Marshall University’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences Co-Op program has named the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) its 2022 Employer of the Year, after the state agency has provided hands-on learning opportunities for dozens of students in the fields of civil, mechanical and electrical engineering.
“The West Virginia Division of Highways does an incredible job of providing co-op experiences and employment opportunities to CECS students,” said Tanner Drown, co-op coordinator for the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. “The WVDOH was selected based on … student feedback as well as the number of opportunities they have provided to our students. This summer, they have hired 20 students and several of those will move on to full-time positions after graduation.”
It is beneficial for both the WVDOH and the students to participate in the Marshall co-op program, said Alan Reed, WVDOT state highway engineer.
“It introduces the students to the incredible opportunities DOH offers to develop their skills and give them a real-world feel to how WVDOH operates as an organization and a team,” Reed said. “Co-op also opens up future employment opportunities with DOH.”
The West Virginia Division of Highways has connected with the co-op program since the program’s inception in 2021, and the partnership has provided valuable real-life work experience in which they can apply academic training into industry, Drown said.
“Through this successful initiative, Marshall University can provide a well-rounded program that results in quality, future employees in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) fields. It is a win-win for everyone,” Drown said.
“We are exceptionally pleased to be named Marshall University Employer of the Year,” said Jimmy Wriston, P.E., West Virginia Secretary of Transportation. “One of the Justice administration’s primary goals is to utilize partnerships to build a workforce for the future…We appreciate this recognition very much.”