Syska’s SENSE (Syska Employee Network of Support and Education) program is a critical component of our corporate culture. It supports learning, provides guidance for professional development, and promotes collaboration to build on Syska’s culture of technical excellence. Let’s take a detailed look at how it works.

We’ve identified three “pillars” of the program. One is professional development. To support this pillar, SENSE provides opportunities to develop leadership skills through networking and collaboration with peers at all levels. The programs and presentations we arrange enable our colleagues to learn about career progression and receive advice from senior employees. The second pillar is technical assistance. This involves the sharing of technical knowledge and resources, which we foster through webinars and events. Participants build problem-solving skills and other competencies to excel in our industry. The third pillar is social engagement. Our social engagement events promote networking across all Syska offices and with other A/E/C firms and allow us to give back to the community through philanthropy. SENSE’s philanthropic activities take place throughout the country. For instance:

In Chicago, SENSE supported the 25th anniversary gala of Girls in the Game, a nonprofit organization that offers support and leadership to at-risk youth through after-school programs. We also attended the annual benefit of Mujeres Latinas en Acción, a nonprofit that offers social services and advocacy initiatives that promote nonviolence, reproductive health, and leadership development. Another favorite nonprofit in the area is the Greater Chicago Food Depository. SENSE volunteers recently repacked goods to be distributed to the community. We also support the organization with donations. During the last holiday season, the Chicago office donated 148 pounds of food, which provided 123 meals to our Chicago neighbors.

In Charlotte, SENSE combined “Take Your Child to Work Day” with filling backpacks with Blessings in a Backpack, a national program that provides food on weekends for qualifying students. On that day we filled 75 bags for kids to take home for the weekend.

In New York, SENSE donated proceeds from a paint-and-sip event in the office to St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in the Bayside section of Queens. Several volunteers also visited the hospital to spend time with the patients.

In Los Angeles, SENSE made and delivered 22 fleece blankets to the West LA Animal Shelter to give comfort and warmth to dogs and cats.

In Hamilton, NJ, SENSE participated in the Holiday Gift Project organized by the Center for Family Service, which supports individuals, families, and communities in achieving a better life. We donated clothing and toys for children, teens, and adults.

“The work of SENSE is a big draw to job candidates,” notes Vicki Hobson, Syska’s director of human resources. “They’re impressed with what the team has accomplished and how SENSE helps peers and communities alike. SENSE also promotes employee engagement. We’re all very proud of this program.”