Career Center honors 10 employers

November 21 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Ten Indiana employers have been recognized by the Indiana State University Career Center for their efforts to keep graduates in the state of Indiana while providing them with hands-on, practical learning opportunities.

"These employers are our shining stars," said Kent Waggoner, director of the Career Center.

Clabber Girl, Terre Haute; Clarian Health, Indianapolis; Sony DADC, Terre Haute; Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane; Union Hospital, Terre Haute; Signature Construction, Carmel; and Gibault School for Boys, Terre Haute; were honored for the number of Indiana State students they utilized throughout the years as part of the Focus Indiana internship program.

Between 2004 and 2008, Indiana State students served 280 internships in conjunction with the program, a collaboration between ISU, private industry and community leadership and funded by a grant by Lilly Endowment.

While the seven employers don't account for a high number of internships, they are consistant and the depth of their participation is significant, said Elonda Ervin, associate director for experiential learning.

"We're recognizing their long-term commitment," she said.

Indianapolis-based Clarian Health placed 25 Indiana State students in internships during the time period. That relationship, according to Waggoner, has grown to a point where Indiana State is a prime recruiting stop.

"Clarian comes to Indiana State because our students have the skills they are looking for," he said. "It also helps that our staff makes their time on campus productive."

Clarian allows the Career Center to conduct preliminary screening of internship applicants and to provide the recruiter a list of candidates to interview during a day-long campus visit.

"Clarian has been an amazing program for us and has provided wonderful opportunities for our students," Waggoner said.

What makes the Focus Indiana program so successful is the relationships the Career Center has with employers locally and around the state of Indiana.

"It's all about relationships," Waggoner said. "The employers know our staff and are in contact with them whether it's for campus recruiting, interviews and career fairs."

While the first four years of the Focus Indiana program were successful, Ervin thinks the best is yet to come.

"2004-08 was just the tip of the iceberg," she said. "I don't think we've seen the best collaborative efforts with Focus Indiana. The program will expand and grow in the future."

Three other employers, Frito-Lay, Federated Insurance and Cummins, were also recognized for their collaboration with the Career Center.

The success with Frito-Lay was due to the involvement of an alumnus working for the company.

"Bob Jenkins has single-handedly reestablished our connection to Frito-Lay," Waggoner said.

The relationship began with the company's plant in Frankfort, placing students in entry-level manufacturing jobs and has grown from there.

"Now that Frito-Lay is part of PepsiCo, it has expanded the opportunities for our students," he said.

Like Frito Lay, Cummins Engine Co. is a frequent participant in career fairs when the company has hiring needs.

"Cummins employs many Indiana State alumni, so they utilize them to recruit at our career fair," Waggoner said.

That tie keeps the relationship going, no matter what the economy is doing.

"The relationship survives the ups and downs of staffing," he added.

Employers looking for more information on the ISU Career Center or interested in recruiting at the upcoming Career Fair on Feb. 11 can call 812-237-3806 or e-mail freed1@indstate.edu .

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Contact: Kent Waggoner, ISU Career Center, (812) 237.5000

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, 812.237.3783 or pmeyer4@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Ten Indiana employers have been recognized by the Indiana State University Career Center for their efforts to keep graduates in the state of Indiana while providing them with hands-on, practical learning opportunities.

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