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Students Find Summer Home, Full-Time Jobs at Local Firm

Richard N. HannanMatthew P. BowerFour Pennsylvania College of Technology students are working this summer with Larson Design Group a Williamsport-based architecture, engineering and surveying firm where an aggressive internship program helps meet future recruitment needs and reverse the trend of local students moving outside the area after graduation.

Jason F. JacksonErin A. Karpich“The human resources office, as part of its goal in the company’s strategic plan for growth, is to recruit qualified individuals throughout the organization,” said William Phillips, director of human resources for LDG. “In developing this program, we felt that it was important to capitalize on local students in an effort to eliminate “˜brain drain,’ but also to create diversity by welcoming students into our area and providing them real-world experience that they would normally only get in larger cities.”

The intention of the program is to create a pipeline between the temporarily hired individuals and the company, a connection that promotes the return of students to North-central Pennsylvania, which is in dire need of entry-level employees.

Larson is a longtime supporter of Penn College students and alumni, and last year endowed a scholarship fund in memory of one of its founding members.

The current format of the internship/co-op program began last year with a class of 10 interns. This year’s class is made up of 15 students from eight different schools, five of whom have returned from 2006.

Penn College students in the group are Matthew P. Bower, Jersey Shore, majoring in information technology: IT security specialist concentration (among the returnees from last year); Richard N. Hannan, Williamsport, and Jason F. Jackson, Roaring Branch, both majoring in civil engineering technology; and Erin A. Karpich, an accounting major from Springville.

David A. SchaefferBrandon J. RunnelsRenee L. Hoffman The quality of the co-op experience already has succeeded in its intention, as a number of past interns have decided to return to the firm upon graduating from college benefiting them, the company and the community.

LDG recently hired five former job cooperatives from the “Class of 2006,” all of them Penn College graduates: Renee L. Hoffman, architectural technician II; Brandon J. Runnels, architectural technician I; David A. Schaeffer, architectural technician I; Joshua Steimling, architectural technician I; and Justin C. Wenner, designer-highway engineering. Wenner holds a degree in civil engineering technology; the other four graduated from the college’s architectural technology major.

Joshua M. SteimlingJustin C. Wenner“Creating opportunities for personal and professional growth is a key element of LDG’s mission,” said Keith Kuzio, Larson’s chief executive officer. “Our internship program delivers on that commitment. By attracting bright young talent to the program, we can demonstrate that there are dynamic career opportunities right here in North-central Pennsylvania.

“Many of our interns have signed on with us for full-time employment, and that ultimately allows for advancement of all our employees. Based on this success, we’re targeting 10 percent of our employee positions to be interns and co-ops. As LDG grows, the internship program will continue to grow.”

Larson Design Group provides design solutions for private, industrial, municipal and government organizations; its staff has diverse knowledge in environmental systems, architecture, surveying, site development, structures, transportation, inspection and mechanical/electrical/plumbing design. In addition to its local headquarters on Commerce Park Drive, it also has offices in Selinsgrove and Bloomsburg, and in Corning, N.Y.

( Photos provided by Larson Design Group)

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