Recruitment, internships are ways to introduce manufacturing’s value
Organizations need to work more closely with students and promote the career opportunities available within the manufacturing industry
The industry workforce shortage is in part due to the misperceptions associated with manufacturing facilities and manufacturing jobs in today’s society. Typically we hear concerns about manufacturing “going away,” that the engineering may be too simplistic to draw in new and fresh talent and that there is little visibility into manufacturing for students. To combat this, organizations need to work more closely with students and promote the benefits, work environment, work variety, and career opportunities available within the manufacturing industry.
At Rockwell Automation, we successfully recruit a pool of talented individuals by engaging in partnerships with local schools—helping us gain more insight into the student body and become more visible to students.
Rockwell participates in various activities with both local high schools and post-secondary education institutions—universities, community colleges, and tech schools. We participate in a variety of different school programs, including classroom presentations, speaking engagements, and local campus career fairs. Rockwell also provides on-site tours of our facilities to students and occasionally conducts on-site classes to help reverse some of the misconceptions surrounding the industry by providing real hands-on experience at a manufacturing plant.
Increased visibility with students through the work we do with local schools also serves as a way to promote the Rockwell Automation internship program. During the course of the year, each Rockwell plant usually hosts between three and five interns—experience ranges from students who are early in their college careers to those in master’s programs. Currently, we have approximately 70 interns working in the operations and engineering services areas of the organization. Much of the growing and successful program can be attributed to the collaboration and partnerships we have created with local educational institutions over the years.
While interning at Rockwell, students are encouraged to network and look for future opportunities for subsequent years. At the end of their schooling, many interns may be hired into a direct hire, full-time position, or apply to the Leadership Development Program, in which participants rotate positions every six months. This expands their opportunities and learning experiences. At the end of the two-year program, Rockwell supports each participant in finding a role somewhere in the organization, within their individual area of interest.
Whether it’s through our involvement in local schools, internships, or the Leadership Development Program, Rockwell is dedicated to helping students and current employees grow and develop a career with the organization.
- Karen Lusher is Human Resources Manager – Operations and Engineering Services at Rockwell Automation.