A significant portion of Covanta's workforce is at or approaching retirement age. Simultaneously, according to the US Census data, by the year 2020 it is expected that forty percent of the workforce will be comprised of millennial and Gen Y employees. This group of new employees will begin to fill leadership positions at Covanta and need to be equipped with the skills necessary to successful. Because of this, Covanta created the Early Career Development Program, aligned with our business objectives to build a pipeline of engaged, high performing talent.
The Early Career Development program will hire high-potential, early career individuals to create diverse-cross functional development experiences to help Covanta meet the following business objectives:
The Early Career Development program's participants will comprise of college students who are graduating with a four-year degree in a STEM related discipline, recent college graduates, senior interns and early career individuals with less than four years overall workforce experience.
The Early Career Development program is three years in duration; two years in the functional area of expertise and one year in a cross-functional department. Managers that elect to participate in the program are responsible for creating and coordinating meaningful assignments that are relevant to the needs of the business and provide professional development opportunities for the participants.
The Early Career Development program was launched in January 2018, followed by a second wave in July 2018. A total of eight employees participated in the 2018 program. The majority of the participants were placed in the Supply Chain organization, aligned with their STEM-focused educational backgrounds. Twenty five percent of the participants were female and 25% were from diverse ethnic groups and veterans. The overall feedback from managers participating in the program was very positive. Managers cited high engagement from the participants as well as innovative contributions from the participants as their highlights. Future plans are to expand the program and leverage the resources and participants of the internship program to grow the Early Career Development program.
At Covanta, we believe that people are our most valuable asset and the diversity and inclusion of our workforce is key to our success. By embracing diversity, we are fostering a work community that opens minds and opportunities - which helps Covanta grow stronger as a company. I'm proud to sign on to the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion pledge as we continue work towards a complete culture of acceptance, tolerance and individuality so we can all learn and grow together.