The Kansas Technology Center (KTC) was temporary home to hiring businesses and eager students on Company Day.
The KTC hosted the Architectural Manufacturing and Management Technology (AMMT) Company Day Thursday, Feb. 21. The event included presentations by companies from across the United States, an opportunity for students to walk through and see individual company exhibits, and students having the chance to interview for internships and job placement with the companies.
“PSU students are the future of our industry,” said Chad Foster, president and CEO of Gator Millworks. “The program is the only one of its kind in the U.S. If we want a better workforce for our industry, this is truly where it all begins.”
Gator Millworks is based out of Louisiana and brought a team which included Foster, chief growth officer Tom Choppin, senior project manager Greg Theriot and vice president of pre-construction Lacey Meier. Gator Millworks primarily focuses on architectural woodworking for both commercial and residential projects throughout the United States.
“We have a unique opportunity this year,” Foster said. “We’re moving into a new facility and we need people to fill that facility…”
Foster and his team also added that their company often recruits talent for positions they haven’t even created yet.
“If they see something in you, they’re going to find a spot for somebody and let you grow.” Theriot said.
AMMT program students have been able to interview on campus for these companies for five years, including Gabriel Cozart, senior in music performance and AMMT.
“They do one in the fall and in the spring,” Cozart said. “… the spring one is more involved; it’s a two-day process that got me an internship last summer and for countless others.”
Cozart interned at Cohen Architectural Woodworking in St. James, Missouri and was involved with building furniture, cabinets, and other wood products manufactured by the company. He added that the AMMT program provided him the “skills to be successful” in his internship.
“We learn all the skills to engineer and make the product ourselves,” Cozart said. “… The wood industry is relatively close knit.”
Cozart also said that the Company Day is “beneficial” for wood industry progress.
“It’s a remarkable opportunity to have the companies come in,” Cozart said. “… Getting full-time positions, getting internships, all that… experience really hinges on this day (Company Day) for me. Having it present, having it here, not having to go seek out makes it much more available… much easier, and I think that’s why the success rate for the wood tech (AMMT) students is so high.”
Cozart also added that the kinds of employers he is looking for are “always” in attendance on Company Day.
“(I’m looking for) stability, potential for growth, the ability to provide for family when I go and start one,” Cozart said. “Location is also important… Culture is another (factor)… That’s why I ended up picking Cohen Architectural Woodworking… because of the culture of their company… The way the people interacted there was different than what I had expected… They were supportive.”