Six Former Interns Begin Careers with Company
ARLINGTON, Vt. (Feb. 7, 2016) – It is February, which means Vermont’s skiers are hitting the slopes and college students are hitting Mack Molding with resumes in hopes of landing a summer placement – and possibly a career. In fact, during the last year Mack has welcomed a record number of interns back as full-time employees at its Headquarters after graduation.
In all, six former interns have returned through Mack’s doors, bringing with them an intimate knowledge of Mack’s operations coupled with fresh ideas and the promise of a strong future in manufacturing. The recent hires include Manufacturing Engineer Kelsey O’Dell; Quality Engineers Aaron LeBeau, Peter Bush and Brendan Gleason; Program Coordinator Britney Coley; and Finishing Technician Matthew Comar.
“Welcoming these young professionals back to Mack has been a great pleasure, not only due to what they bring to the organization but the fact they represent the measurable impact of our workforce cultivation efforts,” said Mack Molding President Jeff Somple. “As a manufacturer, and a New England one at that, we are keenly aware of the challenges associated with recruiting for skilled and professional positions. This is why we have invested in opportunities to influence the next generation of engineers and technicians.”
While Mack has hosted interns for many years, the program was redefined in 2011 as the Company sought to build a more sustainable workforce by showing students how rewarding a career in manufacturing – and a life in Vermont – can be. Since then it has become the pinnacle of its workforce cultivation efforts.
Each intern is assigned specific projects that allow them to return to school with a tangible experience they completed from start to finish and can show to prospective employers. During the summer they also participate in a series of “Lunch ’n Learns” where senior staff members and seasoned employees present on various aspects of the business, conduct tours of Company facilities and help develop presentation and interviewing skills. By the end of the summer the students turn the tables, conducting their own “Lunch ’n Learns” as they present the results of their project to their peers and Mack’s senior management.
Meet the Recruits
Peter Bush returns to Mack as a quality engineer after graduating from the University of Vermont with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering. Previously a sales and engineering intern at Mack, he has experience in planning, preparing and organizing resources for class 3 medical device product development studies and facilitating related communication between manufacturing, quality and management.
Britney Coley has been named a program coordinator in the Company’s medical device sector. The St. Lawrence University graduate has a bachelor of science degree in biology and psychology. In her role, Coley maintains program schedules and records, facilitates document control tasks and interface with customers as part of a multi-disciplinary team from across the organization focused on launching new products and improving performance.
Matthew Comar, who studied advanced manufacturing at Hudson Valley Community College, joins Mack as a finishing technician. Comar brings experience in SolidWorks and Mastercam software, as well as knowledge of CNC mills, lathes and manual machine tools. As a finishing technician, he will perform set-ups of various processes, including pad printing, milling and sonic welding, as well as maximize efficiency and quality of production.
Having received his bachelor of science degree in science and technology studies from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., Brendan Gleason joins Mack as a quality engineer. Gleason developed a deep understanding of Mack’s medical device manufacturing business as a quality technician intern, collaborating with manufacturing, quality and management to satisfy customer needs for over 300 unique medical parts.
University of Vermont graduate Aaron LeBeau, who has been appointed as a quality engineer, earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering. In addition to previously serving as an intern on Mack’s quality engineering team, LeBeau spent a summer working in production. He previously gained experience as an electrical technician intern at Abacus Automation in Bennington, Vt., and brings experience in computer-aided design, quality management and data analysis software to Mack.
Kelsey O’Dell joins Mack as a manufacturing engineer in the Company’s medical business. She received her bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, N.Y. In addition to previous Mack experience, O’Dell honed her engineering skills as an undergraduate research assistant at RPI’s Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications Engineering Research Center.
The internship program is only one piece of Mack’s strategy, which includes engaging students of all ages. In addition to sending engineers and other team members into the classroom, Mack has welcomed students as young as kindergarten for visits, as well as local high school juniors and seniors for an inside look at life at Mack during its Made in Vermont Days.
From Oct. 24-28, 2016, Mack hosted this biennial event – designed to reach students looking to go to a four year school, as well as certification and technical programs, and those who may wish to enter the workforce directly. In all, nearly 50 students, educators and parents participated, including home school students and their peers from Arlington Memorial High School, Southwest Vermont Career Development Center, Long Trail and Burr & Burton Academy.
Students toured the Headquarters, building their understanding of Mack’s vertical integration of services. Following the tour students participated in a workshop introducing manufacturing flow theory before learning about careers, hearing business insights and having a Q&A with key staff members. They also were given the opportunity to sign-up for more in-depth workshops on injection molding, machining, sheet metal fabrication, manufacturing and engineering to be held at a later date.
Mack is able to leverage the power and name recognition of Manufacturing Day and Manufacturing Month by having the event in October, creating additional pull through while increasing access to supportive resources. Additionally, Mack benefited from its relationship with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC). The non-profit trained some of the Company’s employees to conduct the manufacturing flow workshop featured during the event, giving students context to what they had seen on the manufacturing floor.
“We are proud to have hosted around 100 interns to date and influenced countless more students,” Somple said, “We always hope to send them back to school with some executional knowledge and a better understanding of the opportunities available to them, and our hopes are now realized as we welcome our newest recruits home.”
About Mack Molding
Mack Molding is a leading custom plastics molder and supplier of contract manufacturing services. Mack specializes in plastics design, prototyping, molding, sheet metal fabrication, full-service machining and medical device manufacturing. Founded in 1920, Mack is a privately owned business that operates 11 facilities throughout the world. Don Kendall is CEO and chairman. For more information, go to www.mack.com.
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Contact: Larry Hovish