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Ann Arbor Spark

July 30, 2018

SPARK Event Connects Livingston County Business with Up-and-Coming Talent

Kettering University’s unique model for cooperative education has led to strong partnerships between the university and industry. Students learn in the classroom and in the workplace through an experiential model that prepares students for in-demand careers in a broad range of industries. By alternating semesters between coursework and cooperative learning, students gain practical experience every step of the way.

Located in Flint, Kettering has a long list of industry partners in Michigan, nationally, and internationally. The university’s cooperative education staff works hard to identify new opportunities for partnerships. Earlier this year, Ann Arbor SPARK partnered with Kettering staff to connect companies in Washtenaw and Livingston counties with the cooperative education program through a Partners in Learning Workshop at SPARK Central. Attendees included manufacturers, information technology companies, and engineering firms from Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Companies learned about how to make their workplace accommodating for students and what steps they need to take to hire a co-op student.

Most students are hired for their co-op at the Kettering career fair; they negotiate pay and determine a housing arrangement for their time with the company. The students, known for their strong work ethic, are highly sought after by the companies who attend, even as freshmen. Following the workshop at SPARK Central, Susie Clausnitzer and Ed Bristow from Brighton NC — a manufacturing company in Livingston County — attended the spring career fair and hired two students from Kettering, including one graduate student.

“There is a culture of learning at Brighton NC which is one of the key components to a successful co-op program,” said Beth Nuccio, Cooperative Education Manager at Kettering, “Susie and Ed attended the Spring Employment Fair and were able to talk with students face-to-face and gather resumes. After on-site interviews they made offers. They worked through the co-op process and are growing their talent pipeline. I look forward to working with Susie and the team at Brighton NC.”

The partnerships between education and industry are strong at Kettering University and help to keep skilled talent here in our region. Students develop their skills in professional settings while learning the fundamentals necessary to make them successful.