OSU Institute of Technology and Flex-N-Gate celebrated the sponsorship of student, Tim Sanders, with a signing ceremony at the Konawa High School in Konawa, Oklahoma for job placement and education.
Sanders, a Konawa High School graduate, will pursue a Bachelor of Technology in Instrumentation Engineering Technology at OSUIT with guaranteed employment at Flex-N-Gate upon graduation.
James Bolt, general manager at Flex-N-Gate in Konawa, Oklahoma, said that he thinks sponsoring students to attend college sends a positive message to the younger generation that there are more opportunities out there, especially in small towns.
“The student receives assistance with his or her education and knows they have a guaranteed internship and possible employment,” said Bolt. “In this case, our sponsored student is also local.”
Bolt said that based on their location, they struggle to find skilled tradespeople. “We have a good internal training program but still need more people to be involved in manufacturing. We are always looking ahead at succession planning and work with all organizations to identify candidates for our team.”
The Flex-N-Gate sponsorship agreement includes providing money to help pay for tuition and other educational expenses; branded apparel to wear on campus; a paid internship, which is part of OSUIT’s program curriculum; and full-time employment upon satisfactory completion of the internship and graduation.
Sanders said that he has several friends that work for Flex-N-Gate and realized what a great opportunity it would be to work for them.
“I was full of excitement and felt lucky when I found out I was going to be sponsored,” said Sanders. “This sponsorship will benefit me in achieving my degree and career by taking some of the stress off due to financial problems.”
Sanders said that this sponsorship not only solidifies where he will be once he graduates but that he also has an idea of what he will be doing.
Flex-N-Gate, a worldwide company, is an automotive parts supplier to all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). The Ada, Oklahoma plant, which employs over 600 people, is one of 66 locations with a total of 25,000 global employees. The company manufactures several vehicle parts from plastic interiors and exteriors, metal stamping and lighting and has state of the art labs for internal testing.
Bolt said that this sponsorship not only helps keep them staffed with skilled manufacturing trades, but also continually updates their knowledge base by recruiting a new generation of students.
“This will keep us successful for years to come,” said Bolt. “We have had success in the past with internships through OSUIT and look forward to sponsoring more students in the future.”