Chrysler Group heads back to school!
Indeed, Chrysler Group and Kettering University today celebrated the establishment of the first class of student co-ops that will work at the Company beginning this fall with a full day of on-campus events designed to rekindle the longstanding relationship between the Company and University.
“Chrysler Day” at Kettering University featured informational and recruiting booths staffed by Company representatives, product displays showcasing many of the Chrysler Group’s 16 new or significantly refreshed vehicles and a presentation to students by Laura Soave, President and CEO of Fiat Brand in North America. Many current Chrysler Group employees who are alumni of the University were also in attendance.
“Kettering University has been a good source of key technical talent in the U.S. and at our Company for many years,” said Nancy A. Rae, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Chrysler Group LLC. “We are excited and proud to continue our relationship with the University and its students.”
The Kettering University co-op program is a five-year program in which students alternate work and school terms every three months. Students work for the co-op sponsor – in this case the Chrysler Group -- from freshman year until graduation and begin work on a thesis project in their senior year.
“Kettering University is very grateful to Chrysler Group for hosting a Corporate Day on campus and for providing an outstanding opportunity for our faculty, staff and students to see their beautiful new products and world-class technologies,” said Kettering University President Robert McMahan. “Chrysler Group is a top-tier employer of both our co-op students and our alumni, and Kettering University is very pleased with our partnership with the Company.”
“Chrysler Day” and the new co-op program were the result of the efforts of the Company’s University Relations Program, which is part of the Company’s overall Talent Acquisition organization. As part of these initiatives, University Relations has organized and supports employee volunteer teams, comprised of employees who are alumni of the assigned school and other interested employee volunteers. These teams, assigned to one of 30 major colleges and universities in the U.S., work to build relationships with university leaders and create opportunities for the Company to identify and recruit talented interns and employees. The University Relations team assigned to Kettering University developed plans for the new co-op program and worked closely with Kettering University officials planning the “Chrysler Day” event.
The Company’s relationship with Kettering University and the teachings of its founder, Charles F. Kettering, connect back to Company's own founder, Walter P. Chrysler, who in 1916, as Chairman of the Industrial Committee of the YMCA, was very impressed by Kettering’s teachings on the value of “practical education.” Inspired by Kettering, Chrysler and members of the Committee adopted the policy that workers should receive instruction that is adaptive to their work in the factory.
Since June 2009, the Chrysler Group has hired about 6,000 employees and continues to seek talented people to support its future growth.