential impact of the CWSP from the start. “Our corporate executives have a commitment to education and the improvement of our city. They were fully on board from the beginning with this program,” Vicki explains.

Vicki (shown here with student worker Montazia) has helped to carry that commitment forward and she has seen growth in both the students and the program. “In the beginning I was concerned would there be enough work to keep the students busy? That turned out to be a total misconception on my part. I started with simple tasks and as time went on, learned they’re capable of more complex and high volume work,” she says.

Student Montazia Campbell spent five days a month working for Vicki in supply chain management during her just-completed freshman year. Her tasks included preparing and processing mailings, filling supply requests and performing inventory. Her co-workers frequently praised the speed and accuracy of her work.

Montazia is considering a career as a computer technician or pediatrician, and believes this first work experience will benefit her no matter what path she chooses. “I feel like I already have a great start on my resume after only one year of high school. When I’m ready to go to college, I think I’ll be one of the youngest ones with a four-year professional resume,” she says.

 “This is an excellent program to show students what it’s like to be part of the business world and prepare them for the future,” says Vicki, “and we love the additional resources and help they provide our department.”

Kim Chiodi, senior vice president of human resources, comments on another benefit. “Most people don’t grow up thinking they’d like to work in insurance. This program exposes young people to many different career paths they might never consider, so it’s valuable for both students and employers.”

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