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Penn College to Hold Training Session for Co-Op Employers


Employers seeking to learn more about the benefits of using cooperative-education students or how best to monitor their co-op employees can take advantage of a free training session being offered Wednesday, Feb. 16, at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

“Workplace Supervisors: Maximizing the Co-op Benefit” will be presented from 9 a.m. to noon in Room 204 of the Bush Campus Center, led by Josie Henning, assistant director, career services, at Penn College.

The session, the first of three to be held this year, is open to prospective co-op employers as well as to those who already use co-op students in their businesses.

Among the topics to be discussed are:

  • Developing an overview of the workplace in order to assess the best co-op student placement
  • How to list a co-op-position opening and recruit a Penn College student through the College’s Office of Counseling and Career Services
  • Integrating a co-op student into your workplace
  • Establishing realistic workload expectations
  • Mentoring techniques to maximize the work-based learning performance

CO-Opportunity: How Co-op Works for You,” a video featuring interviews with co-op/intern students, employers and faculty coordinators, will be shown as well.

In the afternoon, co-op faculty coordinators will be available to answer employers’ questions about how co-op works in each of their academic programs and to conduct tours of their schools. General tours of the campus also will be offered. Employers also will be able to interview students for co-op positions.

Henning said the purpose of the training session is twofold: to bring additional employers into the co-op link with Penn College and to highlight the co-op opportunities available at the College. Annually, just under 200 students take advantage of co-op opportunities at Penn College. ” I think it’s really a win-win-win situation for all three players the employers, the students and the College,” Henning said.

Co-op is “a terrific recruiting tool for employers,” she added, because employers can integrate students into their workplace before hiring them full time after graduation.

“There’s a skill shortage out there,” she said. “Employers benefit by hiring co-op students who have developed considerable technical skills in their academic programs.”

Co-op students acquire hands-on experience and learn whether the career choices they have made are prudent. The wages they receive also help defray the costs of a college education. And, Henning points out that, according to the Co-operative Education Network, 40 percent of co-op employers offer full-time positions to their co-op students after they graduate.

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