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Meaningful Experiences in Manufacturing

Getman's Team

Last summer, a new partner of The Kalamazoo Promise (The Promise) provided two Kalamazoo Public School (KPS) graduates with an opportunity to learn more about the manufacturing industry as an internship.

Getman Corporation (Getman) has built a reputation as a leading manufacturer of underground mining vehicles with a client base that spans 32 countries. Now in its 65th year of business, the organization has begun a mentorship program for KPS interns.

“We have been exploring opportunities to partner with high schools to provide students with exposure to careers in the manufacturing field,” said Corey Clark, HR Generalist at Getman. “The timing of this partnership was perfect.”

Before the program began, the Getman staff made a point of finding out the career goals and interests of its two participants.

“One of our interns was interested in engineering, while the other was interested in nursing,” recalled Kelvin Lee, Plant Manager at Getman. “Neither of them were quite sure about what they wanted to do, but this program helped give them a framework of what they might want in a career.

“This program is great because there are students out there who don’t have exposure to manufacturing career opportunities,” he continued. “It puts these careers on their radar.”

After completing Getman’s program, the two interns found interests in electrical and mechanical engineering.

“They worked every job we have at Getman twice over the course of the summer,” said Lee. “Near the end of the summer, they had a week where they could choose how they wanted to spend the remainder of their time and do a deeper dive into that position.”

Additionally, the two interns had the opportunity to visit Getman’s headquarters in Bangor and work within the engineering, purchasing, accounting, and HR departments. This work format gave them valuable exposure to every aspect of the business.

“We are focused on not just teaching technical aspects,” Lee said of Getman’s approach. “Part of our goal is to help participants develop the skills that they will need to be successful.”

As Clark sees it, this is also an excellent opportunity for preparing a future generation of manufacturing professionals in Kalamazoo.

“Getman realizes that we are all in this together as a community,” he said. “By partnering with The Promise, we’re developing a pipeline for manufacturing professionals in the area.”

Lee agreed with this sentiment and felt that the partnership could lead to careers for future Promise Scholars.

“There’s a hope that previous participants come back and are interested in being a part of Getman when they graduate from college,” he remarked.

After finding success in their inaugural year as a Promise Partner, the Getman team hopes to continue this summer program for many years to come.

“It was important for us to maximize the interns’ time,” said Clark. “The experience should be meaningful and not just fill the day.”

It’s always great to see a new Promise Partner thrive and make a difference in our community. We look forward to seeing the results this program continues to produce and wish Getman the best of luck!

Know a KPS senior that may be interested in this program? Contact The Promise today for more information.

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