It was Marsonnett Posey’s fourth month on the job when DTE Energy sent her back to preschool.
Posey, who works in customer service, found herself back at Durfee Elementary in Detroit as part of the PowerUp program, the company’s comprehensive onboarding initiative for new employees. As part of the experience, employees like Posey get the chance to volunteer with non-profits for a half-day.
“I remember the first day of preschool,” Posey said. “I remember crying the whole time.
“This time, volunteering, it was a much better experience,” she said with a laugh. “Actually, it was a great experience this time around.”
PowerUp is a holistic experience designed to welcome and engage DTE Energy’s top talent acquisitions. One part of that experience is FUEL, a day in which the employees hear directly from DTE’s most senior leaders about company culture and what drives success within the organization.
The next iteration of this experience is today, when employees will spend time getting to know leaders such as CEO and Chairman Gerry Anderson and Chief Operating Officer Jerry Norcia.
Then, following lunch, participants will fan out through nearby communities to volunteer for non-profit organizations such as Life Remodeled, Brilliant Detroit and Arts + Scraps.
“It is a program that allows new hires to experience the culture we strive to cultivate at DTE,” said Lexie Poeschel, a senior strategist in Strategy and Special Projects who organizes the events. “It cuts right to the heart of what this company is all about: working to be a force for growth in the communities where we live and serve.”
For Posey, the connection was quite personal.
Not only did she spend her formative years in the hallways at Durfee Elementary, it is also the place where her mom and dad met.
“I wouldn’t be here without that school,” she said. “When I told my parents about where I volunteered, they were pretty emotional.”
As she worked that day — rebuilding the school’s gymnasium floor — Posey said she felt a real connection to the neighborhood she grew up in. She also felt an immense sense of pride because she was helping to improve a school like the one her young son now attends in the city.
“Our company is in tune with what is needed in Detroit,” she said. “That means a lot to me; we do more than just say we work here. We are working to make a difference in the communities.
“It was a great career moment.”