Employment is 'on the ups'

Nov 4, 2005

38 companies and 200 students continue to spark Kettering's highest co-op employment rate in a decade

The bright red, blinking light drew David Collins to the OSRAM display in the large and crowded International Room in Kettering's Campus Center. "The LED caught my eye," said the freshmen from Fowlerville, who is interested in Electrical Engineering. "Working with LEDs would be fun."

Kimberly Pregitzer '02 thinks so, too. Pregitzer is the North American applications engineer-LED for OSRAM. She returned to her alma mater to recruit co-op students and participate in the 2005 National Cooperative Education Employment Fair Nov. 3. She said she was pleased with the students who were seeking information and co-op opportunities during the co-op job fair.

"Today brought a lot of really smart and really motivated students to us," Pregitzer said. "We're looking for well rounded students interested in electrical applications. We're very open as we look," she noted. "We need to find someone who will mesh well with our team."

Looking for talented new team members was a theme of the fair as a record number of companies participated in the semi-annual event that attracts companies from around the country to recruit for co-op positions. A total of 38 companies and 200 students came together hoping to create new employment partnerships.

Among the company representatives was Avie Fisher '04 from UPS. She is the Industrial Engineering supervisor for UPS in the Grand Rapids area. "We're here to look for good candidates from today's pool of students," she said. "There have been great candidates so far - intelligent. We're always looking to utilize different opportunities for recruiting good people, especially now that business in on the ups."

Among the students seeking the same opportunity was Paul Kruse, a sophomore from Shelby Township who stood in line to speak with Joann Ivy from Steelcase. Steelcase is the recipient of the 2005 Kettering University West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award and has increased its number of co-op students recently. "I'm looking at Steelcase because I think they offer a lot of variety in co-op jobs," Kruse said. "I'm majoring in Computer Science, so I'm interested in companies that can provide programming and animation opportunities."

Kasey Peck, a freshman from Montevideo, Minn., stood in several lines to talk to representatives, but already had his sights set on a preferred company. "I'd really like to work for Polaris, someday," he said. "And for more reasons than they are based in Minnesota."

Tammy Loud, executive director of Cooperative Education and Career Services, said she was pleased with the day's results. "This national co-op far helps our employer partners to interview diverse and qualified candidates to fulfill their employment needs. And it helps us to diversify our employment partners list.

"Kettering is currently experiencing the highest level of employment it has seen in the past 10 years," she said. "We've really expanded beyond automotive, and we've really begun to diversify our employer base as we enter new markets," she added.

The list of companies participating in the event included:

ATEK Medical Manufacturing - Grand Rapids
American Showa Inc - Sunbury, Ohio
Associated Spring - Barnes Group, Plymouth
Continental Teves - Auburn Hills
Dana Corp - Toledo
Denso - Mfg Michigan, Battle Creek
EST Testing Solutions - Auburn Hills
Eaton Corp - Automotive Group, Cleveland
Emerson Power Transmission - Valparaiso, Ind.
Employment Services Inc - Alpena
Focus Software - Ypsilanti
GM - North America
Graham Packaging Company - York, Penn.
Gudel Inc - Ann Arbor
Innotec - Zeeland
Interactive Innovations - Lake Orion
Kohler Company - Engine Division, Kohler, Wis.
Kohler Company - Generator Division, Sheboygan, Wis.
McNaughton-McKay Elec Co - Madison Heights
Merlo Steam Equipment Company Inc - Sterling Heights
NARMCO Group - Windsor
National Security Agency - Ft George G Meade, Md.
Numatics - Incorporated, Highland
Patrick Engineering - Livonia
Polaris Industries Inc - Spirit Lake, Iowa
Steelcase Inc - Grand Rapids
Stryker Corporation - Instruments, Kalamazoo
Ticona - Auburn Hills
UPS - Fleet Engineering HQ, Atlanta
Umicore Autocat USA - Auburn Hills
VI Engineering Inc - Farmington Hills
Ventura Manufacturing - Zeeland
Wineman Technology - Saginaw

The next National Cooperative Education Employment Fair is planned for August 2006.

Written by Patricia Mroczek
(810) 762-9533