Four students in PSU’s Electrical Technology program don’t graduate until May, but on Monday, they already had jobs.
Two key leaders from a major company in the electrical construction industry flew into Pittsburg to hold the kind of signing ceremony for them that is routinely conducted for athletes, but not usually seen in academic programs.
But PSU’s Electrical Technology program, those leaders say, is producing graduates for which there is high demand.
The students, Brandon Walker of Girard, Kansas, Stephen Gideon of Weir, Kansas, Cody Mein of Pittsburg, Kansas, and Jace Burdick of Rose Hill, Kansas, previously interned with Interstates, and now will enter the company’s apprenticeship program.
“Excellent things are happening here,” Dave Crumrine, president of construction at Interstates, told families, students, faculty, administrators, and media who gathered at the Kansas Technology Center at PSU for the ceremony. “I know when I hear from our field people about what they’re getting from Pitt State grads, or even interns, they say they know what they’re doing, they’re hardworking, they ask questions, they want to learn.”
Crumrine said the students in the PSU program chose the right degree program for job opportunity; there is high demand for graduates.
“It’s super hard to get tradesman today,” he said. “No matter where you go, the trades are an awesome opportunity for at least the next decade, probably two decades, before it even slows down — we are so short of professional craftspeople that there really is a huge opportunity.”
Doug Brunsting, Interstates vice president of regional offices, echoed that, noting that after an apprenticeship, the four students can become licensed and go on to be journeymen, foremen, and superintendents, should they choose.
“There are so many opportunities. You can really be whatever you want to be,” he said.
Both leaders said Interstates puts an emphasis on ensuring employees feel like family and part of a team, and are hopeful that more PSU graduates will sign on with them in the future.
In his remarks, PSU President Steve Scott said he was delighted with the future that is in store for the students as a result of both the education they received at PSU and the partnership with Interstates.
“Providing industry with a capable, prepared workforce is a hallmark of Pittsburg State University,” said Scott. “To have partners like Interstates standing ready to hire our graduates enables that critical first step as they embark on lucrative, high-demand careers.”
Electrical Technology instructor Ed Moore said partnerships with industries like Interstates is a win-win for the industries and the students, and he was humbled that Interstates leaders made the trip and held the ceremony.
“This is a great day for us all,” he said.