WKU, Advantage Kentucky Alliance to offer manufacturing mentoring internships
- Advantage Kentucky Alliance
- Friday, February 12th, 2021
WKU and Advantage Kentucky Alliance (AKA) are teaming up to launch a new internship and mentoring program aimed to boost interest in 21st century manufacturing by mentoring students who will work side-by-side with experienced industry leaders.
The Manufacturing Mentoring Internship Program encourages Kentucky manufacturers to develop their workforce by hiring WKU students as interns. The key benefits of the program are that WKU students can take their education outside of the classroom and apply it to a real-world work experience while receiving guidance from an experienced industry leader.
"This program offers students an unparalleled opportunity to work on high-impact projects under the direction of a seasoned industry professional," said Dr. Mark Doggett, WKU Principal Investigator for AKA.
While internships are not a new concept on college campuses, this program is unique because it is the first-of-its-kind in the nation and is exclusive to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network™. AKA is the official MEP representative for Kentucky and helps small and medium-sized manufacturers thrive in today’s technology-driven economy.
The program is slated to support four internships for manufacturing companies in Kentucky by teaming a high-profile industry mentor with a WKU intern working on selected high-impact projects.
Scott Broughton, Center Director for AKA, commented: "One thing we hear constantly from manufacturers is how the workforce shortage stops them from performing necessary activities simply because they don’t have time or available resources to complete projects. This program will bring the manufacturer additional support to keep the project on time, on budget, and on scope, so they can focus on what is necessary and important to the success of the business."
The participating companies will work closely with AKA to determine the scope of work needed at their facility. An industry leader will oversee the project and work alongside the intern. The industry leader will train, mentor, and hold the intern accountable for measurable results starting on the first day of the project to its successful completion.
WKU graduate students and upper-division students studying in the Ogden College of Science and Engineering and Gordon Ford College of Business will likely be the most interested in the program. However, any qualified student with experience in industry projects may apply.
“Our industry partners routinely testify that students who complete internships are valuable employees upon graduation. That is why partnerships like the Manufacturing Mentoring Internship Program are so vital to the professional development of our students. Internships provide students with practical and real-world opportunities as well as strengthening and growing the industrial workforce across the Commonwealth," said Liz Fogle, Industrial Liaison and Internship Coordinator for the Ogden College of Science and Engineering.
The partnership between WKU and AKA will help local manufacturing industries hire qualified and experienced students for modern industry. “We strive to be a leader in providing high-quality, applied undergraduate business education that meets the needs of the business economy,” remarked Monica Duvall, Internship Coordinator at the Gordon Ford College of Business. "This program will allow our students to, not only gain experience and an understanding of business principles specifically in the manufacturing industry but will also allow employers to capitalize on the knowledge that interns bring with them, train the future generation of college graduates, and potentially find candidates to fill a future full-time role within their organization."
Investing in young talent and developing advanced skills gives Kentucky a competitive advantage. When manufacturing industries invest in WKU students, jobs are created, and local communities develop economic opportunities.
About AKA: Advantage Kentucky Alliance is the official representative of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, MEP National Network™ in Kentucky supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Advantage Kentucky Alliance delivers comprehensive, proven solutions that fuel growth and advance manufacturing. Their mission is to help manufacturers become more globally competitive so they can retain and create additional industry and jobs within the state of Kentucky.
Contact: Elizabeth Keenan, firstname.lastname@example.org