Hitchiner Manufacturing Provides Internships to NH High School Students
The manufacturing sector has seen positive growth as economic conditions have improved over the last few years, and unemployment rates have dropped back to pre-2008 levels. Companies of all sizes have changed their recruiting outreach to bring in qualified employees, and Hitchiner Manufacturing is no exception.
Partnering With the Community
In order to secure qualified workers for the future of the company, Hitchiner is working with a variety of educational institutions at various levels to create internship and workforce development programs. At the high school level, this includes an incredible opportunity for students to intern alongside full-time Hitchiner team members in fields such as engineering, sales and marketing, information technology and more. This program has been growing over the last nine years to include more than 40 students at any given time during the school year.
About the High School Internship Program
Julia Frewell, one of Hitchiner's Human Resource agents has been working with Rich Paiva at Milford High's Applied Technology center to develop this internship program. They have found a way to give students real world experience within the manufacturing industry while also rewarding them with academic credit for their time.
Students are expected to work a minimum of 65 hours per semester to qualify for the credit, which amounts to roughly 5-6 hours per week. They are allowed to work anytime after 12:40 P.M. on weekdays or weekends. This allows students enough flexibility to work around their normal school schedules while leaving plenty of time for other activities as well.
In the course of the internship, students will be taught basic principals relating to business etiquette and management, graphic arts, accounting skills and basic computer programming. They are assigned mentors in their field of choice to help them develop these skills over time and provide feedback.
The Benefits Of The Program
Participants in the program tout a number of benefits that it has to offer. First of all, students enjoy the experience and say that it helps them open their mind to what an entry level job could be. Far from the local fast food restaurants, this experience can be enough to launch careers. Even students who leave the program to head off to college, are happy to note that they are moving forward with a stronger sense of where they belong in the business world.
For the mentors, it provides an added degree of security for the future of the company. Many people do not find out about Hitchiner and other manufacturing firms until they are out of work and looking for something local. By going straight to the source of new employees, Hitchiner is able to curate talent from the foundation up and get potential candidates in the pipeline long before there is a dire need. The more students who participate in the program, the more talk gets out about the value of the experience.
The Future of Internships at Hitchiner
While this program has become successful in its own right, Paiva says the work is far from done. He encourages more companies to take this kind of initiative to develop internship programs, and he wants to bring this type of education to younger students. Waiting until high school to get students thinking about their career options leaves many kids unsure of themselves as graduation approaches. Paiva believes that if more companies reach out to students, and students have more opportunities to explore potential careers before they graduate, they can make better decisions about their future starting as early as elementary school.
With nine full years of successful internships under our belt, Hitchiner is always looking for ways to expand this program and bring more students into the fold. We also hope to create even greater opportunities for kids who may not have known what they wanted to do before joining the program.
About Hitchiner Manufacturing, Co., Inc.
Founded in 1946 and headquartered in Milford, New Hampshire, Hitchiner Manufacturing Co., Inc. is the premier industrial supplier of complete-to-print, high-volume, complex thin-wall investment castings and fully-finished casting-based subassemblies and components. Leading companies in the automotive, aerospace and other industries around the globe use our castings and rely on Hitchiner to provide volume production, reduced lead-times, and just-in-time manufacturing.