Kettering U: Turnaround In Co-Op Job Market ‘Remarkable’

There is a new vitality in the job market for engineering, science and business students as evidenced by the numbers and diversity of co-op employers seeking to hire Kettering University students in 2011.

To borrow a Wall Street term, employers in Michigan and across the country are “bullish” on hiring Kettering’s students.

More than 100 employers were recently on Kettering’s campus in Flint seeking engineering and managerial talent at a co-op job fair — a remarkable change from just two years ago.

Bob Nichols, Kettering’s executive director of external affairs, said the market interest in science, technology, math and business talent has translated into more than 90 percent of the University’s co-op students currently being employed.

“Companies from across the country are putting together competitive packages to lure the best co-op students into their ranks,” Nichols said. “The number of students finding good co-op jobs and the diverse list of employers continues to grow.”

Added Venetia Petteway, Kettering’s corporate relations executive: “Kettering has purposefully focused on diversifying its industry base. We now have life sciences, pharmaceuticals, health care, bioengineering, acoustics, optics, bioinformatics, nanotechnology, alternative energy, aerospace, food processing and logistics co-op partners.”

Students have their own theories as to why employers are eager to recruit at Kettering.

“There are co-op jobs available because Kettering’s co-op is one of a kind,” said Gabe Phillips, a business major from Rochester Hills. He is employed by the auto technology firm MBtech NA in Troy.

“When I was a student at Edsel Ford High School, I heard that college is the path to a degree,” said Robert Hayes, a student from Dearborn. “At Kettering, I’ve learned that co-op is the path to a job.”

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