More co-op partners = more jobs

Feb 10, 2005

The number of employer-partners at Kettering is on the rise which means there are more employment opportunities for students.

New employer-partners at Kettering University are up 60 percent over the last calendar year, according to Cooperative Education and Career Services. Tallies of the last six months of 2004 showed a 60 percent improvement in the number of new employer partners compared to the last six months of 2003. Those new employers account for an increased number of co-op opportunities for students, specifically in Engineering and Information Technology.

There has been a 100 percent improvement in the number of Mechanical Engineering co-op jobs, a 90 percent improvement in the number of Industrial Engineering co-op jobs and a 55 percent improvement in co-op positions available to Computer Engineering students.

"We are seeing an increase in demand for Kettering co-op students in general," said Tamara Loud, executive director of Cooperative Education and Career Services, "but our recent growth areas include Engineering and Information Technology."

Employers like Omron Auto Electronics understand the value of having Kettering University co-op students at the worksite. In Omron's case, expanding their co-op program to include Computer Engineering students was a certainty.

"Our primary product is embedded automotive electronics. We needed additional resources to aid in the development and validation of software," said Scott Lima '96, Product group leader. "Hiring Computer Engineering majors was a natural progression for our program."

Omron specializes in the car electronics field aimed at customers such as automotive makers and automotive component makers. Kettering students co-op at the company's site in St. Charles, Ill.

Engineering students are also experiencing an increase in available co-op positions, primarily among companies seeking Industrial and Mechanical Engineering majors. UPS currently employs dozens of ME and IE co-op students and that number is expected to continue to grow.

"I believe our potential with UPS for placing co-op students is tremendous," said Keith Spicer, corporate relations executive, "We are gaining momentum and seeing results. Over the next six to nine months we may see our students at UPS double."

Loud expects the growth to continue in all degree programs. "Besides the up turn in the job market, we have made structural changes to improve our marketing efforts to new employers and expand our services to existing employer partners."

Current employment statistics of the incoming class are 18 percent ahead of where they were this time last year and the overall unemployment rate is the lowest in four years.

Written by Christin Aljets
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