Internships Grow the Talent Pipeline for Target Industry in Northeast Indiana
The orthopedic industry is searching for talent to fill its high employment rates caused by the baby boomer population starting to retire. Younger generations, however, have been found to have false stereotypes and negative connotations with factory work. Orthoworx's mission is to influence a new crop of talent and create excitement about manufacturing work.
“Most [factories] are very high tech and you could literally eat off the floor of an orthopedic factory,” Explained Gennie Brissett-Tipton, Manager of Communications and Projects.
In part with her management of Orthoworx projects, Brissett-Tipton also heads the Orthoworx internship program. Currently, these five interns are working to create a program that will introduce the manufacturing world to eighth grade students in the Kosciusko area.
“Eighth grade is a great time because they are starting to look at what classes they can take and what might interest them.”
This includes exposing the students to technical degree pathways that allows students to participate in dual-credit classes and graduate high school with a technical degree from Ivy Tech.
“This allows for students to enter into the workforce right away with a $50,000 salary.”
Many of the corporations that students have an opportunity to work for also offer tuition reimbursements which allows them to continue their education and growth in the orthopedic industry.
According to Brissett-Tipton, these opportunities are extremely important when it comes to growing the orthopedic industry in Northeast Indiana. Businesses go where the talent lives. If Northeast Indiana cannot produce the skilled talent for these businesses, then they will eventually be forced to move to another area with people who realize how advanced factory work has become. These experiences benefit more than just the eighth-grade students. The five interns creating the project are also exposed to the orthopedic world. They must become experts in the field to understand and promote which companies are not only advanced but will garner the most excitement within students. They will also be exposed to the fact that factories are more than just an assembly line. There is math, technology, CNC machines, marketing, and management skills needed in and throughout the orthopedics’ industry just like there is in every industry. Finally, these students can network and create relationships with the different orthopedic companies, and potentially, be offered positions.
Orthoworx is creating opportunities that are imperative growingin the orthopedic industry. However, they are not the only industry that needs to attract and develop talent in Northeast Indiana. Every industry needs to continually look for ways to get skilled talent to come and stay within the region. Internships and partnerships with organizations like high schools and colleges are some of the easiest and best ways to create these opportunities. It creates a direct talent pipeline that can be used constantly without ever running dry and allows for progress in our region to be made.
- By Katie Doehrmann, 2018 Marketing Intern