Lake Campus Nets Grant

CELINA — Students at Wright State University Lake Campus will have the opportunity to get paid for exploring their interests in six local companies thanks to a $1.3 million grant to reimburse companies for hiring the students.

Lake Campus representative Julie Miller helped write the grant, which required some up-front, committed companies who said they would host the interns.

Thieman Stamping of New Bremen, Coldwater Machine, Midmark Corp. in Versailles, Precision Strip in Minster, Celina Insurance Group, and Eaton Corp. in Van Wert will offer a total of 20 positions for students to fill, both full and part-time.

The school will pursue other local businesses as well.

Miller said the university tried to target industries that were in demand, like food processing, advanced manufacturing, and business services. The companies themselves had different ideas how to utilize the students’ skills.

One company was interested in criminal justice students to work in its fraud department.

Also, every company has accounting, human resource, and technical departments.

“This is a great chance for company to test drive the students, and for the students to test drive the companies,” Miller said.

She added the focus on weaving internships into higher education has grown as students try to add to their resumes before entering the job market.

“That’s why this marriage works so well,” Miller said.

“The students like it, companies like it, parents like it. It helps lower their debt when they’re done.”

The university plans to sustain the internship programs beyond the life of the grant, which has to be used in one year.

The school already has students interested in the positions.

The school is asking the students who want the internships to submit qualifications and resume the school will pass onto the employers.

They also plan a recruitment fair for the company, and will allow some businesses to come into the classrooms to find their students.

“Some (students) want matches as soon as possible,” Miller said. “We’re working feverishly to match them.”