BETHEL, Vt.—The first summer internship class has graduated from GW Plastics.
GW Plastics said it developed the internship program with the intention to bring light to manufacturing throughout the local community and provide students with a reason to stay in Vermont both for internships and eventual careers.
The program offers specialized training and helps students develop a perspective of engineering in a professional manufacturing environment. Each intern was assigned a specific, term-long project, with measureable objectives, and had to present their findings to GW Plastics' senior leadership at the term's conclusion.
Those that graduated from the program include: Tommy Zani, University of Maine, 2016; Glen Rogers, Vermont Technical College, 2016; Brendan Hackett, University of Vermont , 2015; Griffin Thomas, University of Mississippi, 2016; and Camden Houghton, University of Vermont, 2015. All of this year's graduates are pursuing degrees in mechanical or electromechanical engineering.
“We have been taking large strides to boost the local economy and expose students to what we do here at GW Plastics,” said Cathy Tempesta, director of human resources. “Creating an internship program has been one of our priorities for several years.
“It is important for us to provide the students with a solid learning experience that will shape the way they think—this is why we decided to assign them specific projects.”
Every other week the interns took part in lunch and learn sessions in which various team members and senior leadership presented a variety of industry-related topics. The interns also participated in plant tours, corporate meetings, and training.
“Not only were we introduced to a professional working environment, but we also were exposed to engineering-related skills that aren't taught in our college classes,” said Zani said.
GW Plastics, founded in 1955, manufactures injection molded thermoplastic and silicone products for the health care, automotive safety, and consumer/industrial markets.