Spearheading civic leadership to build next generation careers

Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology’s president, John Ricciardelli, serves as the chair of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Development Committee. The committee’s goals are to help attract new employees to regional employers for skilled and trade positions and retain existing talent in the region. The committee is working with businesses, higher education, K-12, trade schools, innovation campuses, and faith-based leaders to develop a shared understanding of workforce needs, opportunities, and barriers.

The Honeywell FM&T team is also working to promote and connect these career paths to students. Honeywell is partnering with key civic organizations including not only the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, but also the Civic Council and Kansas City Area Development Council, to spearhead workforce development in our community and connect the new generation to careers in manufacturing.

Supporting youth through scholarships

A top priority for Honeywell FM&T’s community program is to advance strategic objectives through supporting workforce development programs and providing scholarships.

Due to a national shortage of skilled laborers, developing the next generation of highly skilled workers is critical not only for the future workforce demands at the Kansas City National Security Campus, but also is a growing need for other manufacturers, construction companies, and industry across the Kansas City community.

Examples include the Black Achievers Engineering Scholarship and the Honeywell Opportunity for Prosperity through Education (HOPE) Scholarship program, which focuses on recruiting low- to moderate-income students from urban high schools who plan to pursue training for careers in the manufacturing sector.

HOPE Scholarship

The heart of Honeywell’s workforce development effort is the Honeywell Opportunity for Prosperity through Education (HOPE) Scholarship. The program is designed to recruit and develop the next generation of skilled workers and provide rewarding career opportunities to students from economically challenged communities. The scholarships are exclusively for students who plan to pursue careers in manufacturing, skilled trade, or information technology. In addition to the scholarship, the students are also paired with Honeywell mentors for career coaching and support.

In 2018, Honeywell awarded 20 HOPE Scholarships to deserving students in Kansas City and New Mexico. Honeywell also offered a summer internship to Dylan Hernandez, a 2017 HOPE Scholarship recipient. Dylan spent the summer working with engineers on computer simulation and modeling projects.

The HOPE Scholarship program aims to break the cycle of poverty in the urban core by providing youth with the training and mentorship needed to land a high-paying job, without incurring college debt. The HOPE Scholarship provides funding to cover all expenses at community college or trade school, including tuition, fees and books.

Nyeland-Shuth Scholarship

The annual Nyeland-Shuth Scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors whose parent or legal guardian is a current or retired Honeywell employee. Applications are evaluated on academic achievement, creativity, leadership, and involvement. In 2018, 10 children of Honeywell employees received $1,000 scholarships to help pay college expenses.

Black Achievers Society award and youth mentorship

Honeywell FM&T continues its support and involvement with the Black Achievers Society. Honeywell has been a partner of the Black Achievers Society since its inception in 1974, and more than 50 current and former Honeywell employees have been inducted into the Society.

The mission of the Black Achievers Society is to “actively respond to the educational, social, and economic needs of the community by providing role models for African Americans and minority youth, sharing knowledge gained through academic and corporate experience.”

The organization was founded by Kansas City Mayor Emanuel Cleaver to honor African Americans in business and industry. Its work includes awarding annual scholarships to area high school seniors and mentoring and internships for area youth.

In 2018, Honeywell employees Offie Adams III and Tamara Gibson were inducted into the Black Achievers Society. Honeywell also has several employees who are officers of the organization.

Honeywell’s Black Achievers are involved in many activities to support the mission, including mentoring students at the Youth Leadership Development Workshop, sponsoring the Youth Scholarship Luncheon, and managing the annual golf tournament that raises funds for youth in the community. The value and hours of volunteer time totaled more than $5,000.

Diversity, inclusion, and celebrating women of color

Diversity and inclusion are key priorities in Honeywell FM&T’s community program and a major driver of our workforce development efforts.

As part of this commitment, 20 Honeywell employees attended the Women of Color Leadership Conference at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on June 15, 2018. This opportunity not only offered valuable professional development, but also celebrated Honeywell commitment to diversity and inclusion.

The conference’s keynote speaker was CNN’s Anna Navarro, a political Strategist. Navarro’s remarks included observations about the increase in racial tensions, hate crimes, and divisiveness since the 2016 election.

Navarro also expressed optimism about the future.

“It feels a bit to me like a Charles Dickens film. It is the best of times and it is the worst of times,” she said. “We are in the best of times because we are out, we are proud and we are loud. We are unafraid because we are more united and stronger than ever,” said Navarro.

Navarro highlighted the strength of the millions of women who participate in marches and refuse to purchase brands that are aligned with offensive causes. She also emphasized the positive development of more women of color running for elected office.

The event featured a “Power of Sisterhood” theme, driving home unifying principles to inspire all women in the quest for equality and advocacy.

Members of Honeywell’s Young Professionals and Hispanic Employee Resource Groups attended the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Noche de Gala in November 2018.

Members of Honeywell’s Young Professionals and Hispanic Employee Resource Groups attended the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Noche de Gala in November 2018.

Honeywell also supports a variety of diversity and inclusion initiatives in our community including:

  • Memberships in the Asian Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • Sponsorship of the Women’s Foundation Annual Meeting

  • A $35,000 technology grant that enabled Central Exchange, the leading professional development organization for women in Kansas City, to offer virtual programming to all its members for the first time. This new funding allows all of Central Exchange’s members and Honeywell’s employees to conveniently participate in Central Exchange’s professional development programming right from their desktops, saving them valuable time.

  • Forty Honeywell employees attended Central Exchange’s Leadership Lyceum for a full-day of inspiration and leadership development.

  • Through involvement with the Central Exchange, Honeywell employees have access to a wide variety of professional development events throughout the year.

MakerSpace helps build tomorrow’s workforce

Building the workforce of the future is a major priority for Honeywell’s community program.

As part of the workforce development initiative, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City and Honeywell revealed the new Teen MakerSpace at the Thornberry Unit in Kansas City on June 21, 2018. The new MakerSpace is a place for teens to explore their creativity and engage in STEMM activities while using cutting-edge technology.

Honeywell conceptualized, designed, and funded the project. The new space at the Thornberry Unit features two 3D printers, a laser cutter, CNC desktop mill, electronic equipment, video and photography studio, and an assortment of arts and crafts supplies.

“We designed the MakerSpace to be the ultimate place for teens to gather to create, invent, and learn,” said John Ricciardelli, president of Honeywell FM&T. “We hope they will use the space to not only explore their creativity, but explore possible careers based on the skills they develop in the lab.”

Volunteers from Honeywell spent several weeks installing equipment and getting the technology ready for the teens to use. Some of the first projects created in the space were featured at the reveal event, including cookies made using 3D printed cookie cutters and decorated with stencils produced with a Cricut machine. The teens also wore shirts they designed.

Candy, Vice President of Child Programs & Operations, mentioned that what has transpired in the space in just a couple weeks is amazing. She said it has helped some of their more troubled kids focus and has given them an avenue they didn’t have because they weren’t interested in sports or other activities.

—Ryan Matthews, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City Board Member