“GECOM took a leap of faith with this program, offering their money, time and faith in our students.” Hunter said.
GECOM officials were speaking with GHS staff about scholarships when Hunter told GECOM that he’d like opportunities for the students. From there, both sides came together to form the work study internship program. After lots of talking, planning and hard work, the plans became a reality due to the efforts of everyone involved.
GECOM is offering six internships to GHS seniors this year in the areas of Tool and Die, Quality Test Lab, Metal Stamping Maintenance, Assembly Maintenance, Continuous Improvement, and Facilities Maintenance. Factory closures at other sites have allowed GECOM to donate over $100,000 in equipment to GHS, further allowing students to hone their skills. GECOM and GHS are also examining scholarship opportunities to qualified students in engineering that will commit to coming back and working in the community at GECOM. This is to help with the “brain drain” this area has been experiencing with young people moving to other areas after college instead of coming back to GREENSBURG, which results in a shortage of qualified workers.
Six GHS seniors have been working at GECOM for two weeks, one of which was all safety training. The students, Coy Chaney, Zackary Couch, Ethan Sebastian, Alex Simmermeyer, Jake Hellmich and Eric Kroger, were matched with GECOM because of classes they’d taken in related areas and an interest in manufacturing. GECOM is also providing personnel to serve on the Planning Council for Vocational Education at GHS. When asked whether they were interested in the manufacturing field before the internship at GECOM, all six seniors said yes, proving they were well-matched for the program.
“I couldn’t be more pleased. This is something that Greensburg High School, Principal Chapple and myself have wanted for a long time. We couldn’t be happier,” Hunter said.