Cascade Engineering honored

Oct 24, 2003

Cascade Engineering, Inc., a world leader in engineered plastic systems and components, received the 2003 Kettering West Michigan Co-op Education Employer of the Year Award during ceremonies and a reception Oct. 21 in Grand Rapids.

Cascade Engineering, Inc., a world leader in engineered plastic systems and components, received the 2003 Kettering West Michigan Co-op Education Employer of the Year Award during ceremonies and a reception Oct. 21 in Grand Rapids. The award was presented for the company's ongoing work with students.

Kettering/GMI alumnus Michael Valz '75 is president and chief operating officer for Cascade Engineering.

Kettering selected Cascade Engineering from a list of approximately 35 West Michigan-based companies, based on the company's partnership and support of the professional co-op program.

The award is given annually to a company that shows exceptional commitment to student development, continued support of the program and a commitment to matching the right student with the right job to ensure a successful educational experience.

"To be named the 2003 Kettering Employer of the Year Award is a tremendous honor," said Mike Valz '75, Cascade Engineering president. "Year after year, the Kettering co-op program has matched Cascade Engineering with a talented group of student participants, who positively impact the department where they work and the organization as a whole. The program continues to build a strong foundation for our future. By investing in today's students, we are ensuring that tomorrow's work force will be well-equipped."

The program, mandatory for all Kettering students, consists of alternating terms of class study and career-related work. The work component of the program represents a substantial portion of student's curricula and each student's level of professional responsibility normally increases as he or she completes advanced course work.

"The program seeks to integrate the theory taught in the classroom with the experience gained in the workplace," said Carmon Liversdege, Kettering's cooperative education manager. "We believe the experience our students gain working at organizations such as Cascade Engineering is fundamental to their development and gives them a head-start when they graduate and enter work force."

In addition to Cascade Engineering, other West Michigan companies that regularly participate in the Co-op program include 2002 award winner Siemens Dematic (formerly Rapistan), Steelcase, Inc., and Johnson Controls, Inc. Cascade Engineering currently employs 13 Kettering students in the program, and has retained seven past participants in its work force.

Cascade Engineering is a world leader in engineered plastic systems and components. The company produces components for OEM customers as well as Cascade branded products. Cascade is widely recognized for innovation in both technology and its management practices. The Cascade Family of Companies employs more than 1,200 people - approximately 700 in the Grand Rapids area.