The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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September 18, 2013

Company Day brings PSU students, employers together

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Michael Alldritt had one thing on his mind Wednesday: Finding a job.

The Pittsburg State University senior was handing out his resume to prospective employers at Company Day, hoping that a good first impression will help land him employment when he graduates in May.

“They are going to remember you more than a name on a piece of paper,” said Alldritt, who is majoring in mechanical engineering technology.

More than 140 technology companies and 1,550 Pittsburg State University students packed the university’s Kansas Technology Center on Wednesday for the annual Company Day, one of the largest networking and hiring fairs in the region for companies that are looking to hire for full-time positions and to fill internships.

The degree-seeking students in the college had the opportunity to talk to potential employers, learn about the companies in their field of study and network with representatives of those companies, many of whom are graduates of Pitt State, said Bruce Dallman, dean of the College of Technology.

“Everybody comes out a winner in this,” he said.

Dallman said this year’s event was the largest in the school’s history, with a record number of companies — 145 had pre-registered, and there were no empty tables. He said that is an encouraging sign after the economic downturn of recent years.

“What we’re seeing is more of an optimism, and that’s been growing,” he said. “And it means more opportunities for our students.”

Scott Casebolt, project manager for Wichita-based Key Construction and a Pitt State graduate, said he was interviewing students to fill several internships at his company, which typically employs around 20 graduates of the university’s construction program.

“It’s worked out extremely well,” he said of his annual participation in Company Day. “We’re very pleased with the talent that comes from Pitt State.”

Jared Dorsey, a recruiter for Ward/Kraft Inc., of Fort Scott, said his company has several positions to fill. He said he was impressed with the students who had stopped by his booth and inquired about the company, which designs and produces labels, plastics and commercial print.

“They’re serious about their careers and exploring their options,” he said. “We’re just getting an idea of what they want to do.”

Tyler Hillman, a freshman majoring in automotive service management, said he was primarily looking to acquaint himself with companies in his field of study. He said he had handed out a few resumes and, in talking to representatives of several companies, discovered that he is on the right track in his field.

“I’ve learned a lot that I’ve done right so far (in recent jobs) that will help me in the future,” he said.

Brandon Cowles, also a freshman majoring in automotive technology, said he was visiting with companies about possible internship opportunities and employment benefit options, such as retirement and insurance plans.

“I want to scout out the whole place and not miss anything so I get a good depth of what’s out there,” he said.

Company Day began initially as a showcase for construction companies. It soon expanded to include engineering, automotive and diesel/heavy equipment companies, as well as graphics and imaging, electrical and wood technology companies.

Broad appeal

Pittsburg State University’s annual Company Day for students in the College of Technology was also open this year to students in PSU’s business college. Groups of students from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Ark., and Oklahoma State University were also invited, said Bruce Dallman, dean of the College of Technology.

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