July 31, 2020
NSBE 2020: Q&A with Kenya Jacobs
As a company that embraces challenges, we’ve seen most national conferences shift from large, in-person events to fully virtual experiences in 2020. Attendees across the country now participate through various technology platforms, where video and live chat have replaced the traditional conference booth. Kenya Jacobs, Diversity Recruiting and Workforce Development Leader, shares what she's looking forward to this year at NSBE 46.
What are you looking forward to about the upcoming conference? I am excited about another opportunity to engage with the engineering and technology talent found in our National Society of Black Engineering collegiate and professional chapters from across the US. This will also be one of our first opportunities to introduce the new Trane Technologies to this technical community. For the first time, we will see NSBE's talent virtually at the start of the recruiting season. The virtual format will allow us to engage talent that might have been challenged to travel to NSBE at the start of the academic calendar. Additionally, Trane Technologies will have an opportunity to engage more of our team members and leaders to participate in the virtual conference.
What can attendees expect to learn about Trane Technologies this year at NSBE? They will learn that we are now Trane Technologies, a new company focused on leading innovation in the climate solutions industry. We are also investing in experiences to grow awareness in our diverse engineering talent pools to the career opportunities within the technical sales career path.
What can you share about how our partnership with NSBE has evolved over the years? Our first engagement with NSBE was participating in NSBE 39 in Indianapolis, IN. Individuals from our Black Employee Network led that event and advocated for our participation based on their personal connections to this organization. Over the years, we have expanded our partnership and became members of the Board of Corporate Affiliates. We are committed to partnering with NSBE in their drive to develop culturally responsible Black engineers who will have an impact within the profession and their communities. Last fall, the Ingersoll Rand Foundation approved a $90K grant to the National Society of Black Engineers. The grant is an investment in the NSBE Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) virtual event along with supporting programs for three NSBE Jr. Chapters (Columbia, SC, Charlotte, NC and Minneapolis, MN).
How are you approaching this conference, adapting from in-person to virtual? I am finding it easier to start from scratch and consider what experience we want to create for virtual attendees. We are planning some pre-NSBE engagement offerings and communications to share the organizational shift and name change. We are also looking at ways to provide micro content that is easily consumable to support the experience of those navigating this new format.
What types of opportunities are you looking to fill? We have multiple early career development program opportunities with Trane Technologies, that provide an opportunity to apply learnings from the academic setting in a practical engineering or technology environment. We also have opportunities for engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset in our regional sales offices supporting our commercial business. In addition to our development programs, there are internship opportunities in engineering (mechanical, electrical, manufacturing, computer engineering) and computer science. For experienced engineers, we have our current openings as well.
How can people learn more? I'd encourage attendees to explore the new Trane Technologies website to learn more about our new vision and purpose. Also, please follow our Trane Technologies social channels, found on this page. During the event, we will be hosting a few development and informational events to connect with candidates considering launching their career at Trane Technologies.
Kenya Jacobs joined Trane Technologies in 2012 in the Corporate Talent & Organization Capability Team. Over the last 8 years, she had the opportunity to lead teams in talent acquisition, talent management and learning & development. In her current role, she supports external strategic partnerships, diversity recruiting & workforce development. She is a proud graduate of Spelman College and the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
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