Investing in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is vital to progress in the 21st century. At the same time, high-tech businesses are experiencing a “skills gap” caused by a lack of job applicants with the required experience and education. To help fill this gap, more companies are offering internship programs, in which local high school and college students gain on-the-job experience that may qualify them for future employment.
Epic Equipment & Engineering, headquartered in Shelby Township, Michigan, offers an internship program to students interested in exploring the exciting STEM career field of advanced machinery and automation technology.
A member of the Burke Porter Group family of companies, Epic is a vertically-integrated supplier of custom turnkey solutions for automated assembly and test systems for the manufacturing of automotive powertrain products. The company’s precision machinery capabilities and expertise in intelligent machines are recognized industry-wide.
Interns at Epic have many areas of concentration from which to choose. Epic designers use industrial production process analysis and engineering with 2D and 3D mechanical design, layout, and detailing. The controls department covers electrical, pneumatic, and hydraulic controls hardware design, PC, PLC, robotics, and instrumentation software programming and setup.
PLC controls interns
The program has impacted interns significantly, giving them the opportunity to receive hands-on experience and take their first step up the career ladder.
For example, Aakash Bodele, electrical engineering graduate student at Wayne State University, was introduced to the world of assembly automation as a PLC controls intern.
“Working at Epic was a fantastic experience, and my team guided and supported me throughout my internship period,” Bodele says. “At the same time, they made me face challenges – which helped me greatly in developing my professional skill sets. This was an enriching and unique internship and I enjoyed working with the Epic team.”
Bhagyashree Tandel, a graduate student at Wayne State University pursuing a Master’s degree in electrical engineering enjoyed exploring his potential and excelling in his work as an intern at Epic.
“While I was appreciated for my efforts at Epic,... my mistakes were pinpointed with the purpose of making me wiser,” he says. “As an intern, I truly enjoyed working my way up the career ladder with people who are supportive and always ready to help me."
The Epic internship program is adaptable to the requirements of each education partner. A typical internship at Epic last about three months, and the company can accommodate two to four interns on staff throughout the year.
High school and co-op students participate through approved work permits provided by their school.
When available, students are assigned to roles in their desired field so that they can gain work experience in that area. The company offers tremendous career growth opportunities to its employees, and keeps the employment doors open to all co-ops, interns and apprentices.
The program benefits Epic collectively because the company is able to train and mold young talent who will hopefully become long term, dedicated employees. Epic evaluates each intern’s potential as a full-time employee before making a hiring decision.
The company plans to keep the program going by maintaining a presence in nearby high schools and colleges through career fairs, job postings and networking.
The good news is that internship programs like these will help close the STEM skills gap and serve as a sustainable source of talent, growing the workforce for the future.
For more information about careers at Epic, visit https://www.epicequipment.com/careers.