Steelcase honored

Oct 12, 2005

Kettering presents 2005 West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award.

Steelcase of Grand Rapids received the 2005 Kettering University West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award at ceremonies and a reception Oct. 10 in Grand Rapids. Kettering officials presented the award to honor the company's ongoing support of professional co-op students.

Kettering selected Steelcase from a list of more than 30 West Michigan-based companies based on the company's partnership and support of the University's professional co-op program.

Bob Nichols, Kettering vice president of Corporate Relations and Enrollment Services, congratulated Steelcase and praised company officials for their consistent and dedicated support of professional co-op opportunities. "Kettering University is proud to honor Steelcase as our top co-op employer in West Michigan this year. We have been partners with Steelcase since 1986 and together have developed 16 outstanding young professionals, many of whom continue as Steelcase employees today."

Nichols said Steelcase was founded by people with a strong commitment to integrity and doing the right thing for their customers, employees, business partners, associates and neighbors. "Kettering is also committed to similar core values. Steelcase's innovative approach to the co-op program and long history of developing their future employees with Kettering make them the logical choice for the 2005 award," he added.

The West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award is given annually 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.

Kettering also has many alumni in West Michigan, who live and work in the region. One of them is Armen Oumedian of Grand Rapids, who called Steelcase "a quality company" that has a strong position in West Michigan. Oumedianis a Grand Rapids businessman and graduate of Kettering University, and works to provide more co-op opportunities in West Michigan.

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.

"Our co-op program seeks to integrate the theory taught in the classroom with the experience gained in the workplace," said Carmon Liversedge, a Kettering cooperative education manager. "We believe the experience our students gain by working in organizations such as Steelcase help them develop into leaders in business and industry."

Past recipients of the award include Gill Industries in 2004, Cascade Engineering in 2003, and Siemens Dematic (formerly Rapistan), which received the 2002 West Michigan Co-op Employer of the Year Award.

Steelcase, the global leader in the office furniture industry, helps people have a better work experience by providing products, services and insights into the ways people work. The company designs and manufactures architecture, furniture and technology products. Founded in 1912 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Mich., Steelcase (NYSE: SCS) serves customers through a network of more than 800 independent dealers and approximately 14,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2005 revenue was $2.6 billion.

Kettering University, located in Flint, Mich., is one of the country's premier co-op institutions and provides 2,500 students with career-based education in engineering, applied sciences, mathematics, and business management. Kettering is one of the top specialty schools in the United States in engineering and is consistently ranked in U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges.

Written by Pat Mroczek
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