College of Engineering Kicks off Employer Spotlight Series with WVDOH

Matthew Schaffer, Student Reporter

Marshall University College of Engineering and Computer Science kicked off its employer spotlight series Wednesday with a visit from the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH).

The Employer Spotlight Series is meant to offer engineering students a greater insight into possible future employers. The program also encourages students to find employment through co-op programs offered that allow them to begin building their careers while still in school.

The first of the Employer Spotlight Series featured numerous guest speakers from the division of highways, including Joe Pack, P.E., deputy state highway engineer of division operations; Kathy Rushworth, P.E., district one maintenance engineer; and Leslie Adkins, job recruiter for DOH.

“What the co-op and Employer Spotlight Series show is that students can have a job before you get your degree in hand,” Tanner Drown, co-op coordinator, said. “You’re going to have the opportunity to network with employers and have a chance to put yourself out there.”

The co-op program was created to keep students in the state while meeting the increased demand for engineers in West Virginia. 

“Our employer partners were looking for avenues to create pipelines to keep students employed in the state,” Drown said.“We have done a really good job at getting our students employed. Our students do not have trouble finding jobs. If our employment rate [for graduates] isn’t 100%, then it is 99%.” 

The co-op also offers students scholarships for juniors and seniors who work with the WVDOH and is open to civil, mechanical, industrial, electrical and environmental engineers,as well as accounting students. 

“Our co-op takes place over the summer so it doesn’t interfere with school, and it offers students the chance to see how our organization works in the real world,”  Adkins said.

For students looking to apply for a co-op position with the West Virginia Division of Highways, the information can be found on the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s official website.

The Employer Spotlight Series will feature other potential employers including Toyota, Steel of West Virginia and The United States Army Corps of Engineers throughout the remainder of the semester.

The West Virginia Division of Highways was recently named Employer of the Year by Marshall University College of Engineering and Computer Science.