Flexco-Grand Rapids honored

May 22, 2009

The 2009 Kettering University West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award was presented to Flexco-Grand Rapids for its ongoing support of professional cooperative education.

Frank Hribar, Kettering vice president of Enrollment Services, congratulated Flexco for the honor and said Kettering is appreciative of the support the company is providing in developing a cadre of tomorrow’s business leaders in West Michigan.  "Flexco’s efforts reflect well on their commitment to employee development within the company and within the region,” he added.  “They clearly are interested in developing future technical talent.”

Nancy Ayres, general manager at Flexco-Grand Rapids, said, “The Kettering co-op program is the best of both worlds for students.  They get a fantastic education in the classroom that they can then translate into real life work.  For companies, this provides us with outstanding co-op students for an extended period of time in which to evaluate their skills and fit with our culture for potential future hire.  Flexco is a true believer in the Kettering co-op program,” she added.

Flexco currently has one co-op student and recently hired a former co-op student who spent four years working co-op at the company and is now a full-time Flexco employee.

The West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award is given to a company that shows exceptional commitment to student development, continued support of Kettering's co-op program and a commitment to matching the right student with the right job to ensure a successful educational experience.  Past award recipients include Gill Industries, Cascade Engineering, Steelcase, UPS and Siemens Dematic (formerly Rapistan).

Flexco-Grand Rapids began in 1908 as the Clipper Belt Lacer Company.  Today, it is an industry leader in manufacturing light duty conveyor belt fasteners and lacing equipment, fastener-friendly belt cleaners, belt trainers, belt maintenance tools and other heavy duty mining belt line support products. The company’s 152,000-square-foot facility is home to many advanced manufacturing techniques, including 3-D CAD systems, Laser Cutting, Computer Numeric Controlled Mills and Lathes, Electron Discharge Machines and high speed in machine multi-slide welding, as well as a host of more traditional manufacturing systems.

Kettering University was founded in 1919 and is a home of the country’s most advanced professional cooperative education program.  The University has many alumni in West Michigan, who live and work in the region. One of them is Armen Oumedian of Grand Rapids, who complimented Flexco for its commitment to West Michigan and its workforce.  Oumedian is a Grand Rapids businessman and graduate of Kettering University, who works to provide more co-op opportunities in West Michigan. "This company aligns with the quality of work done at Kettering University,” Oumedian said.  “I am appreciative as an alumnus living in West Michigan to see quality partners like Kettering and Flexco working together.”

Kettering University's professional co-op program is mandatory for all its undergraduate students. It 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.

For more on Flexco – Grand Rapids, visit: www.flexco.com

For more on KetteringUniversity, visit: www.kettering.edu