Co-op numbers indicate economic recovery

Oct 7, 2004

Co-op employers are hiring more students, with the increase reaching 20 percent higher than years past. The upswing reflects national trends.

The market may be showing early signs of an economic recovery if Kettering Cooperative Education numbers in Engineering and Information Technology jobs are any indication. Tamara Loud, executive director of Cooperative Education and Career Services at Kettering, said that the incoming class co-op employment figures are 20 percent ahead of where they were this time in the past four years.

"The growth in co-op employment opportunities in the last two months are very encouraging," she said. There has been a sustained increase in overall co-op employment for Kettering student during the past six months, she added.

Loud expects another strong showing at the upcoming National Employment Fair on campus in November, on par with the August fair that she said drew "big name companies and a larger number of job postings," than past fairs. In addition to the fairs, Loud said many employers come to campus regularly to interview students for co-op positions.

There has been a strong resurgence in entry-level Eengineering positions, said Loud, and Information Technologies jobs are on the upswing.

Recent information on college career fairs nation wide shows an increase in hiring as a national trend. According to an article in the Boston Globe, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) predicts manufacturing job opportunities to increase by almost 13 percent, and job openings in the Midwest to increase 26.4 percent in 2004-5.

The value of a Kettering education is becoming glaringly apparent in the recovering economy, and nowhere more so than the new Career Services for Graduating Seniors, Alumni and Employers web site sponsored by the Kettering Cooperative Education and Career Services department, according to Loud.

"We went live in June of this year and had a boom of postings from prospective employers," said Loud. "People love to hire Kettering graduates. They have two and half years of professional career and degree-related experience upon graduation, and they have completed a thesis project," she said, "even non-Kettering co-op employers are eager to hire our graduates." Good news for recent and future graduates.

Written by Dawn Hibbard
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