Internship program creates pipeline for employment with Faith Technologies
Two students in the Electrical Program at Northeast Tech’s Kansas Campus are gaining on-thejob experience through a unique new internship opportunity with Faith Technologies — one of the nation’s largest electrical contractors with approximately 2,500 employees, 22 offices nationwide and two offices in Oklahoma.
“This internship is different than the On-Job-Training that Northeast Tech has had in place for many years,” said Northeast Tech Electrical Instructor Wade Friesen, a key player in facilitating the discussions that led to this internship. “Faith is offering paid employment to my students six days a week with a schedule that works around their class time. They do not have to miss any class time and their employment is contingent upon enrollment in our program.”
A former Northeast Tech Teacher of the Year, Friesen operates a successful program on the Kansas Campus, and he’s quick to attribute much of that success to relationships with industry partners. Rarely a week passes without his students benefiting from an industry visit, and thanks to those visits, industry experts have discovered the talent pool sitting in his classroom.
“Faith has been recruiting our electrical students for about two years now,” said Friesen. “This year, Ray Roberson, the field talent acquisition manager for Faith, visited our class in August and began his presentation by saying that Faith is offering to hire every electrical student that graduates from Northeast Tech.”
And in order to create a stable pipeline for employment, Faith is also offering a paid internship opportunity to two of Friesen’s students: Milee Sams and Brock Austin.
“The internship will give my students the opportunity to see first-hand, the types of projects Faith is working on and the tasks that are being performed,” said Friesen. “It will also allow them to learn basic processes and best practices, and to acclimate to a real electrical job site so they can be more successful when employed full-time.”
Faith is the electrical contractor operating an electrical project located in the Mid-America Industrial Park in Pryor. It is on this job site where Sams and Austin will be working as interns assisting with underground work and training on PVC installation. They could also be assigned to the material handling area to help them get acquainted with materials, tools, etc., utilized on the project.
Sams, a second-year student from Jay is eager to begin in her new role as an intern with Faith.
“I’m happy to finally be doing something I’m learning here, rather than just taking a job because I need it,” Sams said. “I’m a little nervous about getting up at 4 a.m. to be in Pryor by 6 a.m. I have a habit of sleeping past my alarm, so this is going to be painful at first.”
A native of Salina, Austin is also excited about this opportunity, and he hopes it will have positive, long-lasting effects on his career.
“The kind of knowledge I get will apply when I start my apprenticeship, so I’m hoping whenever I’m done with the internship, I can go into my apprenticeship and climb that ladder,” said Austin. “I want this to be a stepping stone for a long career with Faith.”
Sams and Austin are scheduled to begin the onboarding process with Faith this month, and they will begin work immediately after completing Faith’s safety and orientation trainings. Currently, they are the only two CareerTech students from Oklahoma to participate in Faith’s internship program. Since 2016, Faith has retained a little over 98% of CareerTech electrical apprentices.
“I’m hopeful for the long-term careers for my students with Faith,” Friesen said. “This opportunity has excited the rest of my class, even the ones that are too young to participate. The lure of an electrical job with Faith has motivated my students to stay in high school and graduate from Northeast Tech.”
Northeast Tech’s campuses are located in Afton, Kansas, Pryor and Claremore. Through its full-time daytime classes, shortterm evening classes, and its business and industry services and training, Northeast serves well over 34,000 patrons per year. For more information on any of the classes or training programs available, visit Northeast Tech’s website at www.netech.edu or call 918-825-7040.
Milee Sams and Brock Austin, both elecrical students at Northeast Tech’s Kansas Campus, are participating in the internship with Faith Technologies. Faith is one of the nation’s largest electrical contractors, and the company’s paid internship is intended to create a pipeline for employment. Sams and Austin are the only two CareerTech students from Oklahoma to participate in Faith’s internship program.